The Wells Fargo Regional Foundation and NeighborWorks America support change in communities through a rigorous and structured collaborative learning framework that places the resident voice and experience at the center of learning. Both funders regularly engage in collaborative learning processes with their grantees and partners to support local revitalization practices and inform program and grantmaking strategies.
This article examines the key ingredients and processes needed to develop and sustain collaborative learning among grantee organizations, community residents, and other stakeholders and funding partners, as well as the critical role played by technical assistance providers.
The authors reflect on their experience with a range of collaborative learning processes and examine the nexus between grantee and funder interests, where the iterative and shared process can result in long-term change. Examples of organizations of varying size and capacity illustrate grantee and funder perspectives in the collaborative learning process, and how the results are being used to advance solutions to local issues and shift program and funding strategies.