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Strategic Collaboration: Leveraging Dollars for Impact

Monday, March 19, 2018

Elaine Katz from the Kessler Foundation authored this GrantCraft blog post about how the recent recession has paved new avenues for collaboration. She sees more models (i.e. learning networks, funder syndicates, and venture models), that highlight collaborative funding as an increasingly popular and practical option for funders.

"The recent great recession that strained philanthropic financial resources and the nonprofit organizations they support, has paved new avenues for collaboration. Today, we are seeing more models (i.e. learning networks, funder syndicates, and venture models), that highlight collaborative funding as an increasingly popular and practical option for funders.

When the Kessler Foundation board refocused its grantmaking program in 2005 on increasing employment opportunities for people with disabilities, program staff needed to explore ways to maximize its small grantmaking budget of $2.5 million in order to influence growth in a meaningful way. 

We began in earnest, exploring ways to use collaboration as a means of leveraging our modest funding to gain measurable impact and outcomes. Public/private partnerships and shared funding models became a priority.  Accordingly, we sought out innovative pilots or demonstration projects to provide proof of concept. If successful, these programs could be scaled into a larger corporate or public programs to increase employment."