Articles and Publications

Worker Cooperatives

What if Workers Owned Their Workplaces?

Michelle Chen
The Nation

As more cooperatives crop up post-Great Recession, people are beginning to understand their viability and promise. Instead of allowing small local businesses to close their doors upon retirement of owners, organizations such as Evergreen Cooperatives are working to help these businesses convert to cooperatives. 

Berkeley Pledges Support and Funding for Worker Co-ops

Jean Tepperman
East Bay Express

Berkeley and the greater Bay Area demonstrate growing support for worker cooperatives. 

A report by the Democracy Collaborative, a national organization promoting worker cooperatives, cites studies finding that worker-owned businesses had higher productivity and efficiency and lower worker turnover than conventional businesses, and were only one-third as likely to fail.

How co-ops can help communities guard against climate change

Anca Voinea
Co-operative News

A new report by the Democracy Collaborative looks at how community wealth building can help neighbourhoods plan for droughts and floods.

The Woman Aiming to Get 50 Million Americans Into the Worker-Owner Economy

Fran Korten
Yes! Magazine

Fran Korten writes the article, in Yes! Magazine, "The Woman Aiming to Get 50 Million Americans Into the Worker-Owner Economy." In this article, Korten interviews Marjorie Kelly of the Democracy Collaborative work in Fifty-by-Fifty: 

For decades Marjorie Kelly has looked for ways that businesses can better contribute to the good of society. In 1987, after getting a master’s degree in journalism, she founded Business Ethics magazine to showcase socially responsible corporations. But after 20 years as president and publisher, she sold the magazine. She had come to an epiphany: Encouraging individual corporations to behave better was an insufficient route to improving society. Significant change would require a shift in the ownership structure of business. Kelly’s 2012 book, Owning Our Future,lays out ways to expand democratized ownership models, including employee ownership.

Read more in Yes! Magazine

 

The Typical Workplace Is a Dictatorship. But It Doesn't Have To Be.

In These Times Editors
In These Times

A discussion on ideas for bringing democracy to the workplace commends the Democracy Collaborative's work in promoting comprehensive economic change. 

The Public Ownership Solution

Thomas M. Hanna
Jacobin

The US has a surprisingly large amount of public ownership. But in order for it to truly serve the social good, it must be expanded — and democratized.

How Urban Governments Are Promoting Worker Co-ops

Michelle Camou, Grassroots Economic Organizing

City governments are shaping up as key actors accelerating worker co-op development. 

Rochester Mayor: Investing in Co-ops Builds “Stairway Out of Poverty”

Oscar Perry Abello
Next City

Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren announces an amazing city initiative to build community wealth. We've been working with the Rochester municipal government to develop a plan to uplift communities by investing in worker-owned businesses, inspired in part by the Evergreen Cooperatives in Cleveland. As this article from Next City describes, the plan involves the creation of a community-owned and -operated "Market Driven Community Cooperatives Corporation" to oversee the effort.

Can Worker-Owned Cooperatives Compete?

Sheilah Kast and Andrea Appleton
WYPR Baltimore

John Duda, Communications Director for the Democracy Collaborative and co-founder of Red Emma’s, a worker-owned coffee shop in Baltimore, joins Sheilah Kast and Andrea Appleton of Baltimore's WYPR Radio to discuss worker ownership in today's economy.

Want to Hire a Worker-Owned Co-op? There’s an App for That

Michelle Stearn
Yes! Magazine

Originally published on Community-Wealth.org, this article by The Democracy Collaborative's Michelle Stearn highlights the work of Si Se Puede!, the Robin Hood Foundation, and a Cornell Tech graduate student program, all of whom converged as a team to develop an app for worker cooperative bookings:

Worker Cooperative Law Passes in the California State Assembly

The California Worker Cooperative Policy Coalition

On May 22, the California State Assembly passed AB816, a major step toward making California the twelfth state to establish a legal form speci cally for worker cooperatives. This campaign is building on the momentum of worker cooperative policy initiatives happening throughout the country—including a $1.2 million dollar funding initiative in New York City last summer—as the cooperative business form gains recognition as a powerful tool for economic revitalization. 

How Economic Development Can Build 'Community Wealth'

Anne Field
Forbes

Journalist Anne Field unpacts the Democracy Collaborative publication Educate and Empower: Tools for Building Community Wealth, highlighting the eleven case studies from the original report.

Is it Time for a New New Deal?

James M. Larkin and Zach Goldhammer
The Nation
Our economy is broken. Could a universal basic income, child allowances, and worker-owned cooperatives fix it? The Democracy Collaborative's Gar Alperovitz, alongside other economists and activists, sheds light on the issue.

Springfield's Wellspring Collaborative featured in report on initiatives that spur economic growth in low-income areas

Laura Newberry
MassLive

From an upholstery cooperative to a worker-owned greenhouse, the Wellspring Collaborative is rebuilding the economically struggling communities of Springfield, MA. This article from MassLive, a local news site for Western Massachusetts, reports on the Wellspring Collaborative—one of eleven case studies from our newest report, Educate and Empower: Tools For Building Community Wealth.

The upholstery company is the umbrella organization's first business, with a worker-owned greenhouse in the works. While building a small but dependable staff has proven more difficult than expected, according to Wellspring's directors, the upholstery company has been able to rope in loyal and repeat business from what economists call "anchor institutions," namely hospital groups and colleges such as Baystate Health and the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

"With a modest amount of start-up money—about $160,000—Wellspring incubated an upholstery cooperative currently employing five individuals, two of whom are citizens returning from the incarceration system. Six people are expected to become cooperative members in the first year, with further build-up over the second," the report goes on to say.

The Democracy Collaborative has been helpful to Wellspring from the get-go, Kawano said. The organization was heavily involved in the formation of the Cleveland Evergreen Cooperatives, which provided the inspiration and framework for Wellspring.

Weaving the Community Resilience and New Economy Movement

Marissa Mommaerts , Ken White and Ben Roberts
Post Carbon Institute

The Post Carbon Institute and Collective Conversations interviewed 18 leaders, including Democracy Collaborative Communications Coordinator John Duda, for a new report on the possibilities for a new, more equitable and democratized economy. Building off of conversations from the Community Resilience and New Economy Network, the collected interviews help to connect different social movements and present creative solutions and alternatives to our current extractive economy. Full transcripts of each interview are also available online.

Worker Co-ops on The Rise in New York

Spencer Rumsey
Long Island Press

A look at the rise of worker cooperatives in NYC against the backdrop of a growing national movement.

Why Unions Are Going Into the Co-op Business: The steelworkers deal that could turn the rust belt green.

