Anchor Institutions

Rochester Area Community Foundation

With assets of $310 million, the Rochester Area Community Foundation works to improve the quality of life in the greater Rochester region by evaluating and addressing community issues, promoting responsible philanthropy, and connecting donors to community needs.  Since its establishment in 1972, the Foundation has awarded more than $340 million in grants to community nonprofits.  The Foundation’s grantmaking is currently directed towards two goals:  1) creating an equitable community, which includes supporting community and economic development efforts focused on addressing poverty, and 2) strengthening the region’s vitality.  To change the culture of community problem-solving and decision making, the Foundation created ACT Rochester, a community indicators initiative which provides an objective assessment of the region's performance through over 100 indicators of community well-being.

Greater Rochester Health Foundation

Established in 2006 when the not-for-profit MVP Health Plan acquired the not-for-profit HMO Preferred Care, the Greater Rochester Health Foundation focuses on improving the health of the Greater Rochester community.  One of its focus areas is “Neighborhood Health Status Improvement,” which supports asset-based, grassroots efforts to improve Greater Rochester area neighborhoods’ physical, social, and economic environments.  In addition to financial awards that enable grantees to engage neighborhood residents, complete an asset-based community assessment and implement neighborhood projects, grantees receive support from the Asset-Based Community Development Institute at Northwestern University. Between 2007 and 2013, the Foundation distributed $53 million to hundreds of area organizations.

San Francisco Foundation

Established in 1948, the San Francisco Foundation works to mobilize resources and catalyze change that will build strong communities, foster civic leadership, and promote philanthropy in the San Francisco region.  With $1.2 in total assets, the Foundation’s focus areas include full service schools, financial stability, sustainable communities, cultural hubs, and affordable housing.  To leverage additional capital into underserved communities, the Foundation launched a PRI program in 2002 that provides loans and loan guarantees to organizations aligned with its program priorities.  As of 2014, the program had seven active investments, which include a $500,000 loan to the affordable housing developer Eden Housing to help to finance the installation of solar panels on eight of its affordable multi-family properties, an effort projected to save up to $1.1 million in electricity costs.

Koret Foundation

Founded in 1979, the Koret Foundation focuses, in part, on supporting Bay Area anchor institutions.  Recognizing the importance of anchor institutions—civic organizations, educational institutions, cultural establishments, and large human-service organizations— to creating a strong, dynamic Bay Area for current and future generations, it provides capital project, general operating, and program support to such organizations.  In 2013, its Anchor Institutions program disbursed more than $11 million in grants, which comprised nearly half of its total $25 million in grant awards. Read more about Koret Foundation...

Dignity Health

Founded in 1986 and headquartered in San Francisco, Dignity Health is the fifth largest health system in the nation and the largest hospital provider in California.  In 1990, it established a Community Grants program, which has provided over $51 million in support to over 3,000 projects working to improve access to jobs, housing, food, education, and health care for people in low-income and minority communities.  To create larger pools of capital for those who have been historically underserved, Dignity Health established a Community Investments program, which provides below-market interest rate loans to nonprofit organizations working to improve the health and quality of life in their communities.  Since 1992, Dignity Health has invested more than $88.1 million in 185 nonprofits that are developing child care and community clinics, affordable housing for low-income families and seniors, job training for the unemployed or underemployed, and health care services for low-income and minority neighborhoods.

Can the Real Sharing Economy Please Stand Up?

Nina Feldman
Next City

In the wake of the BP oil spill, co-op businesses are on the rise in New Orleans

Community Wealth Building in Jackson, Mississippi: Strategic Considerations

The Democracy Collaborative

This report, prepared by The Democracy Collaborative and submitted to Cooperation Jackson, highlights opportunities to build a cooperative economy in Jackson, Mississippi linked to anchor institution procurement.

