Over the last four decades, collaborative funding efforts have been instrumental in making life better for the people of New York City, a report from the New York Community Trust finds.
The report, Stronger Together: The Power of Funder Collaboration (16 pages, PDF), highlights the impact of the twenty collaborative funds the trust has partnered in since 1977 — including the Arts Forward Fund, the Donors' Education Collaborative, the Fund for New Citizens, the New York City AIDS Fund, NYC Workforce Funders, and the One Region Fund — leveraging some $119 million in grants for a range of causes and issues. Between 2006 and 2014, for example, the twelve funders from New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut participating in the One Region Fund invested $4.65 million in transit policy reform and development initiatives, resulting in an additional $22.7 million in state grants and loan guarantees and $4 million in federal funds. Similarly, since 1987 the Fund for New Citizens has brought together thirty-three funders who have awarded $20.6 million in grants to grassroots organizations working to help some eighteen hundred immigrants a year with their citizenship and residency filings.
In addition to brief profiles of ten funder collaboratives, the report shares lessons learned from those experiences, including: good relationships with city government can provide focus and result in much-needed resources; effective governance of a collaborative fund requires that no single member dominate the agenda; conflicts of interest should be checked at the door; and partners need to adapt to changes in membership and the field.