University & Community Partnerships

The Anchor Dashboard: Aligning Institutional Practice to Meet Low-Income Community Needs

Steve Dubb, Sarah McKinley and Ted Howard

This study seeks to introduce a framework that can assist anchor institutions in understanding their impact on the community and, in particular, their impact on the welfare of low-income children and families in those communities.

Download the report and learn more about our work to help anchors measure their impact on community wealth.


Anchor Collaboratives: Building Bridges With Place-Based Partnerships and Anchor Institutions

Justine Porter, Danny Fisher-Bruns and Bich Ha Pham

The Democracy Collaborative’s new report Anchor Collaboratives: Building Bridges with Place-Based Partnerships and Anchor Institutions discusses the role of anchor institutions and collaboratives in leveraging the power of their economic assets to address social and economic disparities and to revitalize local communities.

The report focuses on the work of anchor institutions and partner organizations that have joined to form place-based networks, or anchor collaboratives, to develop, implement, and support shared goals and initiatives that advance equitable and inclusive economic development strategies. Anchor mission work is not easy, but our hope is that this state of the field report will provide information and assistance to groups wanting to do anchor mission work or to create anchor collaboratives.

CUMU 2019 Annual Conference

October 21st, 2019 to October 23rd, 2019
Philadelphia, PA

Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities 2019 Annual Conference, "All In: The Urban Mission" Read more about CUMU 2019 Annual Conference...

SRI30 Conference

November 11th, 2019 to November 15th, 2019
Colorado Springs, CO

"Celebrating 30 Years at the forefront of sustainable, responsible, and impact investing"  Read more about SRI30 Conference...

NACUBO 2019 Annual Meeting

July 13th, 2019 to July 16th, 2019
Austin, TX

National Association of College and University Business Officers 2019 Annual Meeting: "We are the Journey." Read more about NACUBO 2019 Annual Meeting...

Urban and Metropolitan Universities: The Transformative Power of Anchor Institutions

Emily Sladek, Guest Editor

‘Urban and Metropolitan Universities: The Transformative Power of Anchor Institutions’ focuses on the role of urban and metropolitan universities as anchor institutions in their community to address long standing inequities. Anchor institutions are nonprofit or public institutions that are rooted in place. These institutions have a mission to serve and are the largest employers and purchaser of goods and services in many communities. Also, they have other assets and capacities that can be leveraged to support reciprocal community development, including local hiring, procurement, and investment practices. Anchor mission strategies involve the entire university, including the business, community partnership, administrative, research and academic divisions.

Metropolitan Universities journal (MUJ) is the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities’ quarterly online journal. This special issue, guest edited by The Democracy Collaborative's Emily Sladek, is an initiative of TDC and CUMU's Higher Education Anchor Mission Initiative.

TDC's Public Comments to Surgeon General's Call to Action: “Community Health and Prosperity”

Ted Howard
Federal Register Comments

TDC's public comments discussed how anchor mission and anchor collaborative work helps to address the social determinants of health and builds community wealth. 

Duke Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative (Duke I&E)

Aiming to help entrepreneurial leaders and scholars turn knowledge into action while pursuing innovative solutions to the world’s pressing problems, the Duke Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative (Duke I&E) serves as a hub for entrepreneurship at Duke University, building programs and collaborating with colleges, institutes, centers, and initiatives across Duke and the Duke Health System.  Through its Innovation & Entrepreneurship Academy, Duke I&E offers free sessions to students, faculty, staff, and community members designed to expand innovation and entrepreneurial skills.  The Initiative also includes the Duke Angel Network, which is credited with investing $6.1 million into 16 companies affiliated with the university.

Duke Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship (CASE)

Based at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, the Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship (CASE) aims to help leaders and organizations develop the business skills needed to achieve lasting social change.  Since 2002, CASE has educated thousands of MBA students and worked with thousands of organizations, funders, government agencies, and researchers to define, connect theory and practice, and advance the field of social entrepreneurship.  Most recently, CASE has expanded its work from supporting social entrepreneurs to building an ecosystem through which social entrepreneurs can succeed and scale their operations.

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County

Launched in 1913, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County works to increase New York State’s economic vitality, ecological sustainability, and social well-being by connecting local experience with Cornell University’s research-based knowledge and resources.  With an annual budget of over $7.3 million, the Extension has 200 employees and more than 2,000 volunteers who provide a range of community programs and trainings focused on agriculture and horticulture; consumer and financial education; environmental issues; family and community development; nutrition, health, and safety; and youth development.

Center for Transformative Action

Launched in 1971, the Center for Transformative Action (CTA) is a nonprofit affiliated with Cornell University that aims to foster communities that are socially just, ecologically sound, and work for everyone.  To do so, CTA offers educational programs that further the practice and understanding of social entrepreneurship and transformative action, and provides fiscal sponsorship services to projects working to reduce inequities.  CTA currently supports 24 programs, which include a local investing resource center and a Cornell student-run grocery created to ensure all students can access nutritious, affordable food.

BR Microenterprise

Launched in 2009, BR Microenterprise (BRM) is a student-run organization that connects the human capital and resources of Cornell University’s Johnson Graduate School of Management with community entrepreneurs, with a focus on individuals earning less than 80 percent of the county's median income and those with limited access to the conventional financial system.  Support provided to entrepreneurs includes technical assistance, coaching, and customized, affordable loans that are made in partnership with Alternatives Federal Credit Union.