info@buildupadvisory.com

Publications

Defining Infrastructure with A. Nicole Campbell

This week on the Nonprofit Build Up, we are defining infrastructure. This episode was recorded as an episode from our Fast Build Friday series, a web-series where we quickly build what you know about infrastructure design in the nonprofit sector.

There are so many definitions of infrastructure floating around. And since we use the term ‘infrastructure’ frequently throughout this podcast, we wanted to take a moment and provide insight on how we define it. Once we have defined infrastructure, we need to build it stronger and faster because communities are counting on us.

Listen to the podcast here:


Powered by Podetize

Resources:

Read the podcast transcription below:

-Upbeat Intro Music-

Nic Campbell: 

You’re listening to the Nonprofit Build Up Podcast and I’m your host, Nic Campbell. I want to support movements that can interrupt cycles of injustice and inequity, and shift power towards vulnerable and marginalized communities. I’ve spent years working in and with nonprofits and philanthropies, and I know how important infrastructure is to outcomes. On this show, we’ll talk about how to build capacity to transform the way you and your organization work.

Katy Thompson:

Hi, everyone. It’s Katy T, BU’s PC. This week on the Nonprofit Build Up, we’re defining infrastructure. This episode was recorded as an episode from our Fast Build Friday series, a web-series where we quickly build what you know about infrastructure design in the nonprofit sector.

During the next couple of months, we will be sharing different episodes of our Fast Build Friday series. We hope you’ll enjoy them. You can also watch our Fast Build Friday episodes on YouTube or sign up to our weekly newsletter to receive the latest Fast Build Fridays.

Katy Thompson:

There are so many definitions of infrastructure floating around the sector. And since we use the term ‘infrastructure’ frequently throughout this podcast, we wanted to take a moment and provide insight on how we define it. Once we have defined infrastructure, we need to build it stronger and faster because communities are counting on us.

And with that, here is Fast Build Friday Episode 5.

Nicole Campbell:

Hi, everyone. It’s Nic with Build Up Advisory Group and it’s Fast Build Fridays, a web series where we will quickly build what you know about infrastructure design in the nonprofit sector. Today’s Fast Build topic is defining and level-setting on the word, infrastructure.

Nicole Campbell:

When you hear the word, infrastructure, it can mean so many things. Google it and it can produce images of bridges and tunnels, and when we’re talking about nonprofits and philanthropies, it could be leadership infrastructure, development infrastructure, and the list goes on and on. So, let’s level set. When I say infrastructure, I mean the framework of an organization, the skeleton, the thing that holds the organization up; holds up its mission, goals, programmatic strategy. It’s the foundation of what makes any organization move. I come at this with an operations, legal, and programmatic lens, having been in all of those roles before. And that combination of experience has given me such a unique perspective on how we define and design infrastructure. Specifically, what makes up infrastructure?

Nicole Campbell:

For us at Build Up, it’s governance – So, the people and the papers; structuring, both externally, like what entity are you using to do your work? And internally, what does internal capacity look like to support your work? What do your teams look like, for example; and if we’re talking about grant-making organizations, we’re also talking about the frame that supports the grant-making process. And one more thing that’s included here that can be missing from these definitions is people. An organization will collapse on itself, it will be hollow without the right people in the right places in the organization.

Nicole Campbell:

So, governance, external and internal structuring, grant making, and people. And that is what I mean when I say infrastructure. Let’s get this definition trending. And that’s our Fast Build. I want to hear how you’re thinking about your infrastructure. Are you calling it infrastructure or something else? I’d love to hear from you and about your experience in the comments below. Thanks so much for watching. Have a wonderful weekend and keep building bravely.

Katy Thompson:

And that concludes this week’s episode. We’re curious to know if you’ve defined infrastructure this way? We’re also curious about just how strong you think your infrastructure is? Send us your answers, comments, and questions to hello@buildupadvisory.com.

-Upbeat Outro Music-

Nic Campbell:

Thank you for listening to this episode of Nonprofit Build Up. To access the show notes, additional resources, and information on how you can work with us, please visit our website at buildupadvisory.com. We invite you to listen again next week as we share another episode about scaling impact by building infrastructure and capacity in the nonprofit sector. Keep building bravely.