With more than 23,000 full-time and part-time workers, the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) is the largest employer in Alabama. Committed to the broader community, UAB has established the UAB Benevolent Fund, which currently provides support to more than 130 local nonprofits. Through UAB’s Regions Institute for Financial Education, the university also provides financial education to students and the public.
Founded in 1959, the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham connects philanthropists, nonprofits, and engaged leaders to build a stronger, more vibrant future for the Greater Birmingham community. As of December 2016, the foundation held $259.5 million in assets and had disbursed $18.7 million in grants. Its grantmaking prioritizes efforts focused on ensuring: 1) communities are sustainable, livable, and vibrant; and 2) individuals and families are economically secure. To maximize its impact, the foundation also develops and implements large-scale, multi-year regional initiatives, which currently include an effort to reform predatory lending and the development of a city Innovation District.
A partnership between BJC Health Care (a nonprofit health care organization headquartered in St. Louis that serves residents in the greater St. Louis, southern Illinois, and mid-Missouri regions) and Washington University School of Medicine, Washington University Medical Center Redevelopment Corporation (WUMCRC) aims to improve the quality of life in Forest Park Southeast and the Central West End—neighborhoods that border the medical campus. Since its formation in the 1990s, the group is credited with investing more than $35 million in Forest Park Southeast and helping to leverage over $1.5 billion in development. WUMCTC is currently planning a $27 million mixed-income 150-unit housing project. To encourage BJC and Washington University employees to live in WUMCRC’s focus areas, the nonprofits offer an Employer Assisted Housing Program, which provides forgivable loans to help employees with down payments or closing costs.
Presented by Aditya Chakrabortty and produced by Phil Maynard and Max Sanderson in the Guardian:The Alternatives: how Preston took back control – podcast. The Guardian looks at the work of the Democracy Collaborative in Preston England:
To kick off, we hear from Preston city councillor Matthew Brownabout the “Preston model”, a new approach to local procurement inspired by a similar initiative in Cleveland, Ohio. In a time of austerity and cuts, how is it that Preston is now seeing an extra £75m being spent in the city?
Published by Emerald Cities Collaborative, this case study is part of the ongoing series Anchors In Resilient Communities (ARC) which highlights lessons learned from anchor collaboratives working to advance climate resiliency. The Democracy Collaborative is a co-founder of ARC. This case study details work in Richmond and East Oakland, California to leverage local anchor procurement, investment, and hiring capacity to support inclusive and sustainable economic development. Participating institutions are working to launch MyCulitver, a cooperatively owned greenhouse and incubator facility.
Founded in 1888, the University of Puget Sound is a liberal arts college with nearly 3,000 students and 750 employees, making it the 27th largest employer in Pierce County. With an operating budget of $138 million, the University procures $7 million a year from local vendors. In developing a new dining facility in 2014, the University partnered with the City to install industrial-grade food waste disposers, enabling the waste to be transformed into TAGRO— organic soil products that the city sells to residential and commercial users. Creating a “full circle,” the University buys TAGRO products, which it uses on its student-run garden that grows produce for campus dining facilities.
Established in 1989, the Northwest Leadership Foundation (NLF) aims to encourage, develop, and strengthen Tacoma’s leadership to create spiritual and social urban transformation. The faith-based nonprofit has a particular focus on youth and offers programs including youth mentorship and culturally relevant leadership development. To help ensure more Tacoma residents graduate from college and return home to serve as community leaders, NLF initiated and now coordinates Act Six, Tacoma’s only full-tuition urban leadership scholarship program. To expand the reach of Act Six, NLF launched Degrees of Change, which now operates as an independent nonprofit organization that works with communities and colleges across the country to create local leadership scholarship programs.
Established in 1981, the Greater Tacoma Community Foundation (GTCF) aims to affect positive social and economic change in Pierce County. In 2016, the foundation awarded over $7.3 million in grants to nonprofits in the region. To increase businesses’ access to flexible, affordable funding, GTCF launched an impact investment program in 2014. The $1.5 million fund strives to generate positive social and financial returns while spurring economic development and job creation.
Anchored by the 877-bed Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Henry Ford Health System has revenues of more than $5.7 billion, employs more than 30,000 people, and procures more than $650 million from local providers. Henry Ford actively recognizes its position as an anchor institution, working with many partners to increase its impact in the community. Through a multi-institution partnership, Henry Ford has coordinated with Detroit Medical Center and Wayne State University to help revitalize Midtown Detroit by encouraging their employees to live, work, and invest in the local community. It also helped found a local business incubator at Wayne State, set active goals to procure from local and diverse suppliers, and used its purchasing power to persuade suppliers to relocate to Detroit. Further still, Henry Ford has helped finance education partnerships for high-risk youth, is focused on acquiring and rehabilitating reclaimed properties, and has helped push local infrastructure improvements.
This report published by the Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES), a UK-based think tank focused on progressive economics, discusses the potential to leverage public spending to build community health. The authors detail how local anchor institutions in Manchester and Preston have already re-directed a significant portion of their procurement to local businesses. The report includes recommendations for scaling this approach across the UK, calling for revised legislation that integrates the economic, social, and environmental value of procurement into public purchasing guidelines.
This new report from Race Forward focuses on the need to develop race-explicit strategies to advance equity in the fields of healthcare and information technology. While these sectors are growing quickly, many career pathways remain inaccessible to people of color in low-income communities due to patterns of discrimination and disinvestment. The report provides recommendations for workforce development practitioners to advance racial equity, both at the organizational level and across the field.
with support from Chicago Anchors for a Strong Economy (CASE), the Civic Consulting Alliance, and The Democracy Collaborative
Anchor institutions can play a key role in helping the low-income communities they serve by better aligning their institutional resources—like hiring, purchasing, investment, and volunteer base—with the needs of those of communities. The recommendations in this “playbook,” drawn from research carried out to help Rush University Medical Center (RUMC) align around its Anchor Mission, are being published to help other hospitals and health systems accelerate their own efforts to drive institutional alignment with community needs.
In Governing, a look at how Mayor Ras Baraka is championing a movement to hire locally in Newark, NJ.
“We think this could take off in lots of different communities," says Ted Howard, president of the Democracy Collaborative, a national nonprofit focused on economic development in urban areas. “We’re going to be promoting it."