Anchor Institutions

Health Anchor Institutions investing to support community control of land and housing

Bich Ha Pham and Jarrid Green
Build Healthy Places Network

Many anchor institutions are also major landowners in their communities, and many are already engaged in housing programs such as employer-assisted housing. Anchor institutions can and should employ CLTs to maximize the impact of their long-term investments in housing for their workforce, and utilize and support CLTs to help build more inclusive communities around their institutions more generally. 

The Role of Healthcare Institutions in Building Community Wealth

David Zuckerman and Bich Ha Pham
The Wharton Health Care Quarterly

A growing number of forward-thinking healthcare anchor institutions have taken up an “Anchor Mission” to realign all institutional resources to fight long-standing inequities at their root by building community wealth.

What Anchor Institutions Can Do by Working Together

Justine Porter and Bich Ha Pham

Anchor collaboratives are stronger and can accomplish goals that once seemed out of reach by combining efforts and resources. However, forming an anchor collaboration isn’t automatic; it takes effort and time to get institutions to see their common interests and potential alignment. The article discusses some ways it can work.

Fulfilling the Anchor Mission and Building Community Wealth: Local Credit Unions Leverage their Assets to Build Strong Communities

Latino Community Credit Union

This case study profiles how the Latino Community Credit Union (LCCU), based in Durham, North Carolina, partners with anchor institutions to invest locally and build community wealth. Local anchors like Duke University, the Museum of Life and Science, and the cooperatively owned Weaver Street Market have made deposits with LCCU, which in turn expands access to affordable financial products and loans.

Anchor Opportunity Network: Strategic Action Plan for the NY-NJ-CT Region

Regional Plan Association

The Regional Plan Association, which operates in the New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut metropolitan region, published recommendations for developing the Anchor Opportunity Network, with an aim to leverage anchor institution assets to drive equitable economic growth. The Network will work to foster relationships between anchors, municipal leaders, and local neighborhoods to better coordinate and accelerate practices such as inclusive, local purchasing.

Cornell University Division of Financial Affairs Procurement and Payment Services

The Cornell University Division of Financial Affairs Procurement and Payment Services aims to ensure the University’s procurement dollars support diverse and sustainable businesses.  Through its Supplier Diversity program, the Division works to maximize procurement opportunities for small, local, and diverse businesses—efforts that have helped increase its total “diversity spend” from $27.2 million in FY 2012 to $36.8 million in FY 2017.  The Division also supports the University’s Sustainable Campus Initiative by incorporating principles of green purchasing into many contracts and procedures, and requesting that suppliers rely on sustainable practices.

Workplace Financial Wellness Services

Joanna Ain, Pamela Chan, Meredith Covington, Geraldine Hannon and Santiago Sueiro

San Diego Grantmakers

Founded in 1976, San Diego Grantmakers works to connect and activate funders to learn, lead, and invest in the San Diego region.  Guided by its vision of an equitable, collaborative, and impactful social change ecosystem that improves the lives of all San Diego residents, the nonprofit connects grantmakers to knowledge and resources, facilitates cross-sector collaboration among funders, increases awareness about philanthropy’s role and impact, and seeks to attract resources to the region.  Through its Social Equity Collaborative Fund, San Diego Grantmakers supports grassroots organizations led by people of color engaged in strategies that are developed and implemented by community residents and encourage authentic collaboration.  In 2018, San Diego Grantmakers plans to disburse $700,000 through this initiative.

San Diego Foundation

Established in 1975, the San Diego Foundation aims to improve the quality of life in the Greater San Diego region.  In 2017, the Foundation held $811 million in assets and awarded 5,686 grants totaling $50.9 million. Through its Center for Civic Engagement, the nonprofit also facilitates community dialogue and collaborative action around the region’s social challenges and opportunities.  The Foundation is currently working to establish a $5 million Impact Loan Fund to help nurture higher performing, more sustainable nonprofits and to seed new social enterprises.