Amy Dean
Yes! Magazine

In a recent article in YES! Magazine –— whose Spring 2013 issue is centered on cooperatives in the new economy — author Amy Dean looks at how the United Steelworkers (USW) union is aiming to use employee-run businesses to create new, middle-class jobs to replace union work that has shifted overseas. Union co-ops differ from other worker-owned co-ops in that they allow worker-owners to appoint a management team and then bargain collectively with management. Citing the Evergreen Cooperatives as a model, USW has started pilot cooperative organizing efforts in Pennsylvania and Ohio, including the Pittsburgh Clean and Green Laundry Cooperative and the Cincinnati Union Cooperative Initiative. The latter already has one co-op up and running — an urban food hub enterprise called Our Harvest.

A New Era for Worker Ownership, 5 Years in the Making

Kari Lydersen
In these Times

Last month, New Era Windows Cooperative opened as a worker-owned cooperative in Chicago after a five-year struggle to preserve their livelihoods. This In These Times article by author Kari Lydersen details the workers’ struggle that began in 2008 when Republic Windows and Doors threatened to shutter the factory, inspiring the workers to occupy the facility.  After the new buyer Serious Metals failed to bring the business back, the workers decided to take matters into their own hands, negotiating a buy-out of all the equipment and the facility itself with the help of the United Electrical Workers union. The new worker-owners worked with the microfinance group The Working World to help finance the purchase and with the Center for Workplace Democracy to learn the ins-and-outs of business management.

Bringing Wealth Creation Closer to Low-Income Communities

Fred Rose

This article in the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston’s Magazine Communities & Banking, highlights the Wellspring Upholstery Cooperative, a new worker-owned business supported by over fifteen anchor institutions and community-based organizations in Springfield, Massachusetts. Established by the Wellspring Collaborative, a network of worker-owned companies modeled after the Evergreen Cooperatives in Cleveland and Mondragón Cooperative Cooperation in Spain, the upholstery cooperative will leverage the purchasing power of anchor institutions to employ ex-offenders and the underemployed.

Owning Your Own Job is a Beautiful Thing: Community Wealth Building in Cleveland, Ohio

Ted Howard
Investing in What Works for America’s Communities

Ted Howard contributed this essay to Investing in What Works for America’s Communities, a book published by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and the Low Income Investment Fund that calls on leaders from the public, private, and nonprofit sectors to build on what we know is working to move the needle on poverty.

When Workers Own Their Companies, Everyone Wins

Sean McElwee

This New Republic article explores how cooperatives can support a green and democratic economy.

Employee Ownership: A Triple Win Solution

Democracy at Work Institute

This one-pager from the Democracy at Work Institute and the National Urban League provides a succinct summary of the benefits that employee ownership provides to employees, businesses, and local economies. Noting that the number of minority-owned businesses is increasing but that many of these businesses lack a succession plan, the info sheet highlights the opportunity to help these businesses convert to employee ownership to retain jobs and stabilize communities.

Cooperatives in Minneapolis: An inventory and assessment

Emily Anderson and Tom Pierson

Published by the City of Minneapolis’ Office of Community Planning and Economic Development, this report inventories and assesses worker, consumer, and producer cooperatives in Minneapolis. The authors find access to start-up capital and real estate, as well as a dearth of knowledge on cooperative governance structures and city regulations, as some of the most common challenges facing the development of cooperatives in the city. To minimize these barriers, the authors recommend creating a cooperative technical assistance network and investing in cooperative education for city employees

Worker Cooperative Industry Research Series: Craft Beer

Tim Palmer

The craft brewing industry presents an interesting possible route to scale for worker cooperative development. The industry, incredibly, is still growing after more than two decades of upward trends. Moreover, the independent and artisan workplace culture fostered by owners and workers alike has made some rms more receptive to employee ownership. The success of Black Star Brewery and Pub Co-Op, as well as the ESOP-owned New Belgium Brewing Company provide models for replication and education. Worker cooperative developer participation in this industry has been minimal to date, though a sustained focus here could make an important impact. 

Worker Cooperatives in a Globalizing World

Allen White and Josu Ugarte

The Mondragon Corporation, based in the Basque Region of Spain, is a renowned worker-owned multinational cooperative enterprise founded in 1956 on the principle of “worker sovereignty.” Allen White, Senior Fellow at Tellus Institute, explores the credo, strategy, and promise of global cooperative enterprises with Josu Ugarte, former president of Mondragon International. 

US Worker Cooperatives: A State of the Sector

Democracy at Work Institute

The Democracy at Work Institute conducted a national survey of worker cooperative firms to start to answer some basic questions and lay the groundwork for future longitudinal studies. To our knowledge, this is the first nationwide survey to solely target worker cooperatives. We used publicly available data to identify basic information about 256 worker cooperatives operating in the US in 2013 (due to lack of a central registry and recent rapid growth, this is likely an undercount). 109 of these cooperatives then submitted substantial responses to our survey questions. The data set represents a combination of these two sources. For each survey question the exact number of cooperatives with available data varies, as the response rate for each question differed. Included are some key questions addressed by their responses. 

Sustainable Jobs, Sustainable Communities: The Union Co-op Model

Rob Witherell, Chris Cooper and Michael Peck

Template developed by the United Steelworkers in partnership with Mondragón to meld collective bargaining with cooperative ownership.

Employee Ownership & Economic Well-Being

National Center For Employee Ownership

This report from the National Center for Employee Ownership synthesizes research on the impact of employee ownership on economic outcomes for young workers, ages 28-34. The authors find that compared to non-employee owners, these workers have higher household net wealth, higher median incomes, increased job stability, and greater access to benefits such as childcare, retirement plans, and tuition reimbursement.

Workers to Owners: 2017 Annual Impact Report

Democracy at Work Institute

Published by the Democracy at Work Institute, this new report discusses the accomplishments of the first year of the Workers to Owners Collaborative, launched in 2016 to catalyze business conversions to cooperative ownership. Participating organizations collectively created 215 opportunities for new worker-owners and facilitated the transfer of over $8 million in business assets from retiring owners to employees.

Legacy Business: Our opportunity to build wealth, economy, and culture

National Urban League, Democracy at Work Institute and Citi Community Development

This new report from the National Urban League, the Democracy at Work Institute, and Citi Community Development discusses converting businesses to employee ownership as a critical strategy to sustain and scale black-owned or operated firms. Drawing from survey results and stakeholder convenings, the report highlights shared challenges and opportunities and found that an estimated 284,000 business owners of color are nearing retirement and that employee ownership conversion could help address challenges around access to capital and succession.

Working Together Fiscal Year 2017

Gregg Bishop and Micharl Owh

The city government of New York recently released the third annual assessment of New York City’s Worker Cooperative Business Development Initiative, which works to incubate new worker-owned enterprises and provides assistance to convert existing businesses to worker ownership.  In 2017, the initiative helped launch 36 new cooperatives and facilitated 185 new hires. The report also details the technical assistance provided to existing businesses and provides a business directory.

