History of FCG

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What are FCG, FPG, and FDA? ...It can be hard to keep them straight! Here’s a short explanation:

Friendship’s neighborhood organization is the Friendship Community Group. It came about as a result of the 2011 Friendship Community Plan, when residents, property owners, and business owners worked together to set our goals for the next five years. At that time, Friendship had two community organizations, the Friendship Preservation Group (FPG) and Friendship Development Associates (FDA). Both groups were started in 1989. Each organization had its own purpose and governing board, and even though they had very different roles, they were connected.

FPG: Friendship Preservation Group was the advocacy organization and represented the entire neighborhood. Anyone in Friendship could be a member and vote for the board members. Its job was to conduct the community planning process every five years and work to accomplish it. FPG dealt with all kinds of neighborhood issues: for example, improving housing, parks, education and youth programs, and nearby business districts. FPG took the lead in responding to zoning changes or public safety issues in the neighborhood. It ran community events such as the Friendship Flower and Folk Festival thatstrengthen our social network.

FDA: So, why did we have a second organization? Friendship Development Associates (FDA) was created as a “tool” for FPG, to do real estate work, which FPG was not set up to do. In 1989, many properties in Friendship were absentee-owned and in poor condition. Homeowners were not buying houses here. FDA’s role was to assist FPG in carrying out the neighborhood’s agenda in one particular area: by turning around the real estate market. As a non-profit community development corporation, FDA’s board was not independently elected, but officially appointed by the FPG, and FDA could not undertake anything that did not further FPG’s neighborhood agenda. FDA owned property and kept liability for that ownership separate from FPG.

FCG: So why did we decide to start a third organization? Well, actually, it’s the result of combining FPG and FDA into a single group. FDA made a big difference in the real estate market over the last 25 years. It is now largely a homeownership market. Properties in the neighborhood have increased in value and private investors are now interested in real investment. At the same time, funding sources that enabled a non-profit community group to buy and improve property have dwindled. Wehave seen other models where community organizations are successful in working with private developers rather than being the developer. So it was time to consider whether FDA could be phased out of business. Also, Friendship is a small neighborhood to support two separate boards of directors, and it was hard to recruit enough new board members.

So starting in 2011, FPG and FDA organized a joint committee with board members from both organizations to explore the idea of a combined organization. They recommended forming FCG, the successor to FPG that has taken on responsibilities that were previously shared with FDA. The boards of both organizations voted to combine forces as the new Friendship Community Group. The phasing out of FPG and FDA will take some time and is underway. FDA is fulfilling its final development responsibilities, at which point it will formally cease to exist. The initial board of the FCG included members from both FPG and FDA. FCG now has its own bylaws and 501(c)3 status.

So from now on, it’ll be easier to keep things straight here in Friendship! Friendship Community Group (FCG) is our current neighborhood organization. If you’d like to help make Friendship an even better place to live, come be a part of it!