February 24, 2022

During this long dark winter, we have a bright conversation with a colleague who is managing the operations of a national social justice organization, and who can offer us some rays of hope.

Our guest is Andrea Frye. Andrea is the Operations Director of Peoples’ Action, a national network of state & local grassroots power-building organizations united in fighting for justice. 

This episode gives you a concrete example of the value created for an organization and its staff when they use capacity-building dollars to build their people-systems – the policies, procedures, and people needed to support the staff. You’ll hear good examples of how an organization that champions worker justice in American society is practicing those values in-house: how they’re building their recruitment and retention systems; how they’re approaching a unionization organizing effort within the staff; and how they’re preparing for a major executive transition.

People’s Action is a grantee of Ford and has received a 5-year capacity-building grant from BUILD initiative, through which they’ve focused on building their people-systems. Andrea also helped to get a peer-learning cohort going among the “COOs” of BUILD grantees. (Fund the People co-designed and co-facilitated the cohort, alongside the Chicago-based consultancy Morton Group.) In Season 1 Episode 2 (S1E2) of this podcast, we spoke with Kathy Reich who directs Ford Foundation BUILD. This episode is a companion to that one. (It’s like we’re bringing Kathy and Andrea, a grantmaker and a grantee leader, into conversation with one another virtually across time and space through the magic of podcasting!) We hope you get great value from this bonus episode, and hope you’ll check out S1E2 with Kathy. We can’t wait to share more conversations soon in Season 3!

Resources from the Episode:

About the author 

Rusty Stahl

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