Taking Employee Ownership to Scale: Learning + Design Session

Democracy at Work Institute, The Democracy Collaborative

On June 13 and 14, 2016 in Washington, DC, many of the nation’s leading experts in employee ownership, sustainable business and finance, community and economic development, and philanthropy came together in a Learning + Design session. Co-hosts for the meeting were Marjorie Kelly and Jessica Bonanno of The Democracy Collaborative and Camille Kerr of Democracy at Work Institute. The purpose of the session was to discuss how to achieve unprecedented scale of employee ownership by focusing on achieving an audacious goal: 50 million U.S. employee-owners by 2050. This report summarizes and expands upon the June meeting:

Rochester’s Market Driven Community Cooperatives Corporation: A Feasibility Analysis & Implementation Plan

Jessica Bonanno, Violeta Duncan and Ted Howard

The City of Rochester's Office of Innovation, under the leadership of Mayor Lovely Warren, has been coordinating a project to develop worker-owned cooperative businesses as part of a comprehensive wealth building strategy for Rochester, New York.

In 2015 the City engaged The Democracy Collaborative, a group with extensive expertise from similar work in Cleveland Ohio in connection with the Evergreen Cooperatives and the Greater University Circle Initiative. The Democracy Collaborative completed a study in February 2016 that documented incredible potential for the project, a high degree of community support including local Anchor Institution buy-in, as well as several potential business niches for future worker-owned businesses. The report also includes an implementation plan to move the project forward in two additional phases, the first of which was approved to proceed by the Rochester City Council on March 22nd, 2016.

We Own It: A Guide to Worker Co-ops in NYC

Ingrid Haftel and Sandy Xu
The Center for Urban Pedagogy

The Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP) teamed up with Sunset Park-based Center for Family Life, designer Amanda Buck, and illustrator Melissa Crowton to create We Own It, a fold-out poster that breaks down how worker co-ops work. Visuals and text in Spanish and English compare worker co-ops to typical businesses, explain the steps that go into starting or joining one, and show what a day on the job looks like for a worker-owner. 

The Cooperative Growth Ecosystem

Melissa Hoover and Hilary Abell
The Democracy At Work Institute, Project Equity

This second paper in Citi Community Development’s Building the Inclusive Economy series focuses on scaling worker cooperatives as a means to create quality jobs and wealth-building opportunities for low-income workers. Authored by Hillary Abell, Co-founder of Project Equity, and Melissa Hoover, Executive Director of the Democracy at Work Institute, the report draws from the experiences of Cincinnati, Ohio, Madison, Wisconsin, New York City, the San Francisco Bay area, and western North Carolina to develop a framework for understanding the successful components of a “cooperative growth ecosystem.” These include collaboration across sectors, diverse funding streams, and a “guiding coalition” to create a strategic vision:

Broad-Based Ownership Models as Tools for Job Creation and Community Development

Marjorie Kelly, Steve Dubb and Violeta Duncan

As cities wrestle with the growing challenge of wealth inequality, more and more leaders are looking to broad-based ownership models as tools to create jobs and build community wealth. These models are highly effective, with a positive impact for low- and moderate-income individuals and communities. This report looks at six such models—ESOPs, Worker Cooperatives, CDFIs, Social Enterprises, Municipal Ownership, and Emerging Hybrids—with examples of best practices, and explores how these models can be used in community economic development.

Ours to Share: How Worker-Ownership Can Change the American Economy

Sanjay Pinto and The Surdna Foundation
The Surdna Foundation

This report from The Surdna Foundation delves into the world of worker ownership, detailing models and best practices, from the Cleveland Model developed by the Evergreen Cooperatives in Ohio to the role of foundations and philanthropy in developing worker-owned business strategies:

Reducing Economic Inequality through Democratic Worker-Ownership

Shannon Rieger

Amongst developed nations, the U.S. is a leader in unequal income distribution. But according to a recent Century Foundation report on the role of worker-ownership models, this is a trend that can be changed. The author examines how a cohesive national regulatory framework, national tax incentives, a U.S. employee ownership bank, and increased support for employee-ownership technical assistance centers can bolster U.S. worker-buyout policy. In aligning regulatory, technical, and financial support for worker-cooperatives, the United States can bring scale to this key economic equalizer. 

Beyond Business as Usual: Putting Cooperation to Work in Austin, TX

This report from Cooperation Texas examines the nature and benefits of the cooperative model and identifies barriers and opportunities for worker co-op development. There is a growing economic divide in Austin and worker cooperatives can play a role in addressing these conditions as part of a more equitable approach to community economic development.

Successful Cooperative Ownership Transitions: Case Studies on the Conversion of Privately Held Businesses to Worker Cooperatives

With 70 percent of privately held businesses expected to change hands over the next two decades and 10,000 baby boomers retiring each day (many of whom lack succession plans), the nation has the opportunity to preserve these businesses by converting them to worker cooperatives. This new report from the Democracy at Work Institute and the University of Wisconsin Center for Cooperatives provides case studies of successful cooperative ownership transitions for cafés in Washington and Oregon; an architecture, building, and energy business in Massachusetts; a natural conservation consultancy firm in Wisconsin; and a landscaping business in Massachusetts. The authors examine how owner involvement, financing, governance structure, and other critical factors affect the conversion process and highlight the need for greater technical assistance and peer support from the cooperative community. 

Energy Democracy: Namasté Solar, a profile in cooperative ownership

Jarrid Green
Center for Social Inclusion

Our Research Associate Jarrid Green authored this report, highlighting the successes of Namasté Solar in democratizing energy in Colorado:

Case Studies: Business Conversions to Worker Cooperatives—Insights and Readiness Factors for Owners and Employees

Alison Lingane and Shannon Rieger

These 12 case studies explore the practical promises and pitfalls of converting existing businesses to worker cooperative ownership—a key strategy for building more democratic workplaces. 

Impact to Last: Lessons from the Front Lines of Social Enterprise

Ben Thornley, Jacquelyn Anderson and Lauren Dixon

In these eight case studies, REDF (a California-based nonprofit, has led the pioneering effort to create jobs and employment opportunities for people facing the greatest barriers to work) highlights the work of social enterprise leaders around the country. By surveying groups such as the Evergreen Cooperatives in Cleveland, Ohio, REDF showcases the principal drivers of achieving scale and success, and paving the way towards a more inclusive economy.

Community Investment in the Local Food System

Jonathon Ward, Margaret Christie, Addie Rose Holland, Dan Rosenberg, Jeff Rosen and Sam Stegman

CISA (Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture) published a new case study on Real Pickles, an organic food business that raised half a million dollars through a community investment campaign to transition to worker ownership.

Understanding Worker-Owned Cooperatives

Nina K. Dastur

Published by the Center for Community Change, this guide for community organizers provides a broad view of the benefits of worker-owned cooperatives and shows how they align with the goals of grassroots organizing groups. Author Nina Daskur demonstrates how cooperatives uphold the principles of solidarity and democracy that are the foundation of community organizing, and are especially relevant in the current economic and political climate. Intended to lay out both the advantages and challenges of a co-operative business model, the paper profiles worker-owned cooperatives in four different service occupations that are typically characterized by low wages –home health care, child care, food service, and housecleaning –and identifies useable mechanisms that organizers could undertake to help advance alternative ownership in communities.

