IAF organizations are built on face-to-face relationships that manifest unique organizational cultures that include local financial ownership.
Building an organization around face to face relationships requires intentional actions over time undertaken by leaders and organizers who choose to work within the IAF umbrella. The habits and practices that foster relationship building form the basis of IAF organizational culture. That culture is unique because the individuals, families, leaders and institutions so engaged are themselves unique as is the context in which they operate. Money, a necessary aspect of birthing and sustaining an organization, buttresses the mission of an IAF organization as leaders and organizers together assume responsibility for raising it.
IAF relational culture is characterized by positive valuation of relationships themselves as well as the capacity for collaborative action they generate. Relationships tested in the crucible of public action when sustained over time can forge lasting political friendships within, between and outside IAF organizations.
All IAF organizations invest intensively in the learning and doing of relational meetings - one to one and small groups. Probing interests, sharing narratives, challenging values, agitating individuals and institutions into action provide the grist for this relational work.
Frank C. Pierson, Jr.
Frank Pierson retired after forty years of work with the Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF) as a professional organizer. He began his career in 1971 in Chicago, moved to Queens, New York City and migrated west to work in Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada and Colorado. He resides with his wife, Mary Ellen Kazda, in Oracle, Arizona. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org