Moving from Good Intentions to Intentional Action and Collaboration: The Grantmaker’s Role in Collective Impact
Who is Community Wealth Partners? 3 At Community Wealth Partners we help change agents solve social problems at the magnitude they exist. We have worked with many national and regional partners to achieve dramatic progress on social problems through collaboration and collective impact.
Today’s Discussion 4 1. The funder’s role in collective impact 2. Funding collective impact
Collaboration can happen on a spectrum from learning together to collective impact Learning Ways to Collaborate Sharing lessons Benefits Improved results through learning Coordination Ways to Collaborate Sharing lessons Collective planning and executing Benefits Improved results through learning Better allocation of efforts across community and reduction of duplication Collective Impact Ways to Collaborate Sharing lessons Collective planning and executing Aligning efforts around common vision Combining assets to unlock new strategies Benefits Improved results through learning Better allocation of efforts across community and reduction of duplication Collective accountability Accelerated results through collective innovation 5 Where do your initiatives fall in this spectrum from learning to collective impact?
Collective impact funders should keep three overarching principles in mind 6 Encourage group ownership Embrace working differently Ensure transparency
Funders and large organizations typically play one or more of the following roles 7 RoleDescription BackboneServe as project manager for the effort; maintain flow of information across stakeholders; coordinate meetings ConvenerBring key decision makers together FunderCommit multi-year programmatic and operational funding GovernanceHold authority to make decisions and holding accountability to results ImplementationCoordinate implementation of programs; provide services that move the needle on results
How do you decide if you have a role? 8 ++= Degree of Strategic Alignment Foundation Assets Initiative Needs Level of Foundation support (capacity and funding) How aligned are your priorities with the initiative? What are you uniquely positioned to bring to the initiative? What are the initiative’s greatest needs? How much capacity are you willing to dedicate to this initiative? How much funding are you willing to provide to help meet the needs of the initiative?
9 Support group in determining the what and how Less decision-making power Initiative strategy may not align with your strategy Directly influence what strategies are chosen Hard to be an equal partner Higher capacity requirements Directly influence how strategies are implemented Hard to be an equal partner Higher capacity requirements May need implementation expertise Level of Influence Lower Higher Pros Cons How do you determine the scope of your role? Support Inform Direct What level of influence do you currently have?
Roundtable discussion 10 What drove your decision-making about the role you are playing now and in the past? What challenges have you faced surrounding your role and the role of others? How have you overcome them? What initiatives are you currently involved in and what is your role?
Making the Transition: Funding Collective Impact
Four guiding principles to keep in mind as you consider funding decisions 12 A.Fund “relationship- building” Incentivize through funding Require proof of collaboration B.Fund “flexibility” Multi-year funding Capacity building Innovation funding Providing discretionary funds C.Be transparent about funding and expectations D.Look for multi- year and co- funding opportunities
1.Provide a pool of funds to the initiative 2.Fund individual organizations participating in the initiative 3.Hybrid: Provide “glue” money for initiative- wide work Work with organizations individually around their contribution to the initiative Foundations generally have 3 options for distributing funds to collaborative initiatives 13 Guiding Principle: The Foundation should not fund organizations outside of the initiative for topics covered by the initiative
What are the different needs you’ll hear about? 14 1.Backbone organization’s operations 2.Project management and work plan development 3.Research and measurement 4.Innovation and learning 5.Thought leadership (conferences, etc.) 6.Marketing and communications Guiding Principle: Consider the critical capacities at different stages
1.General operating 2.Capacity building 3.Program support 4.Discretionary funding 5.Incentivizing specific initiatives (e.g., relationship building, innovation) Five types of funding are typically used to support collective impact 15 Guiding Principle: The most effective collective impact funding is multi-year with a long-term commitment
Transitioning existing grantees is often a major question 16 Grantees you continue funding Grantees you consider for future funding Grantees you phase out Continue long-term funding to strengthen buy-in; focus on new metrics & requirements and capacity building Provide a bridge grant; provide TA to improve capacity, test new ways of working and ability to change Provide transition grant; provide help building relationships with other funders, TA, or capacity building
Summary of Major Guiding Principles 17 Encourage group ownership Embrace flexibility Ensure transparency Guiding Principle: The most effective collective impact funding is multi- year with a long- term commitment Guiding Principle: Funders should not fund organizations outside of the initiative for topics covered by the initiative
Roundtable discussion 18 How are you funding a current initiative? Why did you decide to fund it? How did you decide what the funding would look like? What obstacles did you face? What might you do differently moving forward?