Understanding Worker-Owned Cooperatives

Nina K. Dastur

Published by the Center for Community Change, this guide for community organizers provides a broad view of the benefits of worker-owned cooperatives and shows how they align with the goals of grassroots organizing groups. Author Nina Daskur demonstrates how cooperatives uphold the principles of solidarity and democracy that are the foundation of community organizing, and are especially relevant in the current economic and political climate. Intended to lay out both the advantages and challenges of a co-operative business model, the paper profiles worker-owned cooperatives in four different service occupations that are typically characterized by low wages –home health care, child care, food service, and housecleaning –and identifies useable mechanisms that organizers could undertake to help advance alternative ownership in communities.

The Cleveland Model

New Haven wants to buy $900K building for ‘business development’

Mary O'Leary
News Times

New Haven is following the lead of the Evergreen Cooperative under the Cleveland Model. It hopes to secure finding to buy a building with the intention to spark local economy. 

How co-ops can help communities guard against climate change

Anca Voinea
Co-operative News

A new report by the Democracy Collaborative looks at how community wealth building can help neighbourhoods plan for droughts and floods.

Turning Health Care into Community Wealth in Cleveland

Sarah Trent
Next City

In Next City, Sarah Trent writes "Turning Health Care into Community Wealth in Cleveland." Trent highlights community wealth building work by Democracy Collaboratives in Cleveland, Ohio: 

“[The expansion] proves that local businesses can deliver at the quality and cost that institutions require,” says David Zuckerman, director of health care engagement at the Democracy Collaborative, a nonprofit research, advisory and advocacy organization with offices in Cleveland and Washington, D.C.

Ten years ago, the Cleveland Clinic joined the Cleveland Foundation, University Hospitals, Case Western Reserve University, the Democracy Collaborative and the city government to launch the Evergreen Cooperatives, a network of three worker-owned and worker-managed companies, starting with the laundry cooperative, later adding a construction cooperative specializing in renewable energy installation, and an urban agri-business cooperative. According to Evergreen Cooperatives, the median income in the six neighborhoods they target is $18,500.

Losing Amazon

Ted Howard
The American Prospect

The city of Preston, England, is a case study in how a community reimagines itself when long-sought after corporate investment fails to materialize.

Own a Home in Just Four Years? This Co-Op Program Keeps Workers in the Neighborhood

Yessenia Funes
Yes! Magazine

Yessenia Funes writes about the Evergreen Cooperatives' home-buyer program in Yes! Magazine's Fall 2015 Debt Issue. 

Evergreen started this unique home-buyers program three years ago. Today, nearly half of its worker-owners have purchased homes through the program. Home ownership was unlikely for them before; many have bad credit or criminal records. Cedeño simply couldn’t afford the traditional route, which would have meant a down payment—and debt. “I didn’t want to have debts so large,” he explains, “so this opportunity came, and I took advantage of it.”

Read the full article here

Is it Time for a New New Deal?

James M. Larkin and Zach Goldhammer
The Nation
Our economy is broken. Could a universal basic income, child allowances, and worker-owned cooperatives fix it? The Democracy Collaborative's Gar Alperovitz, alongside other economists and activists, sheds light on the issue.

Shelterforce Interview: Ron Sims

Miriam Axel-Lute, Matthew Brian Hersh and Harold Simon
Shelterforce

Owning a Stake in Your Future

Tamara Copeland
Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers

The Cleveland Model

Gar Alperovitz, Ted Howard and Thad Williamson
The Nation

Something important is happening in Cleveland: a new model of large-scale worker- and community-benefiting enterprises is beginning to build serious momentum in one of the cities most dramatically impacted by the nation's decaying economy. The Evergreen Cooperative Laundry (ECL)--a worker-owned, industrial-size, thoroughly "green" operation--opened its doors late last fall in Glenville, a neighborhood with a median income hovering around $18,000. It's the first of ten major enterprises in the works in Cleveland, where the poverty rate is more than 30 percent and the population has declined from 900,000 to less than 450,000 since 1950.

The Evergreen Coooperative Initiative of Cleveland, Ohio

Ted Howard, Lillian Kuri and India Pierce Lee
A Sense of Place: Place-Based Grantmaking in Practice, pp. 6-12

Evergreen Coop Laundry

Cindy Grahl
Builders Exchange Magazine, Vol. 8, No. 12

Ours to Share: How Worker-Ownership Can Change the American Economy

Sanjay Pinto and The Surdna Foundation
The Surdna Foundation

This report from The Surdna Foundation delves into the world of worker ownership, detailing models and best practices, from the Cleveland Model developed by the Evergreen Cooperatives in Ohio to the role of foundations and philanthropy in developing worker-owned business strategies:

Impact to Last: Lessons from the Front Lines of Social Enterprise

Ben Thornley, Jacquelyn Anderson and Lauren Dixon

In these eight case studies, REDF (a California-based nonprofit, has led the pioneering effort to create jobs and employment opportunities for people facing the greatest barriers to work) highlights the work of social enterprise leaders around the country. By surveying groups such as the Evergreen Cooperatives in Cleveland, Ohio, REDF showcases the principal drivers of achieving scale and success, and paving the way towards a more inclusive economy.

University & Community Partnerships

Reviving and Revising the Civic Mission: A Radical Re-Imagining of “Civic Engagement”

Tessa Hicks Peterson

Drawing on literature in the field and the author’s own research, this paper argues that civic engagement is critical to the success of students and universities and should be enacted at all levels of educational policy and practices. Yet, it must be facilitated in a way that ensures that equity, justice, and an appreciation of diverse value systems and perspectives are included in the development of civic actors, civic learning, and shared projects of social change in local communities. 

Effective Governance of a University as an Anchor Institution

Ira Harkavy, Matthew Hartley, Rita A. Hodges, Anthony Sorrentino and Joann Weeks
Raabe Academic Publishers

This case study, authored by Ira Harkavy and his colleagues at Penn, describes how the role of the University of Pennsylvania as an anchor institution has evolved from 1981 to present. The paper describes community engagement efforts like the Netter Center for Community Partnerships, which works to leverage research, teaching, and learning to support West Philadelphia; and the University City District, an economic partnership between small businesses, anchor institutions. While Penn’s cultural reshaping remains, in the words of its authors, a “work in progress,” the authors are optimistic that “Penn will further evolve as an anchor institution and increasingly realize [Ben] Franklin’s democratic civic vision.”

