In 2013 W. K. Kellogg Foundation engaged CSW to explore potential strategies for investment in Grand Rapids, MI that align with the foundation’s Family Economic Security (FES) program area and goal of moving families to 200% plus the federal poverty level.
Our assistance includes a mix of research, convening, and advising activities. We conducted extensive community engagement and heard hundreds of ideas from a diverse mix of stakeholders that included community residents and community-based organization staff. This outreach and research resulted in a number of strategic investment recommendations outlined in Supporting Economic Security for Families in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
This work provided a solid starting point to guide our work over the next two years for collective implementation. For collective action, we must continue to build momentum, shared interest, and long-term commitment to achieve goals related to the 4 FES change levers identified through this process:
- aligning systems
- asset development
- comprehensive bundled services, and
- training and employment.
We’re also developing an investors’ forum to connect and collaborate with local funders and national thought leaders to share trends, best practices, critical issues and interests, and to ultimately align local and national efforts and funding around Grand Rapid’s roadmap work and similar opportunities.