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Case Study

"Co-Creation" is a case study about the Connecticut Early Childhood Funder Collaborative, a project of the Connecticut Council for Philanthropy. The case study examines co-creation, an emerging systems change collaboration model which grew out of a funder-and-state partnership. This unique partnership led to the creation by executive order of a new and independent Office of Early Childhood, which was formally approved by the Connecticut State Legislature in 2013. The companion piece, "Taking on New Roles to Address 21st Century Problems," looks at co-creation from the perspective of a regional association of grantmakers.

The Disaster Philanthropy Playbook is the comprehensive resource of best practices and innovative approaches to guide the philanthropic community in preparing for and responding to future disasters.

Audience: All Funders

In cities across the nation, a few enjoy rising affluence while many struggle to get by. This situation is created in part by the practices of traditional economic development. Current trends threaten to worsen, unless we can answer the design challenge before us. Can we create an economic system—beginning at the local level—that builds the wealth and prosperity of everyone?

Audience: All Funders

The Silicon Valley Out-of-School-Time Collaborative invested in a cohort of regional nonprofit organizations to sustain and strengthen their ability to serve more students with stronger academic and social-emotional programming. A midcourse evaluation of the collaborative showed that grantees were stronger, programs were better and are reaching more students, and funders had adopted new, collaborative grantmaking practices. A second phase of the work was committed to more flexibility –– letting grantees drive the group’s planning and learning efforts, and manage consultants, budgeting and group communications. Grantees also opted to redirect the focus of the collaborative from capacity building to program development and evaluation, with the added goal of sharing effective afterschool and summer program models with others, both inside and outside the region.

Audience: All Funders

How do low-income communities learn to advance economically and build wealth? Low-income communities and communities of color, in challenging structural economic and social inequality, have historically grappled with tensions inherent to development. Who participates in, directs, and ultimately owns the economic-development process? In creating and sustaining new, inclusive economic institutions, how do community members cultivate and pass on skills, commitment and knowledge—especially among those who have long faced barriers to education and employment? And how should communities strike an appropriate balance between utilizing local knowledge and accessing outside expertise?

Based on Nonprofit Finance Fund's research and analysis of 147 nonprofit child care centers in Southeastern Pennsylvania, the report demystifies the financial, business and systemic barriers to expanding high-quality care—and begins to identify how to increase access for more children.

Audience: Program Staff
Topic: Grantmaking

Case study from Philanthropy New York documenting the formation, challenges and ultimate success of the Education Funders Research Initiative – an unusual funder collaborative that brought together funders for and against charter schools, funders with different views of testing and accountability, and funders with vastly different approaches to supporting education reform to identify and advance shared priorities. 

This publication takes an in-depth look at what it means to open our learning and evaluation practices to grantees, other funders, community members, government agencies and others involved in the work.

Audience: All Funders

n 2004, a group of foundations came together to create a funder collaborative in support of Freedom to Marry’s state-by-state strategy to win marriage equality. Over the following 11 years, this unique collaborative and its funding partners invested a total of $153 million to support a wide range of activities across the country to change hearts and minds on a massive scale — and ultimately to deliver a historic win for equality and love.

From the Commonfund, these white papers on investment policy statements, spending policy, board governance and risk tolerance, together with their most recent studies of investments at private and community foundations, operating charities and nonprofit healthcare organizations are made available though CNJG's Investment Forum for Foundations and Endowments.

Audience: All Funders
Topic: Finance

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