Universities as Anchor Institutions

Eugenie Birch, David C. Perry and Henry Louis Taylor, Jr.
Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement

Service-Learning: Some Academic and Community Recommendations

Robert F. Kronick and Robert B. Cunningham
Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement

The Centrality of Engagement in Higher Education

Hiram E. Fitzgerald, Karen Bruns, Steven T. Sonka, Andrew Furco and Louis Swanson
Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement

The Next Wave: Building University Engagement For The 21st Century

Gar Alperovitz, Steve Dubb and Ted Howard
prepublication version of article published in: The Good Society, volume 17, number 2, pages 69-75

Service-Learning: An Integral Part of Undergraduate Public Health

Suzanne B. Cashman and Sarena D. Seifer
American Journal of Preventive Medicine, volume 23, number 3

Carnegie's Engagement Classification

James J. Zuiches and the North Carolina State Community Engagement Task Force
Change, pages 42-45

The Benefits of Service Learning in a Down-Turned Economy

Theodore Peters, Mary Ann McHugh and Patricia Sendall
International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education

EPICS: Engineering Projects in Community Service

Edward J. Coyle, Leah M. Jamieson and William C. Oaks
International Journal of Engineering Education, volume 21, number 1, pages 139-150

Neighborly Neighbors

Dale McGirr, Ronald Kull and K. Scott Enns
Business Officer Magazine

Justin Smith Morrill and The Politics of the Land-Grant College Acts

Craig L. LaMay and Lawrence K. Grossman and Newton N. Minnow, editors
A Digital Gift to the Nation: Fulfilling the Promise of the Digital and Information Age, pages 73-95

Educating for a Changing World: The Importance of an Equity Mindset

Judith A. Ramaley

Our nation’s colleges and universities are being asked to play demanding roles in creating the capacity for active and engaged collaboration and collective action to address complex challenges that are shaping the world we live in. An essential ingredient of any effort to build healthy communities for any purpose, including education, is the cultivation of equity and inclusion. In this article, we discuss what these terms mean in practice and how to draw upon the talents and experiences of all the members of a diverse community in order to understand and address the pressing social, cultural, economic, and environmental challenges we face in our communities and around the globe. 

The Road Half Traveled: University Engagement at a Crossroads

Rita Axelroth Hodges and Steve Dubb

Authored by Rita Axelroth Hodges and Steve Dubb as part of Michigan State University Press' series on Transformations in Higher Education, the book features ten in-depth cases and examines how universities, by pursuing an anchor institution mission to improve surrounding communities in cooperation with community partners, can positively impact the welfare of low-income residents.

Working Together and Making a Difference: Virginia Western Community College and Goodwill Industries of the Valleys Partnership Case Study Report

Bill Browning, Meredith Archer Hatch and Marcela Montes
The Aspen Institute

Aspen-WSI initially developed this case study as a learning tool for a US Department of Labor–funded consortium of seven community colleges that feature C2E strategies. Northern Virginia Community College leads that consortium. This report supplements the initial learning tool with information shared by staff of Virginia Western Community College and Goodwill at a site visit by members of the consortium in March 2015 and with additional program data collected and reported in May 2015. 

Not Taking Democracy for Granted: Higher Education, Inclusion, and Community Trust

Nancy Cantor
Speech delivered at conference titled, “Higher Education for Democratic Innovation: Challenges and Opportunities,”

Engagement in Higher Education: Building a Federation for Action

Lorilee R. Sandmann and David J. Weerts
a Wingspread Report: Creating the Higher Education Network on Community Engagement

Building Partnerships: Stronger Communities and Stronger Universities

Loomis Mayfield
Prepared for Discussion at Community-Campus Partnerships for Health 4th Annual Conference

Higher Education’s Anchor Mission: Measuring Place-Based Engagement

Emily Sladek

Our new report, Higher Education's Anchor Mission, examines how an ongoing—and expanding—effort to track the impact of colleges and universities on the financial and social well-being of their surrounding neighborhoods is helping these anchor institutions align their resources to build stronger community partnerships and create more inclusive local economies.

Impact to Last: Lessons from the Front Lines of Social Enterprise

Ben Thornley, Jacquelyn Anderson and Lauren Dixon

In these eight case studies, REDF (a California-based nonprofit, has led the pioneering effort to create jobs and employment opportunities for people facing the greatest barriers to work) highlights the work of social enterprise leaders around the country. By surveying groups such as the Evergreen Cooperatives in Cleveland, Ohio, REDF showcases the principal drivers of achieving scale and success, and paving the way towards a more inclusive economy.

Gateways for Incarcerated Youth Alumni Survey

Emily Sladek, Laura Coghlan, John Lanning and Cindy Meyer
The Evergreen State College

This publication, co-authored by Democracy Collaborative Research Assistant Emily Sladek, constitutes a survey of former students from the Gateways Evergreen College Class from the years 1997-98 through 2009-10. Gateways is "a culturally responsive educational initiative that works in partnership with the Juvenile Rehabilitation Administration (JRA) and The Evergreen State College in Washington State":

Design and Disaster: Higher Education Responds to Hurricane Katrina

Kathleen Dorgan, Michael Monti and Kinnard D. Wright, eds.
Cityscape: A Journal of Policy Development and Research, volume 10, number 3

The Engaged University

Frank Gaffikin, Malachy McEldowney, Carrie Menendez and David Perry

Linking Colleges to Communities: Engaging the University for Community Development

Steve Dubb and Ted Howard

How can universities leverage their resources for community benefit? This report from The Democracy Collaborative outlines a comprehensive strategy to meet that goal.

Partnership Perspectives

Sarena D. Seifer and Annika R. Sgambelluri, editors
Partnership Perspectives, volume 4, number 1

Calling the Question: Is Higher Education Ready to Commit to Community Engagement?

Mary Jane Burkardt, Barbara Holland, Stephen L. Percy and Nancy Zimpher on behalf of Wingspread Conference Participants
A 2004 Wingspread Statement

Case Study: University Hospitals (Cleveland, OH)

David Zuckerman
Hospitals Building Healthier Communities: Embracing the Anchor Mission

University Hospitals System comprises the 1032-bed, former academic medical center of Case Western Reserve University, and six community hospitals across Northeast Ohio. The system employs more than 24,000 people and generates revenues in excess of $2 billion annually. A key initiative has been University Hospital’s Vision 2010 project, a $1.2 billion, five-year strategic growth plan that started in 2006. As part of Vision 2010, University Hospitals set separate goals to procure from local, minority- and women- owned businesses, and actively aimed to create new supplier capacity within the city. It also hired a third party to hold it accountable, voluntarily entered into a unique Project Labor Agreement, and has now started to apply this vision to its entire supply chain purchasing. Further still, University Hospitals is involved in other job creation and wealth building initiatives in the community.

Campus Compact, “Program Models”

This website offers a very extensive national database of hundreds of programs designed to engage students, faculty, staff, campus and/or the community in service, service-learning, and/or civic engagement projects.

