Community Wealth Blog


The Evergreen Cooperatives Launch The Fund for Employee Ownership
New initiative will preserve quality jobs by acquiring businesses and making their employees into owners


Our twice-annual Healthcare Anchor Network (HAN) convenings are largely designed as spaces for the over 35 member hospitals and health systems to roll up their sleeves and get to work building collaborative tools and strategies to advance the anchor mission. But we also like to take time to zoom out, put big questions on the table, and connect with social innovators and community leaders in our host city.


The Democracy Collaborative (TDC) is a national research and action institute dedicated to creating a more democratic economy. We develop innovative models and pathways that engage institutions and catalyze networks to build community wealth and drive systemic change.

Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation (TVCDC) is a Lakota led non-profit based in the Thunder Valley community of the Porcupine District on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, which celebrated its 10 year anniversary in 2017. For the last five years, TVCDC has participated in and co-created the Learning/Action Lab for Community Wealth Building, alongside The Democracy Collaborative, the Northwest Area Foundation and four other Native American community-based organizations, to develop and work through strategies that build and root wealth locally for the benefit of their community.  

31 colleges and universities across the United States have been selected as inaugural members of the Higher Education Anchor Mission Initiative, a national collaboration designed to develop and share new strategies for deploying higher education’s intellectual and place-based resources to enhance the economic and social well-being of the communities they serve. The Higher Education Anchor Mission Initiative is a joint project of the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities (CUMU) , a national organization dedicated to connecting urban universities and their partners, and The Democracy Collaborative (TDC), a national research institute developing strategies for a more democratic economy, and is supported by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.


Based on Ted Howard's remarks to the recent Alternative Models of Ownership conference, we've distilled the eight basic principles behind community wealth building—a transformative approach to local economic development—into this handy one page guide.

The future where every city, as a matter of course, has its own “office of community wealth building” working to build opportunities and community ownership in their local economy is getting closer everyday.

When you hear the word “investor,” what do you picture?

When I ask most people this question, they describe a white man in a suit (or, if in Silicon Valley, maybe khakis and a button down shirt) in a fancy office spending every work day combing through pitch decks, executive summaries, and due diligence and barking tough questions at terrified entrepreneurs.


A new report by Mary Ann Beyster, president and trustee of the Foundation for Enterprise Development (FED), published by the Fifty by Fifty initiative of The Democracy Collaborative, examines the investing landscape for potential opportunities in employee ownership. The report, Impact Investing and Employee Ownership, reports on the results from six months of research, showing that the opportunities for impact investors to support employee ownership are limited, but that an investing infrastructure is beginning to emerge across asset classes. 

I started helping mission-driven entrepreneurs raise capital almost ten years ago.  My clients have collectively raised almost $20 million, with amounts ranging from $150,000 to $4 million.

About two years ago, I was compiling a list of the clients that I had helped to raise money.  At that time, I could honestly say that every client that I had worked through the whole process with (i.e. if I excluded those that changed their minds and didn’t complete the process) had met their fundraising goals.  Some took longer than others, but all of them had eventually reached their goals.


Read more and see pictures from our event Advancing the Anchor Mission of Healtcare, hosted on December 12th and 13th in Washington, DC. The convening brought together health system leaders to reimagine the role of healthcare in creating community health and well-being.