10 reasons why you should become a member

Do you enjoy receiving Ohio CDC Association’s monthly newsletter What’s Happening in Ohio Community Development which features state and federal policy updates, funding and employment opportunities, and a bevy of training events?

Well then, here are ten other things you would enjoy even more by being a member of the Ohio CDC Association (OCDCA):

1. We help explain what you do

What is community development? Great question. Are you a CDC? Possibly. Do you do community development? It’s likely.

We help explain the answers to these questions and describe a broad view of comprehensive community development. We provide branding assistance and supplementary marketing materials, including a comprehensive Public Relations Toolkit. For a look at our starting point, please see our videos, “If We Can, So Can You.” We help create a unified voice for the variety of neighborhood revitalization and community development efforts in Ohio.

2. Advocacy gets easier for you

This will be of huge importance for the foreseeable future.

We work in coalitions to make it easier and stronger. On a state level, we helped form the Home Matters to Ohio campaign to push affordable housing to the top of the priority list, and have advocated for more or equal funding for nonprofit community developers for years.

We utilize our downtown Columbus presence to talk to policy makers on behalf of two-hundred plus organizations along with our partners.

Nationally, we work to stay at the table, creating flyers demonstrating the value of CDBG and HOME that our members can use. We organize Capitol Hill visits for national conferences, empowering our members to tell the stories of their communities.

Join this strong voice so your concerns are heard. Many are louder than one.

3. Free Money!

Over $37,200 in scholarships to non-OCDCA community development trainings were already offered in 2017 so far, including the National Development Council Academy and the People and Places Community Conference in DC. Even if your organization just received one scholarship to a conference, the OCDCA membership would pay for itself.

4. Opportunities to network with other CDCs and peers

Networking is integral in all of our trainings, workshops, and our conference. But, more importantly, we love connecting experts from around the state to help out those organizations in need. Who better to learn from than other practitioners?

5. Quality, affordable trainings in a variety of subjects offered year-round

Yeah, a lot of these trainings are free for everybody, but that’s just because we want to share the knowledge. On that note, we love collaborating with other orgs on trainings, most recently Greater Ohio Policy Center and Ohio Association of Community Action Agencies. OCDCA members also receive a discounted OANO membership, which means further training discounts. For any of our trainings that do require a fee, members have discounted rates. To find out what’s coming up next, click here!

6. Members-only funding announcements

Did you ever want to be part of a secret club? Now you can be. We tirelessly scour all the sources for the best, most relevant funding opportunities applicable to any member to disseminate through our monthly newsletter: Funding Opps. For a sample copy, please email Lisa Much, lmuch AT ohiocdc.org.

7. Technical assistance in pretty much anything!

Microbusiness development, financial education, housing, economic development, rural development, fund development, marketing, starting or expanding a CDC, etc. Just ask! If we don’t know, we can help you get the answer! (Unless, of course, it’s malfunctioning office equipment).

8. Access to the AmeriCorps VISTA, IDA, and Microbusiness Development programs

With technical assistance and training, of course. Some of these programs even feature members’ only sections on our website and periodic network calls or summits to share best practices or get your questions answered.

In the last year alone, OCDCA AmeriCorps VISTAs recruited more than 900 community volunteers, who completed over 2,000 hours of volunteer service; organized or attended over 250 community events to support their organization’s services; and raised over $700,000 in cash and in-kind contributions. How can they bolster your community?

9. New programs on the horizon – community empowerment initiative

Ever on the lookout for more ways to serve our members, we’ve created the Community Empowerment Initiative, slated to launch Q1 of 2018, to bolster our members in a comprehensive way. Stay tuned for more information!

10. Ohio CDC Association annual conference discount

“The CDC conference is always one of the best of the year,” a long-time, returning attendee remarked after the 2014 Dayton conference.

Now on its 33rd year, the OCDCA conference takes pride in changing the host city each year. Featuring diverse workshops, ample networking time, at least four local tours, expert featured speakers, and award ceremonies, the CDC conference promotes idea sharing and collaboration for all people working to improve communities throughout Ohio. Plus, there are, of course, usually scholarships for young professionals and other members to attend.

Have we convinced you yet? If you are still unsure about the value of an OCDCA membership, check out the other benefits here.

Member dues are 50% off the rest of the year. Become a member now with code “10REASONS” and you will be entered into a raffle to win a free OCDCA Annual Conference registration in Toledo, under the theme Glass Half Full: Resilience in the Face of Adversity, October 5-6, 2017 at the newly renovated Renaissance Toledo Downtown Hotel.

For more membership questions or concerns, please contact Melissa Miller at (614) 461-6392 ext. 209.

We’re here for you. We envision the creation of a community development environment that comprehensively improves life opportunities for all Ohioans and believe you are doing that. Let’s work together.

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