While the structure is not the same in every city, the leadership and hard work of mayors, their chief service officers, and other support staff are the key drivers of success for Cities of Service coalition members. By capitalizing on the resources, convening power, and bully pulpit of local elected officials, cities are able to more effectively develop and implement high-impact service plans.
As outlined in the Cities of Service Playbook, one of the first steps in developing a high-impact service plan is to identify priority areas of need and specific challenges that face the city that may be addressed, in part, by citizen service. This deliberate focus allows cities to target the most pressing needs to make real and meaningful change for their communities.
Once a mayor identifies and prioritizes its most pressing needs, s/he works with staff to create a plan to address those needs. Partnering with established community organizations, cities either work to expand and improve upon existing projects or programs or implement new service initiatives, often using Cities of Service Blueprints to guide their efforts. As part of their plans, cities also determine whether any challenges may exist across areas of need (e.g. volunteer recruitment and management) and develop infrastructure initiatives to address those challenges.
FOCUS ON IMPACT
Cities of Service is committed to making sure that all of the work its member cities are doing is having a real and measurable impact on those cities and their residents. Cities must determine how they will measure impact through the development of specific metrics for each service initiative. Measuring outcomes allows us to understand results, learn where successes and challenges exist, and improve initiatives for future implementation.