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Unleashing Worker Power: Building Good Jobs Beyond the Traditional Workforce System

March 11, 2024

The Good Jobs Collaborative (GJC) is an evolving collaboration focused on transforming the nation's workforce development system to advance economic justice, racial and gender equity, workers' needs, and worker voice and power. Over the past year, we have identified and learned from projects where workers are improving jobs through organizing, policy work, workforce training, job restructuring, and more. We feature three of these cases here: the Healthcare Career Advancement Program (H-CAP), a national labor-management organization; the Restaurant Opportunities Centers (ROC) United, an organization of more than 65,000 restaurant worker members; and the Milwaukee Area Service and Hospitality Workers Organization (MASH), an organization of more than 1,000 service and hospitality workers.We hope that these cases will inspire interest, innovation, and concrete policy action to build a workforce development system that centers workers, tears down inequity in our labor markets, and raises the quality of jobs for all. 

Climate Change: A series of Case Studies on South African Funder's Climate Journeys (Volume 2)

February 5, 2024

Climate change is an increasingly pressing global issue that requires an immediate and concerted response to limit its most catastrophic consequences. Funders can play a key role in responding to climate change, however, funder responses to climate change have historically been relatively limited.That said, more funders are beginning to acknowledge the urgency with which climate change needs to be addressed and are increasingly seeing the impacts that climate change has on the often vulnerable communities that they serve. These climate change impacts have further implications for funders' work on other socio-economic challenges, with the communities that they serve facing additional challenges relating to food security, water scarcity, environmental damage, and heat waves.

When Communities Keep Flooding: A Rural Environmental Justice Case Study

December 7, 2023

We all want to live in places that are safe and able to respond to disasters. But right now, many rural communities and Native nations — especially communities of color and low-wealth places — experience repeated devastating flooding.Repeated flooding is an environmental justice issue for both urban and rural communities, but rural communities need rural solutions when confronting natural disasters and associated recovery efforts, as detailed in our call to action, Through Natural Disaster to Prosperity.The drivers of repeated flooding in rural communities are complex, including climate, unsustainable approaches to development, and structural inequity. Still, rural people across the country are working diligently and creatively on home-grown solutions.The communities and organizations profiled in this case study are all working hard to address the causes and conditions contributing to flooding in their areas, as well as to envision and build thriving futures of equitable rural prosperity.They generously shared their thoughts, focusing on two key questions:What structural challenges keep rural communities from addressing repeated flooding?What will it take for rural communities to drive their own solutions to repeated flooding?

How climate risk data can help communities become more resilient: Insights from San Diego

December 4, 2023

Governments at all levels have a responsibility to help communities adapt to increasing climate risks. Local governments are on the front lines, as they regulate and incentivize the location of new housing and commercial development, develop and operate transportation and water infrastructure, and oversee emergency preparedness and response. The rapidly growing field of climate analytics can help local governments adopt a more proactive approach by identifying risks, developing climate action plans, and implementing strategies that limit the harms of both chronic and acute climate stresses, from intense storms to wildfires to extreme heat.The goal of this project is to illustrate how local governments can use geographically granular climate risk data to map local hazards and plan community-based adaptation strategies, while highlighting some of the challenges in working with this data. We also discuss areas where regional, state, and federal agencies can support their local colleagues in these efforts. This analysis is intended to be useful for local governments—including elected officials and career staff—as well as utilities, regional planning agencies, private sector firms, and civic organizations engaged with built environment planning.To illustrate the potential uses and challenges of geographically granular climate risk information, we analyze data created by First Street Foundation that measures heat, wildfire, and flood risk. Focusing on the city of San Diego, we create risk maps at several levels of geography—city, neighborhood, and parcel—to illustrate how risk varies across geography, over time, and by climate risk category. These metrics primarily capture physical risk; when possible, we look at overlaps with social and economic characteristics that affect community vulnerability. Case studies of three neighborhoods with particularly high risks show the usefulness—and some cautions—of parcel-level analysis.

Parents Engaging Community: A Model for Early Childhood Systems Leaders to Generate Field-Initiated, Parent-Informed Approaches for Serving Families Experiencing Homelessness

November 29, 2023

The following document is intended for early childhood policymakers, funders, state and local government, coalitions, and program directors seeking to improve early childhood systems' accessibility and responsiveness to children and families experiencing homelessness. Cuidando Los Niños draws from its 30 years of service and experience facilitating a stakeholder coalition and advocacy group for parents with a lived experience of homelessness. The report makes the compelling case, describes impacts, and shares considerations for one model of parent and practitioner engagement utilized by this seasoned homeless-serving preschool to drive community-led systems change at the intersection of early childhood education and homelessness.

