Effect Positive Change


Effect Positive Change

We Effect Positive Change by Collaborating with and Adapting to the Needs of our Communities.

We seek collaboration where it makes sense as a grounding principle of doing business, and we leverage partnerships for greater impact with nonprofits, public, private, and higher education sectors, and community members with lived experience. We acknowledge and understand root causes for systemic challenges, and we take action by joining forces and allocating resources toward a common goal of addressing root causes and changing systems. We center the community we serve in informing our work and making our decisions. We value and promote a culture of humility, adaptability, and continuous learning where we encourage reflection on lessons learned, questioning the status quo, and taking risks in support of better service.


  • Embed collaboration as a core strategic value; regularly seek community partnerships with other nonprofits and across sectors when necessary to better serve the community; invest dollars and staff time in collaborations; look beyond our own mission with a wider lens to see our role in an ecosystem and opportunities to address root causes, change systems, and improve outcomes.
  • Center the community and those most affected by our work as experts, with meaningful roles in informing the work and making decisions.
  • Recognize and incorporate advocacy as a collaborative tool to address root causes, change systems, and improve outcomes.
  • Commit to a culture of learning and improvement by investing time in reviewing and understanding failures; with intention, embrace calculated risk for deeper gain, recognizing failure is how we innovate.
“One of the best things I learned from being an ED for so many years is to take more risks, have the opportunity to fail. Failure creates innovation.” — Local nonprofit leader


Let go of the myth that your organization has nothing to gain from collaboration. Collaborative partnerships are important because they increase the likelihood that partners will focus on the overall needs of the community, create more holistic approaches, and create synergistic benefits. At the same time, collaborations are not always what’s needed and must be thoughtfully crafted—there are different and valuable ways organizations work together.


We can do more together.


  • Value the unique expertise that nonprofits bring, and prioritize collaboration with nonprofits and private and public sector actors to change systems.
  • Learn about and reflect on the root causes of the problems we are working across sectors to solve.
  • Provide meaningful grant dollars to fund: collaboration, systems change work, continuous learning, risk-taking and innovation.
  • Invest in projects that have a high number of variables that can affect impact and thus have risk. Clarify internally and externally how much of the grant making portfolio is made of high, medium, and low-risk investments. Take time to dialogue about grant making failures and missed opportunities in order to strengthen future grant making and outcomes.

Seek opportunities to collaborate across funding sectors to better leverage your investments:

  • combine resources to take greater risks than you could on our own
  • inform your giving through shared learning and data
  • share expertise and expand networks
  • decrease the application and reporting burdens on nonprofits through aligned grantmaking
  • speak collectively and raise awareness on priority issues

Tools & Resources

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