Anchor Institutions

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.

Community Foundations Move to Adopt a New Anchor Mission

Philanthropy must address structural economic barriers if “full livelihood, democracy and opportunity for all” are to be achieved.

Crossposted form Shelterforce

According to the Foundation Center’s 2014 Key Facts report, community foundations today have nearly $65 billion in assets, more than 9 percent of all foundation assets ($715 billion). As noted at a recent White House conference, over 700 community foundations operate nationwide. Yet while the first community foundation inCleveland was founded in 1914, their present-day prominence is fairly new. As recently as 1990, U.S. community foundation assets totaled $6.6 billion. Even after adjusting for inflation, that means a six-fold increase in assets in two dozen years. The number of community foundations has also more than doubled over that period.

New York Community Trust

Established in 1924, the New York Community Trust is one of the oldest community foundations in the nation.  As of 2013, it had $2.5 billion in total assets and managed over 2,000 funds. In 1980, the foundation incubated a CDFI, the Nonprofit Finance Fund (at the time known as the Energy Conservation Fund), which has loaned over $287 million to nonprofits and social enterprises around the country. Read more about New York Community Trust...

Anchor Richmond: Community Opportunities & Anchor Strategies for the Berkeley Global Campus at Richmond Bay

Eli Moore, Nadia Barhoum and Alexis Alvarez Franco

This new report from the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society identifies opportunities for community wealth building in Richmond, California. The authors claim that with the development of the Berkeley Global Campus, which is poised to become the largest employer in Richmond and the largest public investment in Richmond since World War II, UC Berkeley and the associated Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have a unique opportunity to reduce racial inequality and promote broad prosperity in Richmond. The Haas report provides several recommendations that these anchor institutions can adopt, including the creation of a working group to develop and monitor strategies for community wealth building and the creation of a fund to launch minority-owned businesses.

Kaiser Permanente

Headquartered in Oakland, Kaiser Permanente, a nonprofit health insurance company that also operates 38 hospitals, is one of the first health systems in the country that recognized the benefits of adopting more sustainable practices.  Kaiser ranks first in solar use among all U.S. Read more about Kaiser Permanente...

Common Counsel Foundation

Founded in 1988, Common Counsel Foundation partners with families and individual donors to expand philanthropic resources for progressive social movements. The foundation’s donor and member funds focus on supporting organizations committed to grassroots community organizing for racial, economic, and environmental justice, policy reform, and social change.  In 2013, the Foundation and its member funds made 311 grants totaling nearly $3 million. Read more about Common Counsel Foundation...

East Bay Community Foundation

Established in 1928, the East Bay Community Foundation was the first community foundation in northern California.  As of FY 2013-14, the foundation had more than $395 million of assets under management.  Through its Economic Development grant program, the foundation aims to advance economic opportunity for adults and families in need, particularly those with significant barriers to employment and financial stability.  In April 2014, the foundation released its second report on unemployment, which outlined solutions for persistent unemployment among East Bay residents and highlighted the va Read more about East Bay Community Foundation...

Building Healthy Communities, East Oakland

The California Endowment (TCE) launched Building Healthy Communities, a 10-year effort to support the development of communities where kids and youth are healthy, safe and ready to learn. East Oakland Building Healthy Communities brings together residents, community- and faith-based organizations, and public agencies to collaborate to implement a 10-year plan for an East Oakland that can sustain safe, beautiful spaces for community residents. Read more about Building Healthy Communities, East Oakland...

Press Release: Six Universities Partner with The Democracy Collaborative to Develop and Share Best Practices for Measuring Community Impact

Learning cohort will build off the recommendations in The Democracy Collaborative’s report "The Anchor Dashboard"


Takoma Park, MD — November 19th, 2014

The Democracy Collaborative, with the support of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, has convened a group of anchor institution leaders from six universities to explore how to better align their operations to benefit the places they call home. Read more about Press Release: Six Universities Partner with The Democracy Collaborative to Develop and Share Best Practices for Measuring Community Impact...

Economic Analysis Of Detroit’s Food System

Econsult Solutions, Inc. and Urbane Development, LLC

The food economy in Detroit is already the city’s third largest economic sector, and is poised to be the next largest growth sector for the city, note Econsult Solutions, Inc. and Urbane Development in a report written on behalf of The Detroit Food and Fitness Collaborative. In their report, the authors outline several strategies to foster equitable growth, including connecting local, small-scale food producers and manufactures to anchor institution demand. Only by engaging Detroiters and supporting the local, small, and medium sized actors in the system, the report argues, will food sector growth be effective in creating jobs and building community wealth for Detroit residents.