How Funder Collaborations Flourish: Lessons from the Common Core Standards

Apr 1, 2016

Recognizing the complexity of challenges facing public education, funders regularly collaborate to pool knowledge, align strategies and attract more resources. Over the past five years, Education First has provided strategy-setting, facilitation and management support to several funder collaboratives aiming to advance implementation of the Common Core State Standards. In doing so, we've had the chance to see different approaches to collaboration emerge and varied impact from these approaches

  • Collaborations are a significant commitment in time and resources
  • It's often difficult to align collaboration activities to each funder's interests and grantmaking approaches
  • Collaborations need to develop trust, mutual respect and sensitivity to each funder's internal culture
  • Collaborations need a governance structure that matches funders' needs, faciilitates nimble decision making and enables funders to resolve challenges
  • There needs to be willingness to revisit priorities and a shared agreement on an exit plan upfront
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