Nonprofit Network Blog

The Triple Lens Approach

Monday, March 12, 2018 1:10 PM | Deleted user

Victoria Reese

Capacity Builder

When I think about Bridges Out of Poverty I am reminded of an insight from Shelly L. Francis's The Courage Way: Leading and Living with Integrity:

“The inner work of leadership depends on the strongest muscle in the human body the heart.”  

Bridges Out of Poverty allows leaders to connect head and heart to bring about viable institutional and community change.

The Bridges Out of Poverty framework uses research on economic classes to provide concrete tools and strategies for a community to alleviate poverty. I truly believe that the solution to a community 's problem will be found in the community itself. After all, problem-solving is a core competency of most businesses and institutions. So those who serve people who live in deep poverty, or those whose employees live in deep poverty are natural stakeholders in this work. 

Bridges uses a triple lens approach to address the dynamics that cause poverty from an individual to a systemic level:

The Triple Lens of Bridges Out of Poverty:

  1. Individual 
  2. Institution/Organizational
  3. Community

This structure helps you to thoroughly assess and process poverty as you seek to build solutions. Often times, we view poverty and other social ills only through the individual lens—we focus on what the unique choices and circumstances of an individual.

But if we do not change our perspective, we miss a majority of the picture.  We must also consider the lens of the institution and the community. Looking at poverty through an individual lens does not provide the depth of understanding that comes from viewing it through all 3 lenses. 


This framework offers powerful tools for change that can help to—

  • Can help organizations and companies with retention rates
  • Reduce turnover costs
  • Improve employee performance and productivity
  • Create a positive workplace environment
  • Reduce barriers to employment
  • Build resources
  • Empower individuals
  • Move individuals from poverty to self-sufficiency
  • Create sustainable communities

This is some of the most important work that Nonprofit Network does.  I hope you'll consider joining us June 14th for a Bridges Out of Poverty workshop that is open to the community.

Nonprofit Network is able to present Bridges Out of Poverty in several ways to meet your specific needs.  We can provide as little as a brief preview of why Bridges Out of Poverty matters to multi-day workshops encompassing key points, solutions, strategies, action steps, and a plan for institutional change.  If you’re tired of doing the same thing and expecting different results, give us a call.  We can help.

Nonprofit Network

2800 Springport Rd.
Jackson, MI 49202
Phone: (517) 796-4750

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