Paper

Re-imagining Value: Insights from the Care Economy, Commons, Cyberspace and Nature

Heinrich Boil Foundation and David Graeber

What is “value” and how shall we protect it?  It’s a simple question for which we don’t have a satisfactory answer...read more

Sparking the conversation in your community: A DIY guide to planning your own community wealth building summit

Justine Porter

We asked Justine Porter to share how a volunteer-driven effort convened a powerful community wealth building summit in Poughkeepsie, New York.

Network Evaluation in Practice: Approaches and Applications

Madeleine Taylor Ph.D., Anne Whatley M.S. and Julia Coffman M.S.
This article describes the evaluation framework and its three pillars of network assessment: network connectivity, network health, and network results. 

Social Solidarity Economy and Related Concepts

Yvon Poirier
Origins and DefinitionsAInternational Perspective

Internal Culture, External Impact: How a Change-Making Culture Positions Foundations to Achieve Transformational Change

Amy Celep, Sara Brenner and Rachel Mosher-Williams

This article argues that a foundation’s internal culture is critical to achieving large-scale social change, but that efforts to build a change-making culture too often are left out of strategy conversations. 

While there is no one culture that suits every foundation, a particular set of characteristics must be present in those that seek large-scale social change: a focus on outcomes, transparency, authenticity, collaboration, racial equity and inclusion, continuous learning, and openness to risk. This article offers insights into why culture can be challenging for foundations to address and maintain, examines cases of successful culture change at foundations, and offers advice for foundations that aspire to it. 

Small Business Investment Companies: Investment Option for Banks

Ammar Askari

This Community Developments Insights report describes the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) program, its role in capital markets, and how financial institutions—including national banks and federal savings associations (collectively, banks)—can use the program to expand their small-business finance activities. This report also describes how the SBA licenses these companies, how they operate and are supervised, and the guidelines they should follow. Finally, this report outlines risks and regulatory considerations of bank investments in SBICs and explains how these investments may receive consideration under the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA).

The information in this report was obtained from a variety of sources, including bankers, non-supervised nancial intermediaries, SBICs’ general partners (GP), trade groups, the SBA’s Of ce of Investment and Innovation (OII), and other parties involved with small business investment companies. Appendix E provides a resource directory for additional program information. 

Best Practices for Creating a Sustainable and Equitable Food System in the United States

Ashley Blackwell

 This issue brief outlines a road map to create a more sustainable and equitable food system. It first provides an overview of the existing state of food insecurity in the United States; it then gives an overview of national best practices, highlighted through specific case studies, and discusses tools to fund such initiatives and to build cross-sector partnerships that take a holistic approach to addressing food deserts and food insecurity. 

Strengthening VITA to Boost Financial Security at Tax Time & Beyond

Shervan Sebastian, Ezra Levin and David Newville

In 2015, Congress increased funding for VITAfor the first time in six yearsby $3 million. However, in order for the program to meet the growing demand for its services, VITA must be authorized, expanded and modernized. This paper explores how the VITA program has developed over time and how local VITA programs serve their communities. It then highlights the VITA program’s present challenges and opportunities for valuable reforms that would enable VITA sites to serve more people. 

The Potential for Summer Youth Employment Programs to Reduce Inequality: What Do We Know?

Alicia Sasser Modestino and Trinh Nguyen
Federal Reserve Bank of Boston

Summer Youth Employment Programs (SYEP) are believed to improve the economic, academic, and behavioral outcomes of the population they serve, particularly for inner-city, low-income, and non-white youth. As part of a larger evaluation, we collected survey data on participants in the Boston 2015 SYEP. These participants reported additional job readiness skills, higher academic aspirations, and more positive attitudes towards their communities compared to the control group. Overall, these trends are encouraging, particularly because the largest gains were observed for minority youth. It remains unclear whether these short-term improvements will result in sustained advantages down the road. In the second phase of our evaluation, we hope to tackle this question by linking the survey responses reported in this brief to administrative data from employment, academic, and behavioral records, to better articulate the long-term effects of SYEP.