Giving Compass' Take:

• More funders are pursuing place-based systems change efforts to support long-term, sustainable improvements, and outcomes. Clare Nolan shares three lessons for funders.

• What other ways can funders engage deeply within their communities? 

• Here's another article on strategies of engagement. 

Engage R+D recently served as evaluation partner for two long-term early learning systems change efforts — one in rural New Hampshire and the other across three communities in California. Looking across these communities, we gleaned three key lessons to help funders interested in supporting community-driven systems change.

  1. Lesson One: Funders should hold a clear North Star but let communities figure out the best way to get there.
    In 2018, we partnered with Lisa Payne Simon to evaluate the Early Childhood Development (ECD) Initiative in Coös County, an effort supported by the Neil and Louise Tillotson Fund of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation.
  2. Lesson Two: Funders should support collaborative infrastructure.
    Our evaluation of the ECD Initiative in Coös County also surfaced a second important lesson for funders: the importance of providing flexible resources for collaborative planning and infrastructure.
  3. Lesson Three: Funders should nurture authentic partnerships.
    A third lesson for funders comes from the Starting Smart and Strong work. Our evaluation and the Packard Foundation’s own reflections have highlighted the importance of funders working in a more embedded way with communities.

Read the full article about 3 ways funders can support community-driven systems change by Clare Nolan at Medium.