Anchor Institutions

Putting Health Care Dollars to Work

Amanda Abrams
Shelterforce

When health care systems invest in the provision of social determinants of health, including affordable housing and walkable neighborhoods, they produce long-term returns by way of better health and lower health care costs. The Democracy Collaborative's Healthcare Anchor Network aims to help healthcare groups understand how best to use their assets at the benefit of the community. 

The NHS as an anchor – taking forward the long term plan

Sarah Reed and Dominique Allwood
Health Service Journal

The Democracy Collaborative is working with the Health Foundation and the Center for Local Economic Strategies (CLES) to research the role that the National Health Service (NHS) may play as an anchor institution in local communities.  

How to finance our future

Lavinia Steinfort
Red Pepper

Wealth can be built from the ground up by restructuring the way that institutions and the people relate to one another. 

The anchor institution strategy, developed by the US-based Democracy Collaborative, creatively expands the potential of procurement through working with anchor institutions, such as hospitals and universities, to maximise their social contribution through spending, employing and investing locally. This strategy captures, circulates and builds community wealth. In the US City of Cleveland, it has resulted in the successful Evergreen Cooperative network and the strategy was also picked up by Preston in the UK.

Health Anchor Institutions Investing in Community Land and Housing

Bich Ha Pham and Jarrid Green
Build Healthy Places Network

Many anchor institutions are also major landowners in their communities, and many are already engaged in housing programs such as employer-assisted housing. Anchor institutions can and should employ CLTs to maximize the impact of their long-term investments in housing for their workforce, and utilize and support CLTs to help build more inclusive communities around their institutions more generally. 

Grit City Greens? Lincoln Park project could spark economic boost

Dan Voelpel
South Sound Business

Tacoma is looking to model a community wealth and development program after the greenhouse built in Cleveland through Green City Growers. 

“Plain and simple, it works,” Ted Howard, a Clevelander, told Tacoma’s anchor institution representatives last September. Howard now serves as president and co-founder of The Democracy Collaborative, which provides research, support, and evangelism around this idea of institutions pooling their power for their communities.

How 3 CEOs Are Embracing Their Institutions' Roles as Anchors in the Community

Matt O'Connor

As integral parts of the community, health systems are in a powerful position to further social change.

Hospitals & Philanthropy

Doug Easterling , Allen Smart and Laura McDuffee

How Hospitals Can Help Heal Communities

Ted Howard and Tyler Norris
Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco

In this article for the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco's blog, Democracy Collaborative President Ted Howard and Kaiser Permanente Vice President for Total Health Partnerships Tyler Norris discuss the immense potential of hospitals to build wealth in their surrounding communities. In the article, Howard and Norris delve into issues addressed in their co-authored report, Can Hospitals Heal America's Communities?. The Build Health Places Network also featured the article on their blog.

Intermediaries in Integrated Approaches to Health and Economic Mobility

Prabhjot Singh and Stuart M. Butler

For individuals to achieve upward economic mobility they must live in a supportive neighborhood with, among other things, high quality primary care and good public schools. But even when the key ingredients of success are present, households often find it hard to navigate services. A variety of intermediaries help address that problem.

Some are “embedded” in such organizations as hospitals or schools and help clients to obtain a range of supplementary services. Examples include Health Leads, City Health Works, and Grand Aids, along with local community health workers and school nurse programs.

Others are the result of hospital-led population health systems. Examples include the Parkland Health system in Texas, the Montefiore and the Mount Sinai health systems in New York, and Washington Adventist Hospital in Maryland.

Others still are organizations linking together institutions focused on the same goal by providing data sharing services, financing, or organizational support. Examples include community development financial institutions, but also integrated service systems, such as the Harlem Children’s Zone that organizes wraparound services for the families of its school students.

While intermediaries help households and can add value, they also face challenges in their operations. Often they are underfunded because budgets do not reflect their broad community value. Many regulatory and technical barriers impede information sharing with intermediaries, which is necessary to credibly show improved outcomes. There can also be a clash of culture between intermediaries and other organizations.

Policymakers in both the public and private sectors need to address these challenges so that intermediary institutions can demonstrate their value and fulfill their crucial role. 

Can the Real Sharing Economy Please Stand Up?

Nina Feldman
Next City

In the wake of the BP oil spill, co-op businesses are on the rise in New Orleans

Hospitals adopt anchor institution economic development strategies

Betsy Taylor
Catholic Health World

David Zuckerman, the Democracy Collaborative's Healthcare Engagement Manager, speaks with Catholic Health World about how and why hospitals and health systems are devising anchor institution strategies to strengthen local economies. 

The Rise of the Anchor Institution: Setting Standards for Success

Aaron Bartley
Huffington Post

 Aaron Bartley, co-founder of People United for Sustainable Housing (PUSH Buffalo), describes the growing use of anchor-based economic development strategies and recommends the Collaborative’sAnchor Dashboard as a tool for universities to measure their community impact.

Effective Governance of a University as an Anchor Institution

Ira Harkavy, Matthew Hartley, Rita A. Hodges, Anthony Sorrentino and Joann Weeks
Raabe Academic Publishers

This case study, authored by Ira Harkavy and his colleagues at Penn, describes how the role of the University of Pennsylvania as an anchor institution has evolved from 1981 to present. The paper describes community engagement efforts like the Netter Center for Community Partnerships, which works to leverage research, teaching, and learning to support West Philadelphia; and the University City District, an economic partnership between small businesses, anchor institutions. While Penn’s cultural reshaping remains, in the words of its authors, a “work in progress,” the authors are optimistic that “Penn will further evolve as an anchor institution and increasingly realize [Ben] Franklin’s democratic civic vision.”

Committing to Their Roots: Interview with Ted Howard

Mary Helen Petrus
Forefront: New Ideas on Economic Policy from the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland

Forefront interviews Ted Howard, who describes how large, so-called anchor institutions can make a difference in the high-unemployment, high-poverty neighborhoods in which they operate. But he also says they should be ready for unintended consequences as they do.

Universities as Anchor Institutions

Eugenie Birch, David C. Perry and Henry Louis Taylor, Jr.
Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement

Ripple: The Potential Power of Purposeful Purchasing

David LePage

Like a stone thrown into a pond, every purchase creates a ripple. Unintentionally or intentionally, every decision to purchase causes not one, but multiple transactions affecting the community’s capital, whether social, environmental, cultural, structural, human, or economic. 

New Approaches Are Needed to Curb Poverty

Gar Alperovitz, Steve Dubb and Ted Howard
The Chronicle of Philanthropy, volume 20, number 3

The University and Urban Revival: Out of the Ivory Tower and Into the Streets

Judith Rodin

New book by former University of Pennsylvania President Judith Rodin examines Penn's community partnership efforts.

Food and Food Purchasing: A Role for Health Care

Health Care Without Harm
Going Green: A Resource Kit for Pollution Prevention in Health Care, Section 8-1

Campuses Purchasing Green

Second Nature and Education For Sustainability-Western Network

Community Foundations: What Do They Offer Community Development?

