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Florida Thrives

Florida Thrives: Community of Practice is a capacity-building program that coaches local community-based organizations in performance over planning. It brings these organizations' leaders together to identify and solve critical challenges, particularly related to economic development. In collaboration with local partners and national experts, Florida Thrives has helped participating organizations improve program quality and increase their revenue, program participation, and operational efficiency.

Economic development, through the lens of economic justice, is integral for any community’s ability to survive and thrive. When the COVID-19 pandemic spurred a volatile economic environment, which most acutely impacted frontline communities, nonprofits that are committed to community economic development stepped up across Miami-Dade County to help small businesses. Now, as we build a post-pandemic world, we must expand the definition of economic development to make it more inclusive. This requires supporting organizations focused on economic development and economic justice whose constituencies are adversely impacted by outdated policies, strategies and tactics furthered by both the public and private sectors.

To that end, Catalyst Miami collaborated with South Florida Community Development Coalition (SFCDC) to develop Florida Thrives, whose purpose is to assist community-based organizations that want to intervene in economic development. Florida Thrives incorporates an inclusive array of voices and perspectives, and responds to the needs of working people excluded from traditional economic opportunities. The goal is twofold:

  1. Map South Florida’s inclusive economic development ecosystem with a wide array of partners, in order to forge meaningful partnerships, enhance the continuum of service, and tackle policy and infrastructural barriers;
  2. Introduce emerging economic development trends from across the country to South Florida that are relevant to the work of participating organizations.