Campaign for Black Male Achievement
Strategy for Building a National Movement
Root Cause began working with the Campaign for Black Male Achievement (CBMA) starting when it was a program of the Open Society Foundations and continuing after CBMA’s spin-off as an independent entity in 2015.
The Campaign for Black Male Achievement is a national membership network that seeks to ensure the growth, sustainability, and impact of leaders and organizations committed to improving the life outcomes of Black men and boys. CBMA found that leaders in the Black Male Achievement field were particularly lacking support. CBMA leadership wanted to understand how to both support these leaders and provide a range of capacity-building resources while also sustaining their own growth as a membership network. It also realized a need to assess how best to help organizations overcome key barriers in terms of strategy, messaging, and fundraising.
Root Cause partnered with the CBMA to help them form a strategy to provide the best resources possible to leaders in the field. We worked with CBMA leadership as they spun off from the Open Society Foundations to form their own 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. We developed a range of capacity support to help the network’s organizations reach higher levels of performance and impact.
Our support can be categorized in 3 ways:
- Supporting CBMA member organizations to grow and sustain their organizations and impact – Root Cause partnered with CBMA as it worked with its members to improve the capacity in each of their organizations or institutions. We worked with the CBMA to develop a model for the network across the country, including membership structure, support available, and networking amongst them.
For a specific group, we formed the Black Male Achievement (BMA) Social Innovation Accelerator. Our team ran a selection process to search for organizations with experienced leaders that demonstrated powerful results in improving the life outcomes of Black men and boys. These organizations were in a position to grow and spread their results and make an impact at the city, community and systems levels. Following a rigorous selection process, organizations chosen as “innovators” were given one-on-one consulting support and help with strengthening their communications, articulating their goals, and receiving opportunities to meet funders. Yearly summits provided the opportunity for the CBMA community to get to know these innovators and share learnings from around the country.
- Creating a methodology around a national and local movement – How can you gauge the level of a movement across the country? Root Cause worked with the CBMA to develop a first-of-its-kind report that measured the level of investments made by cities to advance life outcomes of Black men and boys. The Promise of Place report provided recommendations to each city on how to improve their investment in these individuals and gave a way to ground and grow the conversation surrounding the movement. Root Cause also partnered with the CBMA in recruiting and engaging new members. We worked with CBMA leadership to hone in on the benefits they could give to members and streamline their messaging concerning recruitment.
- Serving as a leadership coach and partner – Over more than six years of partnering with the CBMA, we assisted them in project management and leadership development in matters big and small: from evaluating their own efforts through measurement, to developing a new website, to handling the spinoff and future relationship with the Open Society Foundation. We learned an immeasurable amount about the barriers facing Black men and boys and were honored to work so closely with so many organizations facing these challenges head-on every day.
Goals & Results
In 2018, the Campaign for Black Male Achievement celebrated its 10th anniversary. The organization has grown to include nearly 6,000 members and 3,000 organizations. They have helped to grow six national initiatives to anchor the field of Black Male Achievement and have engaged nearly 1,000 leaders to strengthen organizational capacity.
About the Partner
Campaign for Black Male Achievement
The Campaign for Black Male Achievement (CBMA) is a national membership network that seeks to ensure the growth, sustainability, and impact of leaders and organizations committed to improving the life outcomes of Black men and boys.
For more information about CBMA, see their website.