Jeffrey S. Lowe

This article provides case studies of the role of three community foundations in facilitating the establishment of community development collaboratives to galvanize support for local community development corporations (CDCs): the Cleveland Foundation, the Dade Community Foundation, and the Greater New Orleans Foundation. Sentiments about community foundation support or influence upon CDC activity captured from person-to-person interviews with CDC staff and community foundation personnel and board members are included, in addition to secondary data documenting the character and activity of community foundation assistance. The article offers lessons drawn from the three cases. Although it makes no broad generalizations, the article concludes with some recommendations for community foundations interested in community development collaboratives as a means of supporting local CDCs and identifies some areas for future research. 

The Meds and Eds in Urban Economic Development

Carolyn N. Adams
Journal of Urban Affairs, volume 25, number 5, pages 571–588

Community-University Partnerships for Affordable Housing

W. Wiewel, F. Gaffikin and M. Morrissey
Cityscape: A Journal of Policy Development and Research, volume 5, issue 1, pages 27-46

Key Community Benefit Terms

Across the country, nonprofit hospitals are beginning to comply with a new federal requirement that they partner with community and public health representatives to identify and develop strategies for addressing community health needs. This requirement, found in the Affordable Care Act, builds on the best practices of leading hospitals and hospital systems that already strategically invest resources and build partnerships with community groups and public health leaders to improve community health. This one-page provides definitions for important terms to know.

The New Barnraising

Gareth Potts
German Marshall Fund of the United States

This new toolkit from the German Marshall Fund offers policies and practices to empower communities to preserve civic assets such as public parks, libraries, and recreation centers in the face of public and private resource constraints. Based on research conducted in Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul, and Baltimore, the guide offers a range of strategies to raise money, awareness, and community involvement for the preservation of community assets.

Economic Analysis Of Detroit’s Food System

Econsult Solutions, Inc. and Urbane Development, LLC

The food economy in Detroit is already the city’s third largest economic sector, and is poised to be the next largest growth sector for the city, note Econsult Solutions, Inc. and Urbane Development in a report written on behalf of The Detroit Food and Fitness Collaborative. In their report, the authors outline several strategies to foster equitable growth, including connecting local, small-scale food producers and manufactures to anchor institution demand. Only by engaging Detroiters and supporting the local, small, and medium sized actors in the system, the report argues, will food sector growth be effective in creating jobs and building community wealth for Detroit residents. 

Journal of Higher Education Outreach & Engagement

Anchor Institution Task Force
Journal of Higher Education Outreach & Engagement

Moderated by the Anchor Institution Task Force, this special issue of the Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement details the successes and challenges of anchor institution–community partnerships and discusses what it takes to create and sustain eective collaborative strategies. Topics covered include: what it means to be an anchor institution, how to build coalitions and collective expertise, engaging the arts, how colleges can support entrepreneurial ecosystems, the role of higher education in Promise Neighborhoods, and the role of service-learning in promoting anchor institution work. Detailed case studies are presented from Syracuse, Widener, Miami Dade College, Tulsa Community College, Lehigh, University of Michigan, and University of Tennessee.

The Road Half Traveled: University Engagement at a Crossroads

Rita Axelroth Hodges and Steve Dubb

Authored by Rita Axelroth Hodges and Steve Dubb as part of Michigan State University Press' series on Transformations in Higher Education, the book features ten in-depth cases and examines how universities, by pursuing an anchor institution mission to improve surrounding communities in cooperation with community partners, can positively impact the welfare of low-income residents.

The Role of Anchor Institutions in Restoring Neighborhoods

Janet Viveiros and Lisa Sturtevant
Anchor institutions, such as hospitals and universities, can be important catalysts for urban economic and community development. They can take on a variety of roles—from community infrastructure builder to purchaser of local goods and services to developer of real estate. With the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), nonprofit hospitals and other health care institutions have new obligations and opportunities to embrace their role as community anchors by pursuing activities that focus on addressing the comprehensive health needs in their communities. In the years to come, health care institutions can become more actively involved in supporting the development of safe, decent and affordable housing, a key social determinant of health. This brief describes those opportunities and provides specific guidance for how affordable housing and community development organizations can successfully partner with anchor institutions to improve neighborhoods and expand housing opportunities.

The Association Between Income and Life Expectancy in the United States, 2001-2014

Raj Chetty , Michael Stepner, Sarah Abraham, Shelby Lin, Benjamin Scuderi , Nicholas Turner, Augustin Bergeron and David Cutler

Hospital Community Benefits after the ACA

Cynthia H. Woodcock and Gayle D. Nelson

Leveraging hospital community benefit policy to improve community health

Building a More Inclusive National Park System for All Americans

Nidhi Thakar, Claire Moser and Laura E. Durso

Work remains to build a system of national parks and monuments that tells the stories of all Americans by reflecting the full scope of the nation’s history and meeting the demands of a diverse population. 

Diversity in Health Care: Examples from the Field

Health Research & Educational Trust

Diversity is becoming a key word in health care. Hospitals and health care systems are focusing on providing care that addresses the diversity of their patient populations. To better care for diverse patient populations, hospitals are working to increase the diversity of their leadership team, board and staff. And many hospital teams are building a culture of diversity and inclusion, to better engage all employees and provide high-quality, equitable care for all patients. 

A Case to End US Hunger Using Collaboration to Improve Population Health

Randy Oostra

Over the last 50 years, every U.S. president has worked, in some fashion, to address healthcare spending while improving the fundamental healthcare conditions for those in need. As healthcare leaders we often think in terms of three- to ve-year plans. But if we think about the next 50 years, it brings into question ‘what’ and ‘how’ the investments we’re making now in our communities — whether new facilities, programs or initiatives — will impact the public by 2064. 

Can Income-Related Policies Improve Population Health?

Laudan Aron, Lisa Dubay , Emily Zimmerman, Sarah M. Simon , Derek Chapman and Steven H. Woolf

How Are Income and Wealth Linked to Health and Longevity?

Steven H. Woolf , Laudan Aron , Lisa Dubay , Sarah M. Simon , Emily Zimmerman and Kim X. Luk

Hospital Community Benefits After the ACA: The State Law Landscape

Martha H. Somerville, Gayle D. Nelson and Carl H. Mueller

The Hilltop Institute’s Hospital Community Benefit Program has released a new online resource, the Community Benefit State Law Profiles, and a companion brief, Hospital Community Benefits After the ACA: The State Law Landscape. The Profiles present a comprehensive analysis of each state’s community benefit landscape as defined by its laws, regulations, tax exemptions, and, in some cases, policies and activities of state executive agencies. As state policymakers and community stakeholders assess their state’s community benefit requirements (or the absence of such requirements) in the wake of national health reform, these tools provide a contextual basis for consideration of these policies and those of other states in comparison to federal community benefit benchmarks. 

