ERIC Number: ED423062
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Foundations and Comprehensive Community Initiatives: The Challenges of Partnership. Discussion Paper.
Brown, Prudence; Garg, Sunil
Against a backdrop of increasing localization of responsibilities for human services and community development, and in a climate of diminished resources for these activities, foundations have explored the comprehensive community initiative (CCI) as a strategy to direct support toward improved well-being for children and families. This discussion paper draws on interviews, case studies of six CCIs, and transcriptions of focus groups from the study "Voices from the Field" to explore the ways that foundations can reduce the space or distance that frequently exists between them and the CCIs they support. This space can be characterized by distrust and dishonest exchange and struggles over power and accountability that can serve to diminish CCI effectiveness and dilute the learning that the experience might otherwise generate. The paper examines the roles foundations choose to play in CCI design, governance, and implementation. It identifies building trust and managing expectations and accountability as two tasks that, if performed inadequately, serve to divide CCIs from their foundation sponsors. In concluding, the paper suggests approaches that could help foundations and CCIs establish more effective operating partnerships. These approaches take into account the decision to commit to work in a community and to the CCI process, the relationship of that commitment to other foundation programming, the coordination of effort with other foundations working in that community, the creation of productive relationships within a community, the need to accelerate the development of knowledge about particularly problematic issues, and the value of a coach as keeper of the CCI vision. The paper also suggests that a similar inquiry, focused on the steps community partners in CCIs might take to enhance working relations, could be profitable. Contains 20 references. (Author)
Descriptors: Community Development, Community Programs, Comprehensive Programs, Cooperation, Philanthropic Foundations, Program Design, Program Implementation, Social Services
Chapin Hall Center for Children at the University of Chicago, 1313 East 60 Street, Chicago, IL 60637; phone: 773-753-5900.
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Chicago Univ., IL. Chapin Hall Center for Children.