University & Community Partnerships

The Anchor Dashboard: Aligning Institutional Practice to Meet Low-Income Community Needs

Steve Dubb, Sarah McKinley and Ted Howard

This study seeks to introduce a framework that can assist anchor institutions in understanding their impact on the community and, in particular, their impact on the welfare of low-income children and families in those communities.

Download the report and learn more about our work to help anchors measure their impact on community wealth.


Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County

Launched in 1913, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County works to increase New York State’s economic vitality, ecological sustainability, and social well-being by connecting local experience with Cornell University’s research-based knowledge and resources.  With an annual budget of over $7.3 million, the Extension has 200 employees and more than 2,000 volunteers who provide a range of community programs and trainings focused on agriculture and horticulture; consumer and financial education; environmental issues; family and community development; nutrition, health, and safety; and youth development.

Center for Transformative Action

Launched in 1971, the Center for Transformative Action (CTA) is a nonprofit affiliated with Cornell University that aims to foster communities that are socially just, ecologically sound, and work for everyone.  To do so, CTA offers educational programs that further the practice and understanding of social entrepreneurship and transformative action, and provides fiscal sponsorship services to projects working to reduce inequities.  CTA currently supports 24 programs, which include a local investing resource center and a Cornell student-run grocery created to ensure all students can access nutritious, affordable food.

BR Microenterprise

Launched in 2009, BR Microenterprise (BRM) is a student-run organization that connects the human capital and resources of Cornell University’s Johnson Graduate School of Management with community entrepreneurs, with a focus on individuals earning less than 80 percent of the county's median income and those with limited access to the conventional financial system.  Support provided to entrepreneurs includes technical assistance, coaching, and customized, affordable loans that are made in partnership with Alternatives Federal Credit Union.

University of San Diego

As part of its 2024 Strategic Plan, University of San Diego (USD) publicly committed to embrace an anchor mission by engaging communities in deep, democratic, and meaningful partnerships that reflect a shared vision and collaborative effort.  A large part of the University’s current community engagement work is led by its Mulvaney Center for Community, Awareness, and Social Action and focused on the nearby community of Linda Vista, where over 80 students support community organizing efforts, serve as mentors and tutors, and provide community-based health care.  In 2011, the University launched its Changemaker Hub to help students, staff, and faculty develop skills needed to foster solutions that can create positive social impact.  From 2016-17, the program sponsored 20 events that empowered 1,255 students to develop new ways to solve pressing local and global challenges.

Temple’s Fox School of Business Small Business Development Center

Established in 1983, Temple’s Small Business Development Center helps start-ups and small businesses gain the knowledge and assistance needed to grow and succeed.  Programs include free consulting services and a range of training classes designed for entrepreneurs and small business owners.  The Center also houses an incubator through which it can provide consulting, training, intern support, and affordable space to area start-ups and small enterprises.

Bridges to Wealth

Catalyzed to increase the wealth-generating capabilities of families living in Philadelphia’s underserved neighborhoods, Bridges to Wealth (B2W) provides free educational classes and wealth building opportunities for underserved communities.  The program’s curriculum was developed by University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business and Graduate School of Education faculty who are also engaged in teaching the classes.  After completing the program’s business literacy curriculum, participants can join self-governed savings groups (whose members pool investments and lend to one another) and investment groups.  To increase its impact, B2W also provides training and support to community leaders so that they can direct business literacy efforts in their neighborhoods.  To date, B2W’s programs have engaged over 2,700 adults and students attending 6 schools.

The Democracy Collaborative and CUMU Launch the Higher Education Anchor Mission Initiative in Partnership with 31 Colleges and Universities

31 colleges and universities across the United States have been selected as inaugural members of the Higher Education Anchor Mission Initiative, a national collaboration designed to develop and share new strategies for deploying higher education’s intellectual and place-based resources to enhance the economic and social well-being of the communities they serve. The Higher Education Anchor Mission Initiative is a joint project of the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities (CUMU) , a national organization dedicated to connecting urban universities and their partners, and The Democracy Collaborative (TDC), a national research institute developing strategies for a more democratic economy, and is supported by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. Read more about The Democracy Collaborative and CUMU Launch the Higher Education Anchor Mission Initiative in Partnership with 31 Colleges and Universities...

Act Six

Catalyzed in 2002 by the Northwest Leadership Foundation, which was frustrated that many Tacoma residents were not completing college, Act Six aims to better support emerging community leaders so they can be agents of change following graduation.  Program participants are provided full scholarships to faith- and social justice-based colleges, and receive support and leadership training before and during college to inspire and equip them to serve their home communities.  The program’s success has led to its expansion across the Northwest and Midwest regions to 13 partner colleges.  Since 2002, Act Six has provided leadership support and nearly $43 million in grants and scholarships to over 615 students.

NACUBO Annual Meeting

July 21st, 2018 to July 24th, 2018
Long Beach, CA

National Association of College and University Business Officers Annual Meeting Read more about NACUBO Annual Meeting...

Detroit Revitalization Fellows

Wayne State University Office of Economic Development’s Detroit Revitalization Fellows (DRF) program aims to help Detroit’s civic, community, and economic development organizations attract, develop, and sustain the best mid-career talent.  Program fellows participate in a two-year leadership program while working full-time at a Detroit-based organization involved in civic, community, and economic development. Since its launch in 2011, the program has graduated 48 fellows and is credited with enabling nearly 50 organizations to take on new, high-impact projects.

Wayne State University: The Front Door for Business Engagement

The Front Door for Business Engagement acts as a “one-stop shop” for area businesses interested in accessing Wayne State’s resources such as faculty consultants, research expertise and investments, facilities, technology, licensing opportunities, and student interns.  The effort was launched by Wayne State in 2009 as part of the university’s effort to help stimulate economic development in the metro area.  The Front Door is located in TechTown, the university’s research park and business incubator.