Anchor Institutions: An Interpretive Review Essay

Henry Louis Taylor, Jr. and Gavin Luter

This paper from the Anchor Institution Task Force (AITF) is a review of existing literature on anchor institutions that seeks to provide insight on the role of anchors in the transformation communities and guide future research. The paper finds that while an understanding of anchor institutions is growing, the field needs to extend the base of knowledge and continue to encourage institutions to have a leading role in the building of democratic communities and local economies.

Democratic Devolution: How America’s Colleges and Universities Can Strengthen Their Communities

Ira Harkavy and Rita Axelroth Hodges

In a policy memo from the Progressive Policy Institute, Ira Harkavy and Rita Axelroth Hodges of the Netter Center for Community Partnerships at the University of Pennsylvania call on government to increase its support fo partnerships between communities and institutions of higher education. Given the immense resources available to colleges and universities, these anchor institutions have the potential to ground civic partnerships working to revitalize local communities. To do so, they must change their organizational structures and make civic engagement a core principle across all levels of the institution.  The federal government, by targeting existing resources, directing financial incentives and mobilizing the bully pulpit, can help catalyze this shift.

The Neighborhood Dynamics of Hospitals as Large Land Owners

Raphael W. Bostic, LaVonna B. Lewis and David C. Sloane
presentation at conference on Large Landowners and Their Impact on Land Values

Opportunities for Public Procurement Post-Brexit

Matthew Jackson

This report published by the Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES), a UK-based think tank focused on progressive economics, discusses the potential to leverage public spending to build community health. The authors detail how local anchor institutions in Manchester and Preston have already re-directed a significant portion of their procurement to local businesses. The report includes recommendations for scaling this approach across the UK, calling for revised legislation that integrates the economic, social, and environmental value of procurement into public purchasing guidelines.

Race-Explicit Strategies for Workforce Equity in Healthcare and IT

This new report from Race Forward focuses on the need to develop race-explicit strategies to advance equity in the fields of healthcare and information technology. While these sectors are growing quickly, many career pathways remain inaccessible to people of color in low-income communities due to patterns of discrimination and disinvestment. The report provides recommendations for workforce development practitioners to advance racial equity, both at the organizational level and across the field. 

Workplace Financial Wellness Services

Joanna Ain, Pamela Chan, Meredith Covington, Geraldine Hannon and Santiago Sueiro

Anchors in Resilient Communities: Case Study on East Bay San Francisco ARC project

Emerald Cities Collaborative
Anchors in Resilient Communities (ARC)

Published by Emerald Cities Collaborative, this case study is part of the ongoing series Anchors In Resilient Communities (ARC) which highlights lessons learned from anchor collaboratives working to advance climate resiliency. The Democracy Collaborative is a co-founder of ARC. This case study details work in Richmond and East Oakland, California to leverage local anchor procurement, investment, and hiring capacity to support inclusive and sustainable economic development. Participating institutions are working to launch MyCulitver, a cooperatively owned greenhouse and incubator facility.

Bridging the Two Americas: Employment & Economic Opportunity in Newark & Beyond

Demelza Baer and Ryan P. Haygood

While Newark, New Jersey is home to several major Fortune 500 companies, local residents are largely excluded from this economic growth and hold only 18 percent of all jobs in the city. This new report, published by the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice, explores the origins of this economic divide, which predominantly affects communities of color, noting a history of discrimination and an absence of pathways to middle-skill jobs. The report calls on the City to implement local hiring provisions for city contracts and calls on anchor institutions to develop local hiring and procurement strategies.

Anchored In Place: How Funders Are Helping Anchor Institutions Strengthen Local Economies

Katherine Pease

Published by the Anchor Institutions Funders’ Group, part of the Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities, this new report assesses how funders are working with anchor institutions to support community health and well-being. The report includes case studies from Albuquerque, NM, Baltimore, MD, Chicago, IL, Denver, CO and the Twin Cities, MN, and details how funders have moved beyond their traditional grant making roles to convene anchor collaboratives.

The Anchor Mission Playbook

Rush University Medical Center
with support from Chicago Anchors for a Strong Economy (CASE), the Civic Consulting Alliance, and The Democracy Collaborative

Anchor institutions can play a key role in helping the low-income communities they serve by better aligning their institutional resources—like hiring, purchasing, investment, and volunteer base—with the needs of those of communities. The recommendations in this “playbook,” drawn from research carried out to help Rush University Medical Center (RUMC) align around its Anchor Mission, are being published to help other hospitals and health systems accelerate their own efforts to drive institutional alignment with community needs.

Higher Education’s Anchor Mission: Measuring Place-Based Engagement

Emily Sladek

Our new report, Higher Education's Anchor Mission, examines how an ongoing—and expanding—effort to track the impact of colleges and universities on the financial and social well-being of their surrounding neighborhoods is helping these anchor institutions align their resources to build stronger community partnerships and create more inclusive local economies.

Field Guide: The Future of Health is Local

Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE)
Business Alliance for Local Living Economies

This field guide, produced by The Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE) in partnership with Kaiser Permanente, connects the dots between the social determinants of health and the framework of strategies that both BALLE and MIT's Presencing Institute have identified as the path forward in building thriving local economies:

Field Guide: The Future of Health is Local

Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE)
Business Alliance for Local Living Economies

This field guide, produced by The Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE) in partnership with Kaiser Permanente, connects the dots between the social determinants of health and the framework of strategies that both BALLE and MIT's Presencing Institute have identified as the path forward in building thriving local economies:

Eleven Principles For Creating Health

Pritpal S. Tamber
The Creating Health Collaborative

While the bio-medical definition of health focuses on the absence of disease, when asked what makes them feel healthy, communities often identify many other factors ranging from financial security to nourishing relationships. This new report from the Creating Health Collaborative, an international community of innovators, puts forth principles for “creating health beyond healthcare” and identifies key drivers shifting the field. Notable principles include embracing complexity, measuring what matters, acknowledging power imbalances, and sustainability. The report is drawn from the Creating Health Collaborative’s July 2015 convening. 

Cleveland’s Greater University Circle Initiative: An Anchor-Based Strategy for Change

Walter Wright, Kathryn W. Hexter and Nick Downer

Cities are increasingly turning to their “anchor” institutions as drivers of economic development, harnessing the power of these major economic players to benefit the neighborhoods where they are rooted. This is especially true for cities that are struggling with widespread poverty and disinvestment. Urban anchors— typically hospitals and universities—have sometimes isolated themselves from the poor and struggling neighborhoods that surround them. But this is changing. Since the late 1990s, as population, jobs, and investment have migrated outward, these “rooted in place” institutions are becoming a key to the long, hard work of revitalization. In Cleveland, the Greater University Circle Initiative is a unique, multi-stakeholder initiative with a ten-year track record. What is the “secret sauce” that keeps this effort together?