Leveraging the Power of Place
Place-based partnerships combine forces across multiple sectors – such as government, community, and non-profit – to solve complex problems.
By aligning opportunities and supports, these partnerships work to meet local needs. They build on individual and community assets to create cradle-to-career pathways that allow more young people to reach their full potential.
We invest in existing partnerships among committed leaders who determine what resources their communities need, develop measurable goals, streamline coordination, track results, and fine-tune efforts over time. Leaders work collectively and hold themselves accountable to achieve transformational and sustained outcomes.
Most recently, we have invested $285M in nearly 20 place-based partnerships across the country. We are committed to investing in organizations that attend to pressing needs, while building on individual and community assets to create cradle-to-career opportunity pathways. And we continue to learn from Blue Meridian’s earlier, multi-year investments in two regional strategies.
In every community, Blue Meridian’s capital is designed to work alongside funding from local foundations and philanthropists.
Click on each place to read more about the partnerships
Seeding Success works to improve outcomes for every child in Memphis and Shelby County, from cradle to career. They achieve this by connecting institutions, community organizations, equity-based policies, and resources in a results-focused system of accountability to help each child access the support and resources they need to succeed.
The Community Foundation of Greater Memphis
As a funder and convener, the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis strengthens the Mid-South through strategic philanthropy and community giving. The Foundation manages 1,200 charitable funds and works with donors, nonprofits, and partners to develop and support solutions that make their community thrive.
Partners for Rural Impact
Partners for Rural Impact advances cradle-to-career solutions through place-based partnerships that focus on access to early childhood education, increasing high school graduation rates, and support for higher education and college-readiness needs.
Promise Partnership of Salt Lake
Promise Partnership of Salt Lake unites students, parents, and teachers as well as non-profits, businesses, and government organizations to transform the educational environment in Utah. Working in nine communities and six school districts serving 0-24 year-olds, partners are accountable for changing inequitable systems so that every child and family can succeed, regardless of race, ZIP code, or family income.
The UP Partnership works with 175 partners, utilizing data and aligning resources, in order to create equitable systems to ensure all young people in Bexar County are ready for the future. Using a collective impact model, UP Partnership brings leaders together to design solutions for students.
San Antonio Area Foundation
The San Antonio Area Foundation works with donors to implement trust-based philanthropic practices. Their goal is to advance equity by addressing the root causes of social challenges to create a city where one’s ZIP code no longer predicts their life outcomes.
The Commit Partnership
The Commit Partnership (Commit) is a community navigator and connector of over 200 partners, working to ensure an inclusive, equitable, and prosperous Dallas County where race, place, and socioeconomic status no longer predict educational and future economic attainment. In partnership with The Child Poverty Action Lab, an organization dedicated to fighting childhood poverty, Commit will advance an agenda of equitable recovery and economic and social mobility in Dallas County.
The Child Poverty Action Lab
The Child Poverty Action Lab (CPAL) is dedicated to reducing Dallas’ child poverty rate by 50% within a single generation. Using an approach that is powered by resident expertise, centers on evidence, and emphasizes scale, CPAL collaborates with partners to drive impact across a breadth of systems and issue-areas affecting communities including basic needs, family, safety, education, and living-wage jobs.
Louisville Urban League
The Louisville Urban League (LUL), an affiliate of the National Urban League, is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, community service organization dedicated to eliminating racism and its adverse impacts on the Louisville community. They are working to advance social and economic mobility through a comprehensive, community-developed plan called “A Path Forward.” The plan aims to create more equity and upward mobility for Louisville’s Black community.
ONE Neighborhood Builders
ONE Neighborhood Builders develops affordable housing and engages neighbors across Greater Providence to cultivate healthy, vibrant, and safe communities. In partnership with the Governor’s office and Rhode Island Foundation, they will deepen their place-based work in Central Providence with a focus on nurturing economic opportunity for current and future residents. Underpinning this is the belief that 80% of health outcomes are related to social and economic conditions.
Spartanburg Academic Movement
Spartanburg Academic Movement (SAM) is a nonprofit organization helping to lead an inclusive recovery in the South Carolina Upstate, in addition to improving cradle‐to‐career outcomes for children in seven K‐12 school districts. In partnership with the Spartanburg County Foundation, SAM will work with school districts, businesses, public agencies, and faith‐based organizations to develop a strategic plan that addresses racial inequality, economic disparities, and early childhood education in Spartanburg’s marginalized communities.
Watch a video featuring Dr. Russell Booker, CEO of Spartanburg Academic Movement, to learn why place matters in Spartanburg.
Oakland Promise is a nonprofit that offers every Oakland child (from newborns to college students) the financial resources, educational programming, mentorship, and a supportive community to help them and their families, to seek and thrive in higher education and the career of their choosing. Their mission is to engage the Oakland community to advance equity and economic mobility through cradle-to-college and career achievement.