Adult Learners: Who are they & what do they need to be successful?

November 15, 2023

THE GREAT EIGHT identified adult learners as a key factor when asked aboutsuccessful policies and practices that drive their student success initiatives. Thiscase study will examine who adult learners are, what they want from college, howto support them, and the Great Eight evidence-based practices they use to helpadult learners succeed during and after their college experience.  

Living in the shadow of loss and damage: uncovering non-economic impacts

November 1, 2023

Through 14 case studies from climate-hit communities in Africa, Asia and the Pacific Islands, this multi-author resource reveals the true impact of 'non-economic loss and damage'. Unlike the destruction of infrastructure or assets, these harms cannot be easily quantified and are often overlooked. But the consequences of losing traditional ways of living, cultural heritage and biodiversity cannot be ignored: they trigger the erosion of community cohesion and resilience and cause trauma, displacement and danger, especially for the most vulnerable people and groups. Each author describes the climate hazards assailing a community, who is impacted and how, and current coping mechanisms. This unique resource is intended to support policymakers in understanding the nature and urgency of non-economic loss and damage, and to encourage practitioners to exchange knowledge and solutions from the community level. 

How Funding Local News Ecosystems Helps American Communities Thrive

October 31, 2023

Reliable information fuels our lives. We need to know who is on the ballot, what's happening in our schools, where to find rental assistance, and how to make change in our neighborhoods. From daily reporting that equips people to act, to huge investigations that reveal corruption, the health of local news is bound up with the health of our democracy.Over five years, Democracy Fund has invested $11 million in six geographic areas across the U.S., where residents and institutions are collaborating to better meet their communities' real information needs.This report tells the story of how Democracy Fund grantees created positive impact in their communities through innovative, locally-driven solutions. It also shares lessons for funders and local leaders interested in advancing a more equitable future for local journalism. As more funders consider local collaborative funding, we hope that this report will serve as a valuable resource.

Advancing ECE Workforce Compensation and Equity: Key Conditions for a National Lead Teacher Certification

October 12, 2023

This national study of more than 4400 stakeholders in early childhood education (ECE) indicates a strong demand for addressing compensation and equity issues in the field as first steps toward a national lead teacher certification (NLTC).Compensation. Interviewees believed that addressing compensation concerns for all early childhood educators was necessary not only to facilitate the conditions for an eventual NLTC, but also to tackle existing inequities within the field. The low perceived value of a certification without accompanying assurances of increased compensation and other benefits was also raised. Equity. Nearly all participants expressed concerns related to equity, particularly regarding equitable access, support and outcomes associated with an NLTC. Stakeholders raised questions about the potential effects of an NLTC in a field characterized by systemic racism and existing structural barriers. 

A Funding for Real Change Case Study: Case Study Synthesis Report

September 28, 2023

The nonprofit starvation cycle is reflective of and perpetuated by the systemic under-resourcing of the core organizational functions of grantee organizations. This underinvestment will persist until funders recognize the importance of and adopt practices that enable them to fulfill their full potential. There is no one-size-fits-all solution to ending the nonprofit starvation cycle, as the journey toward achieving more flexible and equitable ways of supporting grantees is nonlinear and unique to each funder's context, capabilities, and goals.As such, Ariadne and EDGE Funders Alliance have developed a series of case studies that showcase diverse practices foundations have successfully employed related to increasing indirect cost coverage in project grants. This report is an overview and synthesis of some of the key insights funders and nonprofit organizations shared about their diverse perspectives and experiences in this space.

True Cost of Food: Food is Medicine Case Study

September 26, 2023

This report, supported by The Rockefeller Foundation, features two national case studies evaluating the health equity and economic benefits of medically tailored meals (MTMs) and produce prescription programs. This provides the first "true cost" analysis of implementing Food is Medicine programs across the country. The report's top-line findings show that national implementation of MTMs in Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance for patients with both a diet-related condition and limited ability to perform activities of daily living could avert approximately 1.6 million hospitalizations and result in an estimated net savings of $13.6 billion in health care costs in the first year alone. Further, national implementation of produce prescription programs for patients with both diabetes and food insecurity could avert 292,000 cardiovascular events and add 260,000 quality-adjusted life years—a measure of how well a treatment lengthens or improves patients' lives—while being highly cost-effective from a health care perspective and cost-saving from a societal perspective.

Reimagining Civil Society Resourcing in Tanzania

September 14, 2023

This study represents one step in a more extensive and longer-term process aimedat stimulating and contributing to broader discussions at a sectoral level, shining a light on existing innovative practices, and identifying ways to strengthen practice and experimentation in local resource mobilization.