Anchor Institutions

New Schools Better Neighborhoods

New Schools Better Neighborhoods was formed both to advocate for a vision of public facilities, most especially schools, as vital community centers, and to assist families and neighborhoods in creating built models of community centered learning centers. The group has emerged as California's independent, neighborhood-led master planner, committed to reforming existing approaches to site and designing family resource centers, public schools, parks, libraries, and housing. Read more about New Schools Better Neighborhoods...

Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City

Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City (HCF) is a non-profit established in 2002 to eliminate barriers and promote quality health care for uninsured and underserved residents of Kansas City. One of many projects funded by HCF is a grant of $40,000 for Harvesters' BackSnack program to provide nutritious food for Kansas City school children over the weekend and holidays by providing a backpack full of food on Fridays. In 2010, HCF had net assets of $445 million and net investment gains of $59.4 million. Read more about Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City...

Greater Kansas City Community Foundation

The Greater Kansas City Community Foundation is a non-profit entrepreneurial public charity founded in 1978 to help improve the Kansas City metropolitan area. The Community Foundation holds over $1.1 billion in assets and has provided over $1.5 billion in grants to date. Some funds partnered with the Community Foundation include the Black Community Fund, Hispanic Development Fund, Community Foundation of Johnson County, and the Catholic Community Foundation. Read more about Greater Kansas City Community Foundation...

Rockwell Fund

Rockwell Fund was founded in 1931 after the death of James Rockwell in the mold of a traditional responsive grant maker for the greater Houston area. Beginning in the early 2000s, the Fund decided to reduce its number of grants, increase their size and focus primarily on community health, education, employment and supportive housing (affordable housing with on-site services). Since its inception, the endowment has grown to more than $125 million with more than $3.7 million and $2.8 million in grants in 2009 and 2010, respectively. Read more about Rockwell Fund...

Houston Endowment

Established in 1937 by Jesse and Mary Gibbs Jones to help the greater Houston community prosper and thrive, the Houston Endowment grew rapidly and has granted more than $1.4 billion ($2.5 billion in current dollars) to date. Providing more than $67 million in 2011 grants to support a wide variety of initiatives in education, human services (including economic development and affordable housing), health, arts and culture, and the environment, the foundation focuses on a creating stronger communities through a multi-faceted approach. Read more about Houston Endowment...

CDC Association of Greater Houston

Founded in 1996 as a membership organization to benefit low-income families and individuals by promoting affordable housing development, the CDC Association of Greater Houston today has 85 members. Having positively impacted more than 49 communities in the Greater Houston area, the members of the association have developed over 544 affordable single-family homes, with 492 more underway; 2,704 affordable apartments; and 243,944 square feet of commercial and community space. The total value of this development is estimated at more than $146 million. Read more about CDC Association of Greater Houston...

Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation

Like the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation, the Winston-Salem-based Z Smith Reynolds Foundation also supports a number of community-based groups in Durham. In 2005, foundation grants in Durham included a $100,000 grant to the Community Reinvestment Association of North Carolina SJF and a $150,000 to a Duke University-community partnership program, in which the university works with local community development corporations (see University Partnerships, below). Read more about Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation...

Triangle Community Foundation

Established in 1983, the Triangle Community Foundation stewards 850 philanthropic funds totaling over $209 million in assets.  In 2016, the foundation awarded more than $21 million in grants and individual scholarships to nonprofit organizations and individuals in the Triangle region (Durham, Chatham, Orange, and Wake counties).  Through the foundation’s Community Development program, the Durham-based nonprofit supports multi-faceted approaches helping families and communities overcome persistent poverty.

Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation

Although based in Winston-Salem, the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation also supports a number of community-based groups in Durham. In 2006, Foundation grants in Durham included a $300,000 grant to SJF Ventures to assist with its job creations and a $150,000 grant to the Latino Community Credit Union to support the credit union's home ownership and home counseling programs. Read more about Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation...

W.K Kellogg Foundation

In addition to being one of the three principal $25-million anchors to the $100-milion, multi-foundation Detroit “New Economy Initiative” fund, the Kellogg Foundation has been a strong supporter of the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy, committing $17 million to the effort between 2004 and 2006. The Riverfront effort aims to leverage private capital to build housing and retail, and make improvements in public safety or transportation in low- and moderate-income areas in Detroit north of Jefferson so that residents will share the benefits of the riverfront improvements. Read more about W.K Kellogg Foundation...

