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As our two-generation, collaborative work enters its next phase, we want to take a moment to share the promising early results from Collaboration Institute 3.0 and thank our generous supporters who made this work possible.
Collaboration Institute has been a five-year body of work at The Women’s Fund of Greater Birmingham where we have reimagined how we do grantmaking so that we can catalyze systems change that will disrupt the cycle of generational poverty in Alabama.
Because we have achieved great outcomes in bringing nonprofits together to serve whole families through short-term pilot projects, we wanted to figure out how to permanently embed collaboration into our region.
In 2017, we identified three place-based teams in Jefferson, Shelby, and Walker County comprised of local leaders from nonprofits, community colleges, child care centers, and employers.
Over the next 18 months, The Women’s Fund provided these collaborative teams with the strategies, tools, and expertise to help them realign and integrate their services to better serve low-income families, including:
To signify that their work has moved past the design and planning phase, the teams wanted a common name, logo, and messaging to use across their county footprint. Thrive Together is the result of Collaboration Institute. Thrive Together is our region’s network of two-generation collaboratives providing seamless, wraparound services to women and their families.
Thrive Together is implementing what they’ve learned in incremental phases and will start by serving roughly 100 families in their first year.
Here are some of the collaboratives’ early successes:
Thrive Together Shelby County
University of Montevallo, City of Montevallo, City of Vincent, Jefferson State Community College
Thrive Together Jefferson County
East Lake Initiative, Hope Inspired Ministries, Serving You
Thrive Together Walker County
Bevill State Community College, Jasper Area Family Services, Walker County Board of Education
The Women’s Fund of Greater Birmingham is committed to providing continued financial and capacity supports through 2020 to the Thrive Together collaboratives. We are currently conducting an evaluation of the Collaboration Institute process using an outside national evaluator to determine what components of the work will be key for scaling and for replication. Then, we will take what we learn from the report to grow the work and to share our findings statewide to inspire others to join us in the work. That report will be available for your review in Spring 2019.
Thank you again for your commitment to building economic opportunities in our region and state.