Catalytic Supports

The Place Matters portfolio invests in organizations which are essential to supporting the success of place-based partnerships across the country.

The Infrastructure for Success

Blue Meridian’s Place Matters strategy seeks to strengthen place-based partnerships by providing the capital and investing in the infrastructure essential for their success.

In the past, place-based efforts often found they were limited by a lack of access to key tools and resources – things like data measurement, technology, talent recruitment and development, among others. We invest in organizations or initiatives which provide local leaders with the supports necessary to take on the complex challenges faced by their residents.

Robust infrastructure can accelerate progress and learning across the field, thereby helping many more communities set the foundation for long-term mobility for young people and families.

Our Investments

To date, we have made eight investments to provide the tools and resources necessary to catalyze the success of place-based partnerships.

William Julius Wilson Institute

Housed at the Harlem Children’s Zone, The William Julius Wilson Institute is a national hub for place-based, people-focused solutions that open pathways to social and economic mobility. The Institute works with on-the-ground collaborators and national partners to deliver comprehensive strategies, support services, and tools that systematically root out poverty and close opportunity gaps in neighborhoods across America.

  • Provide direct technical assistance and support to place-based partnerships
  • Coordinate supports among core national partners and other intermediaries
  • Develop the national resource center for place-based partnership field building
Learn More about the William Julius Wilson Institute


StriveTogether is a national network that partners with communities to ensure every child has the tools and resources they need to succeed, from cradle to career, so youth and families can thrive. The organization has a successful track record in scaling innovative approaches in 66 communities, reaching more than 11 million youth across the US, in places that range from large urban centers to rural areas.

  • Build capacity with a focus on sustainability and pathways to scale
  • Stabilize and accelerate state and regional COVID-19 recovery efforts
Learn More about StriveTogether

Opportunity Accelerator

Opportunity Accelerator (OA) is a new initiative focused on providing capacity building and intervention support to state and local governments to advance economic mobility for residents and eliminate racial gaps. OA is a collaboration of five organizations: Centers for Civic Impact at Johns Hopkins University, Code for America, Government Performance Lab at the Harvard Kennedy School, the W. Haywood Burns Institute, and led by Results for America.

  • Develop and refine an integrated operating model in three communities drawing on diagnostic research and input from diverse community stakeholders.
  • Develop lessons for how governments and place-based partnerships can collaborate seamlessly and implement impactful solutions.
  • Build foundational knowledge to inform future work, and develop a long-term strategic and operating plan for the initiative.

Results for America

Results for America helps decision-makers at all levels of government harness the power of evidence and data to solve their toughest challenges. Their mission is to make investing in what works the “new normal,” so that when policymakers make decisions, they start by seeking the best evidence and data available, then use what they find to get better results.

  • Coordinate and lead the What Works Cities' City Budgeting for Equity and Recovery Program, which will provide 29 cities with training and technical assistance on equitable fiscal management
Learn More about Results for America

Texas Higher Education Foundation

The Texas Higher Education Foundation is the official nonprofit partner of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. It leads and inspires support to meet the higher education and workforce needs of Texas’s students, businesses, and communities. The Foundation’s work focuses on raising funds, building partnerships, and implementing strategies to meet the state’s higher education priorities.

  • Support analysis that informs upskilling, reskilling, and education policy and investments
  • Use this intelligence to support nimble workforce education programming and services in support of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board
Learn More about the Texas Higher Education Foundation


PolicyLink is a national research and action institute advancing racial and economic equity by advocating for groundbreaking policy changes that enable everyone, especially people of color, to become economically secure, live in healthy communities of opportunity, and benefit from a just society. PolicyLink has advocated for and subsequently supported the development and implementation of several federal place-focused programs including the Sustainable Communities Initiative, Healthy Food Financing Initiative, and Promise Neighborhoods.

  • Manage a cross-sector working group of key stakeholders to share insights and foster learning regarding place-based programs and policies
  • Lead the development of a next generation place-based policy framework, building on insights from the working group
Learn More about PolicyLink

Urban Institute

Urban Institute is a leading nonprofit research organization dedicated to developing evidence-based insights that improve people’s lives and strengthen communities. For 50 years, Urban has been the trusted source for rigorous analysis of complex social and economic issues; strategic advice to policymakers, philanthropists, and practitioners; and new, promising ideas that expand opportunities for all. Their work inspires effective decisions that advance fairness and enhance the well-being of people and places.

  • Manage a cross-sector working group of key stakeholders to share insights and foster learning regarding place-based programs and policies
  • Lead the development of a next generation place-based policy framework, building on insights from the working group
Learn More about Urban Institute

Government Alliance on Race and Equity

Race Forward’s Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE) is a network of member jurisdictions that works to advance racial justice and build a strong multiracial democracy. GARE supports racial equity practitioners to design and implement strategies that transform government to create an equitable society. Towards these ends, GARE fosters critical connections, shared learning, and leadership development support as racial equity practitioners build the skills, influence, and capacity to create change.

  • Strengthen evidence building, measurement, and evaluation frameworks and tools for GARE and its member jurisdictions
  • Develop a path to scaled impact, with a focus on organizational capacity and sustainability
  • Deepen exploration of opportunities to catalyze alignment and engagement with place-based partnerships
Learn more about GARE