Skillman Foundation

Established in 1960, the Skillman Foundation supports quality education, economic opportunities, and equitable civic action for Detroit youth.  The foundation awards $15-17 million in grants on an annual basis.  To expand its support of resident-led community development projects, the foundation began a PRI (Program-related Investments) program in 2013.  The initiative is credited with supporting the expansion of a youth-operated bike shop and the creation of an aquaponic produce growing facility, among other projects.

Kresge Foundation

Headquartered in the Detroit suburb of Troy, the Kresge Foundation is developing a multi-year five-part strategy to support the long-term health and stability of the Detroit region. The Detroit Program consists of five priorities: 1) neighborhood improvements, 2) economic development, 3) support for arts and cultural institutions, 4) downtown Detroit revitalization, and 5) enhancing the city's environment and natural resources. Kresge is also one of the three principal $25-million anchors to the $100-milion, multi-foundation Detroit “New Economy Initiative” fund. Read more about Kresge Foundation...

John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Headquartered in Miami, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation is a national foundation with assets exceeding $2.4 billion focused on strengthening democracy by fostering informed and engaged communities.  Its grant making in Miami aims to nurture a “startup culture,” supportive of creatives, entrepreneurs, innovators, and other agents of change generating new ideas that could shape South Florida’s future.  Reflecting this, in 2017 grants have been awarded to support the NewME Accelerator (a business accelerator for minority start-ups) and FIU Miami’s Urban Future Initiative, which seeks to inform a strategy to grow a broader, more inclusive innovation economy by identifying Miami’s key economic, occupational, creative, and technological assets.

Hudson-Webber Family Foundation

Created in 1984 through the merger of two family foundations with origins dating back to the late 1930s and early ‘40s, the Hudson-Webber Family Foundation concentrates its giving within the City of Detroit and has a particular interest in the revitalization of the urban core.  Since 1939, the foundation has invested over $193 million in a range of projects and programs aimed to improve the city’s quality of life.  The foundation currently has four grantmaking priorities:  1) physical revitalization, 2) economic development, 3) safety, and 4) the arts.

Ford Foundation

Incorporated in Detroit but headquartered in New York since 1953, the Ford Foundation has remained committed to its home city, investing more than $527 million in Detroit since its establishment in 1936.  Recent grants have supported community development work led by the Detroit Local Initiatives Support Corporation and the RiverWalk project, which has revitalized abandoned factory sites into a park and a three-mile promenade along the city’s riverfront.  In 2014, the foundation pledged $125 million over a 15-year period to the city's “Grand Bargain,” a partnership to help resolve Detroit’s bankruptcy.

Community Foundation for Southeastern Michigan

Founded in 1984, the Community Foundation for Southeastern Michigan aims to enhance quality of life in southeast Michigan.  As of 2016, the foundation held over $800 million in total assets.  Its grantmaking, which disbursed $73 million through 3,800 grants in 2016, focuses on supporting initiatives that prioritize sustainability, have regional impact, can leverage additional dollars, and include collaboration.  In 2007, in response to the state’s deteriorating economy, the foundation catalyzed the New Economy Initiative (NEI), an effort that brought together 10 foundations to establish a $100 million fund to diversify the regional economy and stimulate entrepreneurial development.  Since 2009, NEI has awarded over $96 million to projects credited with creating 1,610 new companies and adding nearly 17,500 new jobs to the region.  To ensure NEI’s continuation, $33.25 million was added to the fund in 2013.

Midtown Detroit

Created in 2011 through the merger of the University Cultural Center Association and the New Center Council, Midtown Detroit (MDI) is a nonprofit planning and development organization focused on the physical maintenance and revitalization of the Midtown Detroit area.  Currently working to create stronger connections between the city and anchor institutions, MDI initiatives are credited with attracting over 1,456 anchor employees to area housing and shifting anchor procurement dollars to local food, facilities maintenance, and waste management and recycling businesses.

The Columbus Foundation

The Columbus Foundation is the ninth largest community foundation in the nation with assets totaling $955.2 million. In 2009, the Foundation provided support for programs in all aspects of community development with $96.1 million in grants. The Columbus Foundation has provided grants for various projects including a $40,000 grant to support the Center for Healthy Families, providing guidance and support for teen parents and their families. Read more about The Columbus Foundation...

Campus Partners

Incorporated in 1995, Campus Partners for Community Urban Redevelopment is a non-profit group that was formed to redevelop and improve the low-income communities around Ohio State University. They have developed the South Campus Gateway, a revitalized neighborhood in a low-income area under Columbus’s Empowerment Zone. Read more about Campus Partners...

