Overview: Cross-Sectoral

A critical challenge for practitioners and foundations is how to develop linkages across sectors in a way that broadens and deepens the overall impact and support base for community wealth-building strategies. Ideally, an integrated approach would encompass mutually reinforcing government, community, and individual wealth-building efforts. It might include direct government asset-based efforts that promote local job stability (such as local investment policies and municipal enterprise), matched savings programs, and community-based wealth-building efforts. Each of these strategies can have a positive impact on community development on its own; in combination the potential for anchoring jobs and promoting community development could be greatly enhanced.

In some areas, cross-sectoral collaboration is already common as, for instance, between CDCs and CDFIs, which share both common roots (the civil rights movement) and a common focus on community economic development. In a number of other areas, different asset-based approaches have also worked in a coordinated manner for mutual benefit. For instance, some community development financial institutions provide financing to cooperatives and many CDCs administer IDA and micro-enterprise programs on behalf of their communities. A number of local community foundations have also adopted a broad cross-sectoral community development focus.