Anchoring Hospitals In The Community

Laurie Larson
Trustee Magazine

Laurie Larson writes the article Trusteee Magazine "Anchoring hospitals in the community." In this article, Larson covers the Healthcare Anchor Network, a project of the Democracy Collaborative: 

Theirs is just one example of the work emerging from the Healthcare Anchor Network, a blooming consortium of nearly three dozen health systems launched in May 2017. The network's overarching goal is to “reach a critical mass of U.S. health systems [that are] strategically improving community health and well-being by leveraging all of their institutional assets, including intentionally integrating local economic inclusion strategies in hiring, purchasing and investing.”

HAN is the brainchild of the Democracy Collaborative, an economic development agency in Cleveland, which was launched as a “democratic renewal” research center at the University of Maryland in 2000. The collaborative has since moved well beyond its research roots, offering field activities to expand community wealth-building, hosting nationwide roundtables to discuss transformative economic development solutions, and advising local governments, foundations and anchor institutions such as health systems on new strategies for addressing the root causes of socio-economic inequity in their communities.

AECF Launches Effort to Help Universities Strengthen Local Communities

Philanthropy News Digest
Philanthropy News Digest

Philanthropy News Digest writes about the education work of The Democracy Collaborative and CUMU in "AECF Launches Effort to Help Universities Strengthen Local Communities:" 

A joint project of the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities (CUMU) and the Democracy Collaborative, which have been working with the foundation to help "anchor" institutions such as hospitals and universities use their intellectual, social, and financial assets to catalyze economic opportunity in low-income neighborhoods, the Higher Education Anchor Mission Initiative will encourage participating institutions to share insights and lessons learned in areas such as goal setting, data collection, and stakeholder engagement, with the goal of advancing their work as community anchors.

Leveling the Playing Field in City Contracting

Oscar Perry
Next City

Oscar Perry, writing for Next City, highlights the work of the Democracy Collaborative in "Leveling the Playing Field in City Contracting." In this long form piece, Perry writes about why New York City has doubled their contracts with women-and-minority-owned firm. As well as, the work of Democracy Collaborative's thought leadership, direction, and work with anchor instutitons through the Healthcare Anchor Network: 

Corporations and anchor institutions like hospitals and universities are stepping up MWBE contracting commitments and programs, too. The Democracy Collaborative, a nonprofit that does research and builds leadership around equitable, inclusive and sustainable development, has been working with anchor institutions to support more diverse contracting through the lens of building stronger local economies. In January 2017, it formed the Healthcare Anchor Network, consisting of 30 healthcare systems nationwide.

“Healthcare systems are recognizing the need for intentionality to overcome the history of discrimination,” says David Zuckerman, who manages the network. Yet such programs remain in danger of going away when there’s a leadership change, he notes.

“If you can institutionalize it, and build it into your strategic plan, that’s what’s powerful,” he says. “We’re not there yet, but I think in the next year we’re going to see more health systems build this local impact work into their strategic plans.”

One way to institutionalize it: Make it someone’s job.

“There might be an official statement that ‘we’re going to prioritize the effort to increase our spend to MWBEs,’ but it’s not any one person’s job, it’s something extra,” Zuckerman says.

Read more in Next City

Urban Affairs Coalition

The Urban Affairs Coalition (UAC) unites government, businesses, neighborhoods, and individual initiatives to improve the quality of life in the Philadelphia region, build wealth in urban communities, and solve emerging issues.  Since its start in 1969, UAC has managed over $1 billion in social investments and grown into a partnership of more than 60 organizations. Read more about Urban Affairs Coalition...

University City District

Established in 1997 to address neighborhood disinvestment, University City District (UCD) is a partnership between Philadelphia’s University City neighborhood anchor institutions, small businesses, and residents focused on improving public spaces, addressing crime and public safety issues, boosting commercial corridors, connecting low-income residents to careers, and promoting job growth and innovation. Read more about University City District...