Follow the Advice Offered By Non-Profit Camino Community Center, Leader Peter Schieffelin Nyberg and you may be able to increase your community center’s impact.

Starting a community center takes a lot of work but can be of huge benefit to your local community. You can help people in need and ensure that resources go to where they’ll do the most good. Peter Nyberg, who is the Chief Financial Officer of the Camino Community Center, offers tips for increasing impact.

“The first thing to understand is that the community comes first,” Peter Nyberg says. “What this means, basically, is that their needs come first. You may want to host vaccination drives, but right now, people may most need access to basic foodstuffs, for example.”

By identifying needs, you can help ensure demand for your services. If you offer services that people don’t need, they may forgo stopping by your community center. On top of that, word won’t spread as quickly, which may reduce impact.

If you want to learn what is most needed in a community, it helps to become an active member of that community. Getting your hands dirty and working on the front line will help you learn from people and see what challenges they face in their daily lives.

When working with other people, and especially those in need, it’s important to listen. You don’t have all the answers, no one does. And you’re almost certainly not aware of every problem and every challenge. But by listening, you can learn.

While community leaders rightly focus on impact, there are financial implications to consider as well. Donors and government funding programs often select community organizations that understand their community and are already producing a high impact.

“Of course, many of us think of people first, donations second,” Peter Nyberg says. “But in truth, they often go hand-in-hand. If you make a big impact in your community, you may draw in supporters and donors.”

As your community center grows and you learn more about what the local needs are, and also what you’re good at, it may make sense to specialize.

Peter Nyberg Discusses the Camino Health Center’s Focus

The Camino Health Center was originally called the Camino Community Center. While the Camino team remains focused on holistic aid to the community, health has slowly taken center stage. By focusing on a specific issue, you can sometimes amplify your impact.

“Deciding to focus on specific core issues is a big choice for a community center,” Peter Nyberg points out. “The Camino Community Center evolved into the Camino Health Center over time. We let the organization grow naturally, and our health focus was a natural result of that organic growth. By specializing, we become better at providing health-related services.”

Still, the Camino Health Center takes a holistic approach to health. Providing food through a food pantry, for example, remains a central part of their mission. The Center also provides clothing and other resources. Ultimately, an expansive view on health helps maximize results for the people served.

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