More than 100 black groups, invited to meet here by the NAACP, began laying a foundation yesterday for an organization that would duplicate across the country programs that have been successful in battling social ills plaguing the black community.

The "Summit Conference of Black Organizations" signals a new focus for the 81-year-old civil rights organization, which has traditionally placed a high priority on legislation and litigation. Now, the NAACP is placing more emphasis on promoting self-help for blacks and is joining other groups in replicating social programs.

"We're here to talk about what we can do to help lift ourselves," Benjamin Hooks, executive director of the NAACP, said in an interview. "We're not going to let the government off the hook, and we're not going to let the large, white-owned corporations off the hook. But the bottom line is that we can only depend on ourselves to get us out of these conditions."

Hooks said that the NAACP is operating education and job-training programs is some areas but does not have the financial or physical resources to make a significant difference in the black community.

As an example, Hooks cited the New York City public school system, which he said has about 400,000 black and Hispanic students who are likely to drop out before they finish high school.

"There is no way we can reach every one of those potential dropouts," Hooks said. "The national NAACP has a $12 million budget for everything. We obviously can't do it by ourselves. If we could, we would have done it by now. No one organization is strong enough to deal with the deterioration in the black community."

Hooks said that he decided sometime last month to convene a meeting of various groups to share ideas about their programs that combat such social problems as teenagers' pregnancy and drug abuse.

The result was a three-day conference at the Howard Inn on Georgia Avenue NW.

The meeting has drawn not only traditional groups such as the NAACP, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and Operation PUSH, but also organizations representing black doctors, dentists, lawyers and businesswomen, sororities, fraternities, churches, social clubs, educators and politicians.

"For the first time that I am aware of, this many black organizations have gotten together to solve our community's problems for ourselves and by ourselves," said Charles Johnson, president of the National Medical Association.

"That is empowerment. And we will leave here and go back to our communities with programs that have worked well in other places," Johnson added.

Hooks said the NAACP is not abandoning its traditional role. He said many of its efforts in areas such as affirmative action have worked.

"We have broken down a lot of barriers," Hooks said. "But one-third of {blacks} have not directly benefited. Now we've got to reach back and help them take advantage."

The summit also marks the first time that the NAACP has embraced the "Buy Freedom" campaign started by Tony Brown, a writer and TV producer.

That program urges blacks to patronize black-owned businesses and business owners to supply quality goods and services.

Before this, Hooks said, the NAACP had asked blacks to demonstrate their economic clout by using $2 bills or Susan B. Anthony dollar coins on certain days. "Now, we are saying that wherever there are black businesses, let's support them."

Brown, who addressed the conference last night, urged representatives of the dozens of national organizations to cancel their 1992 conventions and use that money to build black-owned businesses or purchase existing businesses.

By the end of the conference today, the groups hope to have agreed on a structure for the new coalition. They expect to have identified several programs that have worked in various communities, and they will go home with the intention of replicating them.