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Community Leadership Assessment Tool

October 1, 2020

The Community Leadership Assessment Tool is an instrument whose development was informed by conversations among community foundations who desired a structured mechanism to assess their community leadership activities and communicate the impact of their work beyond financial metrics. At the foundation-level, this tool is designed to inform practice. At the field level, results from this tool will be aggregated to provide a broader perspective on how foundations are engaging in community leadership efforts.Take the assessment online at candid.org/howwelead.

The Color of the Capital Gap: Increasing Capital Access for Entrepreneurs of Color in Massachusetts

May 20, 2021

This report lays bare the wide disparities in capital access and their root causes. The report also provides a foundation to advance bold and timely actions, policies and investments for the state, foundations, corporations, and individuals to help narrow the gap. With national attention focused on the struggle of entrepreneurs and the oppression of people of color in our society, and with large amounts of federal funding for small businesses on the way, we have a unique opportunity to implement transformative solutions that set up our entrepreneurs of color for success. 

TOP (Tracking Oregon's Progress) Report 2020: Cornerstones: Economic Mobility and Belonging in Oregon

November 30, 2020

Cascading crises in Oregon in 2020 have compounded existing inequities, resulting in disproportionate impacts on Black, Indigenous, people of color (BIPOC), low-income Oregonians and rural communities. Every sector of society that OCF supports is grappling with the need for systems change: education, arts and culture, housing, business infrastructure, health care and more. How we are working to address these disproportionate impacts is informed by the findings in our newly released report, "Cornerstones: Economic Mobility and Belonging in Oregon." Working with Harvard-based research group Opportunity Insights, the report combines Census tract level data of economic opportunity with qualitative examinations of what helps kids in high opportunity neighborhoods succeed. OCF has identified key areas of investment and policy change needed to create more high opportunity neighborhoods in Oregon: economically integrated neighborhoods, high-quality schools, living wage jobs and increased social capital.

Greater Milwaukee Foundation 10 Year Impact Report: A Decade of Distinction

October 1, 2019

From 2008-2017, Metro Milwaukee has benefited from rising opportunities, inspired by the vision that the community and Greater Milwaukee Foundation share for a thriving and equitable region. Milwaukee saw significant progress in education, youth development, neighborhood economic development and other areas, continuing a century-long commitment by the Foundation to strengthen the region through philanthropy. Data and stories reflecting the investment and impact of this 10-year period illustrate the shared success that is achieved through partnership among donors, community stakeholders, and the Greater Milwaukee Foundation.

TOP Report 2018 Oregonians Mobilizing for Change

January 1, 2018

Oregon Community Foundation (OCF) was established on the enduring principle that "the most creative solutions arise from groups of private citizens who come together to work in partnership and address their common needs and aspirations" (OCF Grant Guidelines, 1998). We believe fully engaged residents are a building block for healthy communities and a healthy democracy. This report explores examples of effective community engagement in Oregon today. OCF strives to practice the key components identified in this report:* We connect with people from around Oregon to explore what we can accomplish together by drawing on our strengths rather than focusing on shortfalls.* We support building relationships across diverse communities as a necessary underpinning for efforts to address opportunity gaps and other mutually identified issues.* We listen and provide support so engaged community members can succeed.

Tracking Oregon's Progress Report

November 1, 2017

Oregon is experiencing widening socioeconomic disparities, and now, more than at any time in the past several generations, the circumstances into which a child is born largely determine the life he or she achieves. Despite widespread belief in the American dream, for many children this dream appears out of reach. Characteristics of neighborhoods and communities, family structure and circumstances, and educational experiences all play a role in providing—or limiting—children's opportunities. Oregon's low-income children, children of color and rural children do not have the same set of opportunities enjoyed by higher-income and white children, and this opportunity gap has far-reaching implications for personal achievement and well-being as well as for community vitality.

Hard Facts: Race and Ethnicity in the Nine-County Greater Rochester Area

August 1, 2017

Hard Facts: Race and Ethnicity in the Nine-County Greater Rochester Area examines the substantial gaps in educational and economic outcomes among persons of different racial and ethnic backgrounds.

A Handbook from the Fund for Our Economic Future

October 28, 2016

Effective collaboration can result in enduring, positive community change, yet it remains elusive for many. The Fund for Our Economic Future, with support from the Akron Community Foundation, the Community Foundation of Lorain County and the Stark Community Foundation, has created a resource guide for civic leaders grappling with collaboration in their communities. "Collaboration: A Handbook from the Fund for Our Economic Future" encapsulates the Fund's lessons from its experiences operating within multiple collaborative environments over the last 12 years and offers concrete guidance on how to move from "collaboration" to true, effective collaboration. Author Chris Thompson, who was with the Fund since its early days and recently started his own consulting practice, takes stock of the Fund's collaboration work to date and draws the following lessons:Collaboration is a process through which independent stakeholders assume shared responsibility for achieving a mutually beneficial common goal. Collaboration should never be the goal; it is a means to the goal.Before collaboration is even possible, specific preconditions -- a compelling cause, galvanizing leadership and high-performing organizations -- need to be met.Effective collaborations all have three common elements -- capacity, process and leadership.

The Evolution, Expansion and Evaluation of the Family Economic Security Program

October 1, 2016

In 2008, the Fund for Women & Girls of Fairfield County's Community Foundation created the Family Economic Security Program (FESP). The goal of the program is to assist low- and moderate-income working students – particularly women who are single parents – in securing postsecondary educational degrees that can lead to careers offering family-sustaining wages and benefits.This paper reviews the research that prompted the original design of FESP; examines the results of the initial pilot demonstration at one community college; and highlights current efforts to test an expanded, enhanced version of the FESP initiative at a second community college in Fairfield County. The paper also discusses the broader local and national context within which these efforts have been occurring.

Latinos in Oregon: Trends and Opportunities in a Changing State

August 1, 2016

Latinos in Oregon explores the contributions that Latinos have made to the state and the disparities that still exist between Latino and white Oregonians by examining trends among a variety of indicators over the past five to 15 years.

San Diego, 2050 Is Calling: How Will We Answer? (2016)

May 5, 2016

The San Diego Foundation, in partnership with Climate Education Partners, released new findings that identify and address the impacts of a changing climate on business and economic growth in the San Diego region.

Optimizing Talent: The Promise and the Perils of Adapting Sectoral Strategies for Young Workers

February 8, 2016

The new report from JobsFirstNYC and the Aspen Institute Economic Opportunities Program, highlights national examples of effective sectoral employment programs for youth. It lays out strategies for developing and maintaining strong partnerships among industry experts and youth development practitioners, to boost employment rates among young adults and improve business outcomes. Finally, it details lessons learned from JobsFirstNYC's Young Adult Sectoral Employment Project (YASEP), a successful, first-of-its-kind pilot to test whether sector strategies could be specifically effective for young adults who are out of school and unemployed.Drawing on the promising results of several sector-based employment programs for young people throughout the nation, this report explores how:By expanding and deepening access for young people to sectoral employment initiatives, policymakers and funders can help young people find alternative pathways to jobs, job stability, and advancement;Community-based and young-adult-serving organizations can play a critical role in connecting young people to employment;Collaboration across organizations is essential, and financial incentives to support partnerships must be built into future efforts; andSectoral strategies can yield even greater gains when they go beyond strategies focused on job placement to partnering with employers to identify ways to improve workers' conditions while also supporting business success.