This report describes, from the perspective of local stakeholders, the experience of several sites involved in Making Connections — the Foundation’s signature community change initiative of the 2000s — in developing and enhancing the core capacities essential for articulating and pursuing a local community change agenda. The report describes the conditions in the communities when Making Connections began; the core capacities built during the decade-long initiative; the factors that contributed to capacity building; the evidence of improved outcomes for children, families and neighborhoods resulting from the enhanced change capacities; the continuing challenges of sustaining those capacities; and key takeaways from the experience.  

July 24, 2014

In This Report, You’ll Learn

  1. 1

    The types of core capacities that can help a community to articulate and successfully pursue change aimed at improving outcomes for children, families and neighborhoods.

  2. 2

    Approaches for developing these core capacities, including factors that can contribute to successful capacity building.

  3. 3

    The challenges of sustaining and further enhancing these capacities over time.

  4. 4

    The improvements in outcomes for children, families and neighborhoods that can result from the enhanced capacities.

  1. 5

    The difficulties in moving to scale and achieving community-wide changes, even with improvements in a community’s core capacities.

Key Takeaway

The importance of continuing funder support for building and sustaining core change capacities in a community

To a substantial degree … maintenance of enhanced capacities and/or continuous improvement and adoption of better practices will remain the focus of practitioners in a community only if funders (local and otherwise) continue to emphasize them as part of the normal way of doing business… Funders will set the tone, and if they don’t provide continuing reinforcement, many practitioners and other local stakeholders will simply slip back into old patterns of behavior.

Findings & Stats

Statements & Quotations