California Counts! 2010 Census Campaign A Network Approach to Funder Collaboration

by Gig Barsoum

Jul 1, 2012

The California Counts! Census Campaign detailed in this report provides a roadmap for how foundations and affinity groups can support the next Census in 2020. More immediately, it provides lessons learned and reflections regarding funder collaboration and the role of affinity groups in catalyzing and supporting such collaboration. It also explores how a network approach to collaboration can advance philanthropic efforts, spark innovation, and increase impact.

  • Mutual respect, recognition of each group's value-added role, and open communication are critical ingredients for making collaborations work
  • A network, instead of a formal collaboration, can prevent funders from giving up their independent control over distribution, yet can act as a platform for funders to share plans and information
  • Having a neutral intermediary helps to decrease the power differential among and between funders and grantees
  • A neutral intermediary might help to foster leadership, create ownership of work, build new relationships, reinforce local capacity and regional capacity, and encourage new ideas and approaches
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