“If we continue to feel as though we cannot deliver beyond a certain bandwidth, we can’t deliver a certain set of services or we can’t change the outcome of the community because the resources aren’t there, I think we start to limit our own imagination.”
 — Sarah Davis, University City District

Moving Out of the Culture of Poverty with Sarah Davis

Session 163

From the outside, Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station is just a big train station. But for Sarah Davis, director of development for the city’s University City District, it represents a connection to lifelong employment and exit from poverty in some cases, or the home of outdoor space The Porch, where West Philadelphians can connect over lunch from the food truck on-site. She talks about how the 20-year-old organization revitalized an area of the city, initiatives its created to help those in need in the neighborhood, and the conversations the organization has held with their audience to find out what the University City District means to them.

She and Beth discuss:

  • Why you shouldn’t be afraid to look at the structure for-profit or another organization for guidance
  • How to create openness with your audience
  • Tackling scarcity of resources in the nonprofit sector and how it affects your organization’s mentality
  • How can your organization cultivate openness and a feeling of value internally?
  • Where is the separation between not having the money and the attitude around not having the money?
  • What questions should you ask to determine what your audience thinks of the work you do and why they connect with you?

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