The TRY Foundation

A Case Study in Private Community Development Organizations

by Paul T. McClure


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The TRY Foundation is a privately funded, nonprofit organization in Los Angeles devoted to community and human development in disadvantaged areas. TRY's activities are of interest primarily because governmental programs with similar objectives have not been uniformly successful. This paper describes the origins, goals, and problems of TRY and briefly examines personnel issues such as recruiting, compensation, and motivation. There are no complex administrative requirements to be met in TRY. Programs are adopted on an ad hoc basis; new activities are proposed by whoever plans to direct the new program. If TRY follows the pattern of most developing organizations, this will change as operations become more extensive and the organization matures. Some tentative conclusions drawn from TRY's first year of experience: Support and contributions can be raised more easily for specific rather than for generalized tasks. Programs must be flexible. Personal commitment by individuals is the single most important ingredient of success.

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