Oakland Thrives (OT) is a public/private partnership between the City of Oakland, Alameda County, Oakland Unified School District, Kaiser Permanente, and community stakeholders to make Oakland’s children, families, and communities the healthiest in the nation. OT is the backbone organization that convenes decision makers to collaborate on policies that get results for Oakland families. Racial equity, community engagement, and data guide their work in five policy areas: health, wealth, education, housing, and safety.
UpTogether trusts and invests directly in families experiencing poverty as they work individually and collectively to guide themselves out. Through UpTogether’s technology platform, members build and strengthen their social networks and access unrestricted capital they can use to accomplish their goals. UpTogether seeks to transform stereotypes, beliefs, and policies to boost long-term socioeconomic mobility in communities that have been undervalued for far too long.
Fresno Cradle to Career
Fresno Cradle to Career is a cross-sector partnership with a shared vision to create equitable systems in Fresno County, CA. In close collaboration with key community networks, Fresno Cradle to Career is working to advance the DRIVE (Developing the Region’s Inclusive and Vibrant Economy) Investment Plan, one of the nation’s most ambitious and comprehensive plans for inclusive neighborhood, human capital, and economic development.
Learn to Earn Dayton
Learn to Earn Dayton fosters the success of children in Montgomery County, OH, with a focus on cradle-to-career education and workforce development. In partnership with The Dayton Foundation, Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission, and PhoenixNext, Learn to Earn Dayton will accelerate its cross-sector work to catalyze systemic change and advance social and economic mobility in Dayton, including supporting deep work in focus neighborhoods and broader planning efforts.
United Way of Greater Atlanta
United Way of Greater Atlanta brings together people and resources to tackle complex issues and drive sustainable positive change to help the community thrive. They help achieve this by matching the efforts of people and organizations across Greater Atlanta’s 13 counties to work collectively on issues affecting child, family, and community well-being.
Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta
As one of the largest philanthropic service organizations in the Southeast, the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta has led and inspired philanthropy to increase the vitality of Atlanta and the well-being of all residents since 1951. They do this through bold, innovative community leadership focused on equity; identifying opportunities to create positive community change, offering quality services to donors, and through strategic and meaningful partnerships.
Birth through Eight Strategy for Tulsa
The Birth through Eight Strategy for Tulsa (BEST), an initiative spearheaded by the George Kaiser Family Foundation, will increase the supply of and access to evidence-based programs for families and children from pre-conception through age eight in Tulsa County, OK. By providing a continuum of care and help navigating a range of services, BEST aims to ensure that every child meets developmental milestones, lives in a supportive family, and succeeds in school.
Watch a video featuring Ken Levit, Executive Director of the George Kaiser Family Foundation, to learn why place matters in Tulsa.
Get Ready Guilford Initiative
Get Ready Guilford Initiative seeks to support the physical, social-emotional, and cognitive well-being of children from birth to age eight in Guilford County, North Carolina region. The strategy, spearheaded by The Duke Endowment, aims to accelerate existing local efforts to improve early childhood outcomes – including healthy births, infant/toddler development, school readiness, and success by third grade – by bringing evidence-based programs to greater scale in these areas, improving the quality of local programs and catalyzing collective impact efforts.
Watch a video featuring Meka Sales, Director of Special Initiatives at The Duke Endowment, to learn why place matters in Guilford County.
Mission Economic Development Agency
Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA) brings together public, private, and nonprofit partners using a collective impact framework to enrich the lives of children and families in the Mission District. In partnership with Mission Promise Neighborhood’s anti-poverty education initiative, MEDA works to break cycles of poverty and ensure every child can reach their full potential.
Parramore Kidz Zone
Parramore Kidz Zone (PKZ) is a data-driven, cradle-to-career collaboration between city government, schools, and nonprofits working to improve academic, health, social, and economic outcomes for youth residing in Orlando’s highest priority neighborhood. PKZ has achieved significant declines in juvenile arrests, teen pregnancies, and child abuse and recently expanded to three additional neighborhoods, now collectively known as Orlando Kidz Zones.
Northside Achievement Zone
Northside Achievement Zone (NAZ) leads a collaborative of community partners that drive student and family wellbeing and success across early childhood, K-12, expanded learning, parent education and empowerment, housing, career, and community wellness. NAZ and its partners deliver pre-K-12 programming, pursue systems changes, and build resident voices through training and advocacy.
Watch a video featuring Sondra Samuels, President and CEO of Northside Achievement Zone, to learn why place matters in North Minneapolis.
REACH Riverside is an organization developed to transform the Riverside community into a healthy, thriving place to live. REACH is committed to increasing residents’ economic mobility, financial independence, and land ownership – with an embedded focus on racial equity – by investing in its three pillars: redevelopment, education, and community health.
Lift Orlando works with residents, business leaders, and partners to help strengthen The Communities of West Lakes. Lift does this by amplifying the voices of residents and by investing in mixed-income housing, cradle-to-career education pathways, health and wellness services, and economic viability opportunities.