Anchored in Place: How Funders Are Helping Anchor Institutions Strengthen Local Economies

Anchored in Place: How Funders Are Helping Anchor Institutions Strengthen Local Economies

Grantmakers increasingly are investing in anchor institution networks comprised of institutions rooted in local communities through their mission, invested capital, and/or relationships, with the aim of revitalizing or creating more vibrant communities, a report from the Funders' Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities finds. Based on a survey of foundations interested in supporting such institutions, the report, Anchored in Place: How Funders Are Helping Anchor Institutions Strengthen Local Economies (39 pages, PDF), found that anchor networks typically serve as hubs through which institutions can build relationships, share information, and/or facilitate strategies for achieving shared goals such as economic and workforce development. The most commonly funded activities include convenings, community development, and collaborations and partnerships. Lessons learned include the need for funders to set realistic expectations and to go beyond short-term "fad funding," and for anchor institutions themselves to engage the community in the earliest stages of planning. The report includes case studies of anchor institution networks in Baltimore, Chicago, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Denver, and Albuquerque.