Common Ground Committee Inc

Bringing Light Not Heat to Public Discourse

aka Common Ground Committee   |   Wilton, CT   |  http://www.commongroundcommittee.org/

Mission

BRINGING LIGHT NOT HEAT TO PUBLIC DISCOURSE.

Ruling year info

2021

Co-Founder & CEO, Board Chair

Bruce Bond

Main address

11 Surrey Glen

Wilton, CT 06897 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

27-3307423

NTEE code info

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (W01)

Voter Education/Registration (R40)

Single Organization Support (R11)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

A persistent hurdle plaguing America is polarized governance and the incivility that goes with it. As the 2016 presidential election demonstrated, the public is increasingly restless. It hungers for and is demanding positive productivity from public servants, for results rather than gridlock. Such an outcome requires an ability to find ways for opposing sides to work together both at the leadership and citizen levels. The culture of discourse today is full of anger and rancor. It favors arguing and trading insults over reasoned debate that uses well-researched facts and maintains an eye toward making progress on a given issue.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

CGC Public Forum

Common Ground Committee Public Forums are high-profile discussions which illustrate how areas of mutual interest or agreement become evident when participants move away from "talking points” to thoughtful dialogue.

Population(s) Served

A PODCAST THAT SEEKS COMMON SOLUTIONS TO TODAY’S VITAL ISSUES
With anger and polarization dominating American public discourse, Common Ground Committee offers a healing path to reaching agreement and moving forward. We talk with top leaders in public policy, finance, academe and more to encourage the seeking and finding of points of agreement, demonstrate how passionate but civil debate can enable us to make progress, and provide illuminating insight on important issues.

Population(s) Served

The Common Ground Scorecard provides an objective, easy-to-understand assessment of the degree to which elected officials and candidates for office embody the spirit and practice of a Common Grounder — someone who seeks points of agreement and solutions on social and political issues through listening and productive conversation. The Common Ground Scorecard does not assess issue positions, only common ground spirit and practice. “More progress, less division.”

For more information on this program please view our website: https://commongroundscorecard.org/#faqs

Population(s) Served
Adults
Students
Activists
Adults
Students
Activists
Adults
Students
Activists
Researchers
Teachers

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Total dollars received in contributions

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Related Program

CGC Public Forum

Type of Metric

Other - describing something else

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Measures contribution revenue recognized

Number of groups brought together in a coalition/alliance/partnership

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Related Program

CGC Public Forum

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Measures the number of other organizations with which we partner in some way to bring about a mission-related program or event.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Common Ground Committee is focused on “Bringing Light Not Heat To Public Discourse". It is our intent that this light will stimulate progress toward finding the common ground on which citizens can make informed decisions, inspire citizens to raise the level of their own discourse and motivate both citizens and leaders take intelligent action.

At the heart of our work is demonstration. Because it has been so long since many have seen civil discourse leading to results, we consider it fundamentally vital to demonstrate to target audiences what good public discourse looks like and to consistently curate and illuminate for citizens and leaders shining examples to emulate and behavior to model.

To that end, since 2010 Common Ground Committee (CGC) we have been successfully producing public forums in New York City and New England. These have mostly been for general audiences.

But in 2017, CGC began to focus on addressing the significant challenges of discourse at college campuses, starting with a very successful forum at Middlebury College in Vermont, the site of the nationally publicized March 2, 2017 Charles Murray incident.

Our forums have attracted thousands of thoughtful, influential citizens and media. These are political debates – but with a twist. Panelist performance is judged not on clever talking points that support one's own views, but on the degree to which one can work with other panelists to find common ground. CGC forums feature nationally known panelists from all sides of the political spectrum and prominent voices in public policy work, national media, private sector, etc. They may have opposing views but during the course of the forum they share how common ground is attainable on some of the most difficult issues of the day.

By demonstrating “what good looks like" we are inspiring those that view our events in person or on-line to (a) step-up their own discourse to a level where they actively listen, engage respectfully and contribute positively to a problem's solution; (b) demand that their political leaders do and (c) vote for candidates they believe will do so.

We support and augment our forums through our own blogs and using social media to promote, highlight and curate situations where opposite sides have worked together to solve difficult problems. These serve to further the demonstrate how effective discourse and debate can take place and make a difference.

We have developed a robust methodology for our forums that creates an environment where panelists of opposite views work together and find common ground.
We have very strong event production skill. We have a professional television show producer with decades of experience who leads the creation of programs of outstanding content and the finest production quality. The result is a superior, inspiring experience for our audiences.
We can attract very strong panelists (e.g., Barney Frank, Art Laffer) who appreciate what we are working to accomplish.
We know how to partner. Our strongest partnership is with the Christian Science Monitor (CSM) who not only works with us to develop the content of the forum but also provides an associate to moderate a given forum. All CGC forums have been moderated by someone from the CSM, including the CSM Editor.

As of the end of 2021, CGC has held 13 forum events, as well as several online events promoting the work of others. These events were promoted in coordination with other Bridging partners and have been uploaded on the organization's YouTube site with over 500 subscribers.

CGC also broadcast forty-six podcasts by the end of 2021 with over 70,000 downloads. The podcast series, entitled “Let’s Find Common Ground” utilizes the broadcasting experience of other members of the community and highlights the works of other community members as well.

Our faculty liaison reported: 
“Students were impressed to see two people who they mostly knew from their history books actually come to Middlebury to debate. They liked the format, and the opportunity to ask questions. perhaps the most memorable part of the night for many students was (former Massachusetts Congressman) Barney Frank talking about what it was like to be in the vanguard of the gay rights movements in an era when many people didn't want to talk about it – that really resonated with students still struggling with our own experience in shutting down views with which we disagreed."  We secured foundation funding in 2017 that allows us to produce more frequent events and build staff. We believe our 2018 fundraising efforts will yield record results.

We have built strong partnerships. The (former) Editor of the Christian Science Monitor (CSM) said this:
“Common Ground Committee promotes a bridge-building spirit in our public life. That same spirit animates The Christian Science Monitor. As a news organization, we have no policy program or agenda to promote. But we seek to cover issues in a way that illuminates shared views and explains differences more clearly across divides, on the theory that a difference made more clear is often a difference made smaller. In a different way, but with very similar motives, Common Ground Committee literally brings people – otherwise at odds – together. It's a noble effort to create a constructive public life in a fractured and polarized political landscape. The Christian Science Monitor is pleased to share this common cause with Common Ground Committee." - Marshall Ingwerson

Besides the CSM, we partner with Living Room Conversations, the Bridge Alliance and The Nantucket Project. We will finalize more partnerships in 2018.
We have developed a stronger cadence in our blogger social networking efforts, attracting new social media followers. In 2018, marketing strategy and execution, including social media, will become our highest priority next to forum execution.

Financials

Common Ground Committee Inc
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Common Ground Committee Inc

Board of directors
as of 04/27/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Bruce Bond

Common Ground Commitee

Term: 2009 - 2022

Erik Olsen

Co-Founder & CFO, Board Member

Don Holtz

Board Member

Barry Persky

Board Member

Chip Horner

Board Member

Inez Jones

Board Member

Gina Lindquist-Bailey

Board Member

Ursula Mueller

Board Member

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 1/20/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

No data

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data