Anchor Institutions

Creating Accountable Communities for Health: Common Language, Common Vision

September 17th, 2013
Duluth, MN

“Creating Accountable Communities for Health: Common Language, Common Vision" is a working conference to accelerate the implementation of community-based preventative healthcare in the Midwest and across the United States.  The event will be held on September 17 in Duluth, Minnesota and and will include presentations by healthcare and community development experts from around the country. Read more about Creating Accountable Communities for Health: Common Language, Common Vision...

Harnessing the Power of University Endowments for Community Investment

Our new report outlines how students can help
Gar Alperovitz @ Roosevelt Institute

As highlighted in a recent post for The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Democracy Collaborative's new report Raising Student Voicesco-published with the Responsible Endowments Coalition, insists that "everyone benefits when colleges invest in local businesses and sustainable economic development, and that students and community organizations should work together to push for more such alliances."  

Encouragingly, student audiences have quickly proved very receptive to the idea, excited by the way university-community partnerships around investment offer a very practical approach with the potential to scale up to the size of the problems faced by economically marginalized communities.

The Community Foundation for Greater Greensboro

Established in 1983, The Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro now manages more than 600 charitable funds and holds more than $146 million in assets.  Dedicated to strengthening community, the Community Foundation promotes philanthropy, builds and maintains endowment funds, and directs and supports a range of initiatives that are helping to create a more inclusive, caring, and vibrant Greensboro.  In 2012 alone, the Foundation awarded about $11.5 million to a range of community organizations.

Fund for Democratic Communities (F4DC)

Founded in 2007, F4DC is a Greensboro-based foundation that has made over $1 million in grants to support grassroots democratic organizing efforts in the Southeast, North Carolina, and Greensboro.  With a mission to support community-based initiatives and institutions that foster authentic democracy in communities, F4DC’s work focuses on four key activities:  1) making grants to groups that engage in participatory democracy to further their social change objectives; 2) convening groups and individuals committed to social and economic justice through deepening democratic practice; 3) conducting research; and 4) developing materials to nurture the growth of authentic democracy.

Weaver Foundation

Founded in 1967 to benefit the greater Greensboro area, the Weaver Foundation supports community improvement, environmental activities, educational development, and the advancement of human and civil rights, racial tolerance and diversity. It has provided support to some of the city's more entrepreneurial nonprofits such as the Welfare Reform Liaison Project and HandyCapable. Grants exceeded $1 million in 2012.

Students Push Universities to Invest Locally

Crossposted from Rooflines

In response to my earlier post about anchor institutions and community development, Andrew Frishkoff, executive director of LISC Philadelphia, commented “Too often we have seen beneficent anchor institutions acting paternalistically on behalf of communities, instead of in partnership with them.” Frishkoff called for “intermediaries who can help to bridge the divide ... Such intermediaries need to be independent of, but accountable to, anchors and communities, with a deep understanding of both.”

Anchor Institutions: An Interpretive Review Essay

Henry Louis Taylor, Jr. and Gavin Luter

This paper from the Anchor Institution Task Force (AITF) is a review of existing literature on anchor institutions that seeks to provide insight on the role of anchors in the transformation communities and guide future research. The paper finds that while an understanding of anchor institutions is growing, the field needs to extend the base of knowledge and continue to encourage institutions to have a leading role in the building of democratic communities and local economies.

Community Organizing for a New Economy

Democracy Collaborative panel highlights transformative work of community-based organizations

Earlier this month at Left Forum, The Democracy Collaborative helped organize five panels on a variety of different topics related to cooperatives, sustainability and growing a new economy. The last session of the weekend, “Community Organizing for a New Economy,” offered a spirited conversation around some innovative new work that is helping build a new economy.

Ted Howard speaks at the St. Louis Federal Reserve

In a four-city event on "Community Development in Times of Austerity," hosted by the St. Louis Federal Reserve and broadcast nationally via streaming video, Democracy Collaborative Executive Director Ted Howard presented the community wealth building model as the new paradigm of sustainable economic development.

How Nonprofit Institutions Can Improve Local Economies

MIT, UMCP release University Hospitals case study
Photo Credit: Justin Knight

Can a hospital’s economic development strategy do more to heal a city than its emergency room? This question was at the core of a MIT-University of Maryland (UMCP) case study of University Hospitals’ (UH) Vision 2010 program in Cleveland, Ohio.

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New Mexico Community Foundation

Founded in 1983, this Albuquerque-based Foundation makes grants across the state, though most of the funding is distributed in the Rio Grande Valley.  Partnering with community leaders, nonprofit organizations, and donors, the New Mexico Community Foundation (NMCF) works to build rural economies, promote Native leadership, and ensure equality for women and families. With over $22 million in assets, NMCF made over $4.5 million worth of grants in 2011 and has granted more than $50 million over its 30 year history. One of its premier programs, Good Food for New Mexico Families, focuses on rural Native American and Hispano communities and encourages local food production while supporting the local economy and promoting sustainable agriculture.

Hospital Community Benefits After the ACA: The State Law Landscape

Martha H. Somerville, Gayle D. Nelson and Carl H. Mueller

The Hilltop Institute’s Hospital Community Benefit Program has released a new online resource, the Community Benefit State Law Profiles, and a companion brief, Hospital Community Benefits After the ACA: The State Law Landscape. The Profiles present a comprehensive analysis of each state’s community benefit landscape as defined by its laws, regulations, tax exemptions, and, in some cases, policies and activities of state executive agencies. As state policymakers and community stakeholders assess their state’s community benefit requirements (or the absence of such requirements) in the wake of national health reform, these tools provide a contextual basis for consideration of these policies and those of other states in comparison to federal community benefit benchmarks. 

Done Right, Eliminating Food Deserts Result in Community Oases

Building community wealth every step of the way
Pogue’s Run Grocer Mural, an initiative of the Indy Food Co-op. © Indy Food Co-op
Building healthy, vibrant and sustainable communities requires more than “bottom up” solutions. The importance of community ownership to ensure that projects that start at the bottom result in lasting community wealth for the people involved is often missing from the discussion. The local foods movement provides examples that illustrate the importance of this ownership principle in practice.

Democracy Collaborative Presents to Illinois Governor's Task Force

Public session April 24 on community wealth building
Next week in Chicago, Democracy Collaborative executive director Ted Howard will present testimony before the Governor's Task Force on Social Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Enterprise. The presentation will focus on a set of actionable policy recommendations to help position Illinois as the nation’s leader in community wealth building. The meeting will take place in room 314 at Roosevelt University’s Walter E. Heller College of Business, 430 S. Michigan Avenue, Chicago, at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, April 24, 2013.

Bernanke Praises Jane Jacobs and Bottom-Up Solutions

Fed Chairman calls for community engagement, collaboration and place-based investment

Last week, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke addressed the Fed’s Community Affairs Research Conference in Washington, DC, opening his speech by acknowledging that successful strategies to rebuild communities require “multipronged approaches that address housing, education, jobs and quality-of-life issues in a coherent, mutually consistent way.”

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Ellen Macht on the Atlanta Wealth Building Initiative

CEO chats about developing the first cooperative business, Atlanta Lettuce Works

Last week, The Democracy Collaborative's Stephanie Geller had the opportunity to chat with Ellen Macht, President and CEO of the Atlanta Wealth Building Initiative, about an exciting new project launched by The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta to bring quality jobs, assets, and sustainable economic growth to Atlanta’s most marginalized neighborhoods.