Community Health Network

Based in Indianapolis, Community Health Network (Community) is a nonprofit healthcare system with 200 sites across central Indiana.  Since beginning to conduct Community Health Needs Assessments in the 1990s, Community has recognized the importance of addressing social and economic factors that impact health. One initiative is Project Search/Indiana, a high school transition program for students with disabilities that provides participants with worksite-based training.  Initiated in 2006 with an investment of $92,000, Community also supported an Individual Development Account program designed to help area residents build assets through matched savings.  To promote nutrition, Community sponsors farmers’ markets in neighborhoods and within its hospitals, helped develop the Community Heights garden where it maintains a medicinal herb garden, and provided technical assistance to the Indy Food Co-op, which opened the city’s first community-owned grocery store, Pogues Run Grocer, in a food desert at the end of 2010.

Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation

Established in 1986, the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation focuses a portion of its grantmaking on initiatives that enhance the “vitality of Indianapolis.”  Supported within this priority area are comprehensive workforce development programs that help Indianapolis residents achieve economic self-sufficiency, earn a livable wage, manage their personal finances, and build assets. Demonstrating this commitment, the foundation has supported Second Helping’s Culinary Job Training Program, which trains disadvantaged adults for careers in the food service industry. Read more about Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation...

Children’s Museum of Indianapolis

Founded in 1925, The Children's Museum of Indianapolis is a nonprofit committed to creating family learning experiences that transform the lives of children and families.  It is also committed to serving Indianapolis’ communities, demonstrated by the resources and time it invests in its surrounding neighborhoods.  For example, in 2001, it created a Neighborhood Improvement Fund, which includes a $2 million revolving loan fund to support collaborative neighborhood projects.  In 2004, it catalyzed an on-going housing rehabilitation and new construction project focused in its bordering neighborhoods, which has, to date, resulted in the rehabilitation and construction of 40 homes, demolition of 50 vacant properties, and repair assistance for 100 houses.  It also played a lead role in managing the redevelopment of an abandoned hospital near its campus, which resulted in a new affordable housing complex with 50 units.

Central Indiana Community Foundation

Established in 1997 as a partnership between Marion County’s The Indianapolis Foundation and Hamilton County’s Legacy Fund, the Central Indiana Community Foundation aims to improve the lives of Central Indiana residents.  The Foundation holds assets of over $700 million and awards more than $40 million in grants each year to Central Indiana nonprofits.  In 2004, it launched its Family Success program, which aims to break the cycle of poverty through direct services, network building, and policy work. As part of that initiative, the foundation supported the creation of Centers for Working Families, seven neighborhood-based sites where people can access employment services, financial literacy and coaching, and asset-building programs.

Creating an Anchored Local Economy in Newark: Recommendations for Implementing a Comprehensive Local Procurement Strategy

Kim Zeuli, Lena Ferguson and Austin Nijhuis

This new report from the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC) identifies an opportunity for Newark anchor institutions to shift over $425 million of procurement toward local purchasing. In addition to targeting local procurement strategies in high expenditure areas, authors Kim Zeuli, Lena Ferguson, and Austin Nijhuis also suggest that anchors target local procurement contract opportunities so as to build the capacity of small firms to scale up for future contracts, as demonstrated by the Chicago Anchors for a Strong Economy (CASE) initiative

Improving Community Health through Hospital – Public Health Collaboration: Insights and Lessons Learned from Successful Partnerships

Lawrence Prybil et al.

A new IRS requirement that tax-exempt hospitals conduct community health needs assessments encourages hospitals to work collaboratively with a wide range of stakeholders. The authors of a recent report, published by the Commonwealth Center for Governance Studies, Inc., argue that this federal mandate presents an opportunity to improve community health and reduce health care expenditures. The report offers several case studies of effective and sustainable partnerships in California, Minnesota, Maryland, Florida, and elsewhere throughout the country. 

A Roadmap for Anchor Institution Local Food Purchasing in Baltimore

Karin Endy and Karen Karp

Commissioned by the Baltimore Integration Partnership, a collaboration of anchor institutions, nonprofits, and public organizations focused on inclusion in Baltimore, this report from Karp Resources describes how anchors can create opportunities for local food vendors and strengthen the local economy. To help local vendors gain contracts with anchor institutions, which typically work with large food service providers, the report encourages anchors to create local preference requirements within their requests for proposals (RFPs), to support the certification of local- and minority-owned enterprises, and to institute local food price preferences.