A new article in the Foundation Review describes the tools we used in partnership with Harder+Company and The Civic Canopy to support an adaptable design for The Colorado Health Foundation’s (TCHF) Creating Healthy Schools funding strategy.

The article dives deep into the principles of emergent philanthropy, and how TCHF worked to co-create their strategy, funding and process with key stakeholders and grantees in Colorado’s school system.

One important lesson learned? When one funder shifts its funding approach to be more emergent, it can put a burden on grantees who are still responding to the more traditional expectations of their other funders. It’s also really hard for one funder to solve all the shifting issues in a complex system.

Enter collective emergent philanthropy – a process where multiple funders combine efforts to help solve a problem through an emergent approach guided by a systems-level collaborative.

By collaborating with other funding partners interested in addressing a systems issue at the outset, funders can:

  1. Better focus a complex field by pooling and leveraging resources;
  2. Disperse power and mitigate vested interests; and
  3. Further strengthen and build partnerships to adapt to new challenges and continuously improve efforts.

Read more about TCHF’s implementation of an emergent philanthropy philosophy in Insights from Deploying a Collaborative Process for Funding Systems Change.