The language in the federal Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) Act lays the groundwork for Community Action Agencies (CAAs) to exercise great discretion when identifying, recruiting, and selecting private sector members and groups to serve on the tripartite board.
A hallmark of Community Action, the tripartite structure of a CAA board embodies the grassroots nature upon which the movement to alleviate poverty was founded, as it requires involvement by all facets of the community – elected officials, clients, and private sector members and groups. While the structure is required by the federal CSBG Act and at times can seem daunting, the involvement of private sector members and groups offers CAAs an opportunity to attract the knowledge, passion, and financial support they need to thrive.
Because of the flexibility in the CSBG Act, CAAs often have questions about the private sector, ranging from who may serve in it to how that person may be selected to serve. This FAQ seeks to answer these and other key questions, and to present ways in which CAAs can utilize the private sector seats to boost board capacity.