Giving Compass’ Take:
• Tom Bartlett shares his experience as a member of the Early Care and Education Funders Collaborative in Washington. He talks about the ways the group delivers on impact philanthropy.
• How can collaborative funding extend to other issue areas?
For the past six years, I had the privilege of serving alongside the region’s most distinguished funding professionals via the Early Care and Education Funders Collaborative (Collaborative), housed under Washington Area Women’s Foundation. This collaborative exemplifies impact philanthropy in various ways. Here’s why:
The Collaborative is a force-multiplier for good. A collection of top regional foundations and corporate funders, the Collaborative creates a coordinated system of philanthropic resources to improve access to high-quality early care and education (ECE) for low income families. Funders contribute a modest investment, pool it with the other members and collectively determine where to allocate investments. Working as a team, the Collaborative greatly extends the scale of impact individual funders have on their own.
The Collaborative is driving real progress on substantial systemic changes across the region. At a macro level over the past three years alone, the Collaborative leveraged over $37M toward high quality early education interventions and, through partners, influenced nine policy changes to better strengthen safety and affordability. Through strong leadership at the Women’s Foundation, the Collaborative is applying a racial equity lens to these investments. The Collaborative is facilitating the dialogue between the region’s policy developers, enabling them to align their goals and build a cooperative workforce plan. Given the mobility of the region’s talent and market pressures on wage growth, consistent policies on competencies and credentialing will be greatly needed.
Learning and benchmarking are key steps towards becoming an impact giver. If you are interested in giving with impact on Impact Philanthropy take a look at these selections from Giving Compass.
The Collaborative offers members a real leadership platform. The public is demanding more from our ECE sector. That’s a good thing. But the sector remains grossly under-resourced and underappreciated, even from the philanthropy community. Dollar for dollar, ECE investments offer the most effective use of education funding, mitigating the need for costly interventions later in the K-12 pipeline.
Working through the Collaborative, membership provides a real opportunity for companies and other brand-conscious foundations seeking differentiation and impact.
Read the full article about impact philanthropy by Tom Bartlett at the Washington Area Women’s Foundation
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