Anchor Institutions

The Prevention Institute

The Prevention Institute gathers cutting-edge research, practice, and analysis on current health and safety issues with the goal of improving prevention practices throughout the US. Through connecting prevention initiatives and integrating research and practice, the Prevention Institute focuses on encouraging the prevention of major health and safety issues instead of reactive action. Site visitors can find tools to help develop strategy, collaboration, and community engagement.

Asset-Based Community Development Institute (ABCD), DePaul University

Established in 1995, the ABCD Institute is built upon three decades of community development research by John Kretzmann and John L. McKnight. The ABCD Institute focuses its efforts in two areas: (1) through extensive and substantial interactions with community builders, and (2) by producing practical resources and tools for community builders to identify, nurture, and mobilize neighborhood assets and anchor institutions.

Center for Quality Growth and Regional Development, Georgia Institute of Technology

CQGRD is an applied research center, studying solutions that communities, particularly in the Southeast United States, can implement in order to foster quality growth and development. The Center aims to bring together governmental, legal, health, engineering, architecture, environmental, policy, planning, and non-profit communities on issues related to community design, the environment, health, land development, and transportation/infrastructure, developing strategies that build on area anchor institutions.

City, Land and the University Program, Lincoln Institute

The City, Land and The University Program focuses on university real estate development from the perspective of a variety of actors including the university, the adjacent neighborhood, and the city itself. This site contains a wide variety of resources for educators, economic development practitioners, city administrators, university leaders, real estate developers, and community groups

Community Foundation Insights

A division of FSG Social Impact Advisors, CFI aims to serve as a centralized data resource for community foundations. Through its research, CFI seeks to identify best practices in the field and produce reports analyzing trends among groups of community foundations, particularly on issues related to sustainability.

Community-Engaged Scholarship for Health (

Offering an alternative to paid journals, Community-Engaged Scholarship for Health provides a free, online forum for health-related community-engaged scholarship. Including non-traditional work useful to community practitioners but often overlooked, such as training manuals, policy briefs, presentations, instructional DVDs and online curricula, maintains an editorial staff of both academic and community reviewers that peer-reviews all submissions.

Creative Class Group

Based on the work of economic development professor Richard Florida, this website contains case studies and research on the role of creativity—and cultural and educational institutions that anchor creativity—in contemporary American society.

Cultural Policy and the Arts National Data Archive

CPANDA is the first interactive digital archive of policy data pertaining to culture and the arts in the United States. A collaboration of Princeton’s Firestone Library and the Princeton Center for Arts and Cultural Policy Studies, the archive’s original development was unwritten by the Pew Charitable Trusts. Its mission is to provide user-friendly data access to journalists, scholars, artists, and the public at large.

Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC)

The Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC) is a national not-for-profit organization founded in 1994 by Harvard Business School professor Michael E. Porter to encourage inner-city revitalization. In particular, ICIC performs research that promotes a combination of public and private investment to rebuild inner city economies. ICIC has conducted a number of studies that stress the central role of anchor institutions in this effort.

Institute for Community Development and the Arts

The Institute for Community Development and the Arts, established by Americans for the Arts, provides a research in order to understand how the arts are used to address social, educational, and economic development issues in communities across the country. Areas of research and publication have included at-risk youth, artist training, economic development, arts and civic dialogue, public housing, cultural tourism, and program planning and evaluation.

Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness, Harvard University

Based at the Harvard Business School and led by Professor Michael Porter, the Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness examines issues related to the connection of business competition with economic development and social issues, examining the roles played business, government, anchor institutions such as universities, economic development organizations, and foundations.

National Center for Charitable Statistics

The National Center for Charitable Statistics collects national data from the private, public, and educational communities on the nonprofit sector.  Using this data, the Center is able to build inclusive national, state, and regional databases to develop across the board standards for reporting on the projects of charitable organizations. 

Penn Institute for Urban Research

The Penn Institute for Urban Research is dedicated to fostering increased understanding of cities. As a campus-wide institute, Penn IUR sponsors a number of initiatives, provides opportunities for collaborative instruction, engages with the world of practitioners and policymakers, and stimulates research on anchor institution-based and other strategies for addressing urban issues.

Sustainable Endowments Institute

The Sustainable Endowments Institute is a special project fund of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors and is based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Founded in 2005, the Institute is engaged in research and education on how higher education institutions can more effectively leverage their endowments by playing a more active role in the governance of the companies in which they invest.