Anchor Institutions

Miami Valley Hospital

Formed in 1890 as a 37-bed hospital housed in a converted private home, Miami Valley Hospital (MVH) is now an 848-bed facility.  Committed to community investment, the hospital is a partner in the Genesis Project—a public-private partnership launched in 2000 to help revitalize one of the city’s oldest neighborhoods—and is specifically credited with placing a community social worker and two community-based police officers in the neighborhood, helping to reduce crime by nearly 20 percent.  As part of the larger health system Premier Health Partners, which serves a seven-county area in Southwest Ohio, the hospital is committed to following a new strategic plan focused on building an inclusive workplace, a concept that will involve workforce and diversity goals.

The Dayton Foundation

Founded in 1921, The Dayton Foundation is a community foundation with $462 million in assets.  In fiscal year 2014 it awarded $45 million in grants aimed to strengthen the greater Dayton region.  The foundation played a lead role in establishing Dayton’s Minority Business Partnership, which works to grow scalable minority businesses, expand the minority entrepreneurial community, and create supply chain opportunities for local businesses.  It also is a major supporter of Miami Valley Works, an organization that aims to eliminate poverty by providing holistic employment services including job readiness training, ongoing employment coaching, support services, and long-term follow-up.

UVM Medical Center

Based in Burlington, UVM Medical Center serves over 1 million people across Vermont and northern New York.  The Center aims to be the greenest healthcare organization in the country and has a particularly strong focus on promoting a local, sustainable food system.  As such, the food it serves comes from 70 regional farmers and producers as well as from its own gardens and beekeeping initiative.  UVM Medical Center also includes a Center for Nutrition and Healthy Food Systems, established to educate other health care institutions about building a sustainable food system.

Stepping Up to Make a Difference: The Vital Role of Anchor Institutions in Community Health Improvement

January 27th, 2016

Ensuring lasting community health and equity calls for innovation, collaboration and a multifaceted approach that addresses underlying determinants of health, including economic conditions. From hospitals and health systems to universities, ‘anchor institutions’ are organizations with deep roots and longevity as major employers in their communities. This Web Forum will feature a keynote presentation by leadership from University Hospitals Cleveland and a moderated panel discussion by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation with insights about the benefits they see in this approach. Read more about Stepping Up to Make a Difference: The Vital Role of Anchor Institutions in Community Health Improvement...

A City with Opportunities for All: Toronto, Canada

A municipal strategy to reduce urban poverty addresses the roots of inequality

Like many major metropolitan areas in the United States, Toronto is experiencing fast-paced growth. Canada's finance and business capital has more cranes in the sky than New York City—with nearly 50 percent more high-rises undergoing construction than in the big apple. Read more about A City with Opportunities for All: Toronto, Canada...

Hospitals adopt anchor institution economic development strategies

Betsy Taylor
Catholic Health World

David Zuckerman, the Democracy Collaborative's Healthcare Engagement Manager, speaks with Catholic Health World about how and why hospitals and health systems are devising anchor institution strategies to strengthen local economies. 

Victoria Foundation

Founded in 1924, the Newark-based Victoria Foundation has a two-fold mission:  to improve the lives of children and families in Newark, and to protect water resources and preserve precious open space statewide.  In 2014, the foundation made $12 million in grants, with nearly half supporting neighborhood development--including CDCs, job training, and leadership development.  The foundation is also taking a lead to convene cross-sector leaders in order to develop blueprints mapping out how collective action could address the city’s urban challenges. Read more about Victoria Foundation...

New Jersey Performing Arts Center

Established to attract renowned performers and serve as a catalyst for the city’s revitalization, the New Jersey Performing Arts Center opened to the public in 1997.  Since then, the Center has attracted 9 million visitors, engaged 1.5 children in its arts education programs, and offered numerous free events aimed to attract new and diverse audiences.  In 2014, the Center launched Express Newark: A University-Community Collaboratory in partnership with Rutgers University-Newark.  The project seeks to revitalize a long-neglected city building into studios, galleries, performance spaces, and a multimedia incubator where students, residents, organizations and institutions can collaborate.

The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region

Established in 1973, The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region aims to strengthen the Washington metropolitan region by encouraging and supporting effective giving and by providing leadership on critical issues in the community.  Since 2000, it has awarded grants totaling $568 million in the Washington region.  The foundation currently serves as the leading funder overseeing City First Enterprises and other partners’ implementation of the Community Wealth Building Initiative, a network of green, employee-owned businesses designed to meet area anchor institutions’ purchasing needs while creating wealth-building jobs in low-income communities.

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.