Roundtable ideas from changing neighborhoods discussion

April 28, 2016

Roundtable ideas from changing neighborhoods discussion

During CNM’s “Changing Nashville Neighborhoods: The Effects on Nonprofits” session, teams gathered to discuss how gentrification is effecting their organizations, and how CNM could help with this issue. Take a look at the consolidated ideas below.

How our organizations are being affected by neighborhood change:


  • Clients trying hard to hang onto home or forced to leave and asking nonprofits where they can find affordable housing
  • Greater numbers of transient populations
  • Organizations who do rent/utility assistance now have clients coming with greater needs
  • How can nonprofits fit into a changing community and new neighbors?
  • Corporations have less money to give
  • Increase in general anxiety about leaving community, families (concern from both clients and donors)
  • How to communicate that there is still a need in these areas for nonprofits (donors’ perceptions shifting)
  • Transportation becomes an even more important issue when clients are moving
  • Foundations need information about changes to make more strategic investments in nonprofits


  • Could lose resources/volunteers if you move
  • Employees might have long commutes because they can’t afford housing nearby.
    • Might affect HR and benefits packages
  • Employees work more than one job to make ends meet


  • Rent increase for facilities
  • Closing centers and moving to new neighborhoods
  • Can make a large profit from sale of a building
  • Greater need for multiple locations and organizations have a lot to keep their eyes on
  • Parking issues

Positive effects

  • More foot traffic = potential for more community awareness
  • More interest in social enterprise/revenue diversification ventures
  • Increases importance of strategic planning, long-term planning, big-picture thinking
  • Forces nonprofits to be more nimble and adaptable
  • Increases need to focus on prevention
  • It is becoming increasingly important for nonprofits to work together
  • Brings employment opportunities to a neighborhood that may not have been offered before


What CNM can do in the community to make a difference:

  • Help locate and distribute data resources
    • How can nonprofits share data amongst each other?
    • Resource book of area nonprofits based on service areas or services provided
    • Resource toolkit with steps on how nonprofits should proceed
    • Technology/computer/data support
    • Keep providing low-cost consultants and bring in experts from other gentrifying areas for knowledge share
  • Best ways to get our message out to funders and community members
    • How can we talk about the fact that wealth is increasing but poverty is increasing as well
  • Continue this conversation
    • How can we get nonprofits in one space to keep conversations going?
    • Community-wide joint efforts to bring together organizations from all sectors
    • Make sure that disability is included in the conversation and in the poverty data (as race and education are included)
    • Convene often and in multiple groups
    • Publicize the collective need
    • Create a Salute to Excellence award to recognize creative responses to changing neighborhoods
  • Help connecting organizations
    • Connect nonprofits to one another
    • Create a forum for small, start-up nonprofits to make themselves known as potential implementation partners because they are nimble
    • Help with connecting larger nonprofits with community and advocacy groups
    • Are there space-sharing opportunities? How can nonprofits connect with other nonprofits to share space?
    • Access for smaller nonprofits

Want to learn more about this forum? Click here to read the first blog post about the event.

Stay tuned for more news related to this issue and future sessions.


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