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Coordinated Funding: Lessons from a Place-Based Grantmaking Collaborative

In the Fall of 2010, five grantmakers serving Washtenaw County, Michigan, launched a “Coordinated Funding” model which they hoped would streamline grantmaking efforts, build partnerships, and increase effectiveness of the local health and human services sector. These funders, including the United Way of Washtenaw County, the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation, the City of Ann Arbor, Washtenaw County, and Washtenaw Urban County, saw this coordinated effort as a unique opportunity to combine public and private funding in order to maximize their impact in the region.

The funders agreed to collectively invest $5 million dollars over two years to address six vital health and human service issues. They chose to fund Aging; Early Childhood; Housing & Homelessness; Hunger Relief; Safety Net Health & Nutrition; and School-Aged Youth.

In 2012, through additional grant dollars from the RNR Foundation, the grantmakers partnered with TCC Group to assess the overall effectiveness of the model, identify both expected and unanticipated outcomes, and examine evidence of community-level impact.

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