Cities are increasingly turning to their “anchor” institutions as drivers of economic development, harnessing the power of these major economic players to benefit the neighborhoods where they are rooted. This is especially true for cities that are struggling with widespread poverty and disinvestment. Urban anchors— typically hospitals and universities—have sometimes isolated themselves from the poor and struggling neighborhoods that surround them. But this is changing. Since the late 1990s, as population, jobs, and investment have migrated outward, these “rooted in place” institutions are becoming a key to the long, hard work of revitalization. In Cleveland, the Greater University Circle Initiative is a unique, multi-stakeholder initiative with a ten-year track record. What is the “secret sauce” that keeps this effort together?
In this article for the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco's blog, Democracy Collaborative President Ted Howard and Kaiser Permanente Vice President for Total Health Partnerships Tyler Norris discuss the immense potential of hospitals to build wealth in their surrounding communities. In the article, Howard and Norris delve into issues addressed in their co-authored report, Can Hospitals Heal America's Communities?. The Build Health Places Network also featured the article on their blog.
Across the country, place-based institutions like hospitals and universities are discovering that their procurement policies can have a huge impact on employment and the local economy:
Like many major metropolitan areas in the United States, Toronto is experiencing fast-paced growth. Canada's finance and business capital has more cranes in the sky than New York City—with nearly 50 percent more high-rises undergoing construction than in the big apple. Read more about A City with Opportunities for All: Toronto, Canada...
David Zuckerman, the Democracy Collaborative's Healthcare Engagement Manager, speaks with Catholic Health World about how and why hospitals and health systems are devising anchor institution strategies to strengthen local economies.
In the wake of the BP oil spill, co-op businesses are on the rise in New Orleans
This report, prepared by The Democracy Collaborative and submitted to Cooperation Jackson, highlights opportunities to build a cooperative economy in Jackson, Mississippi linked to anchor institution procurement.
Press Release: Six Universities Partner with The Democracy Collaborative to Develop and Share Best Practices for Measuring Community Impact
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Takoma Park, MD — November 19th, 2014
The Democracy Collaborative, with the support of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, has convened a group of anchor institution leaders from six universities to explore how to better align their operations to benefit the places they call home. Read more about Press Release: Six Universities Partner with The Democracy Collaborative to Develop and Share Best Practices for Measuring Community Impact...
A New Anchor Mission for a New Century: Community foundations deploying all resources to build community wealth
As the community foundation field reaches the century mark and faces growing pressure on its business model, many communities at the same time are struggling with economic distress. To meet these converging challenges, an innovative group of community foundations are beginning to deepen and shift how they work—adopting an anchor mission that seeks to fully deploy all resources to build community wealth. They are calling on all assets at their disposal—financial, human, intellectual, and political—in service of their communities’ economic well-being. Moving into territory relatively uncharted for community foundations, they are taking up impact investing and economic development—some in advanced ways, others with small steps. This report offers an overview of how 30 representative community foundations, large and small, urban and rural, are working toward adopting this new anchor mission.
Communities across the country are recognizing the tremendous resources nonprofit anchor institutions—such as hospitals and universities—can provide as engines of inclusive and equitable economic development. Increasingly, cities—often led by Mayors—are launching comprehensive strategies to leverage these institutions to address challenging problems of unemployment, poverty, and disinvestment. In 2014, several cities, including Chicago, Baltimore and New Orleans, have launched community building and job creation strategies that revolve around anchor institutions; and in Cleveland, a decade old collaboration of philanthropy, anchor institutions, and the municipal government continues to rebuild economies in some of the poorest neighborhoods in the city.
Forefront interviews Ted Howard, who describes how large, so-called anchor institutions can make a difference in the high-unemployment, high-poverty neighborhoods in which they operate. But he also says they should be ready for unintended consequences as they do.
Communities across the country are recognizing the tremendous resources nonprofit anchor institutions (like hospitals and universities) can provide as engines of inclusive and equitable economic development. Read more about Models for mobilizing multiple anchor institutions...
Rresearch Director Steve Dubb, co-author of A Road Half Traveled: University Engagement at a Crossroads, will provide the keynote address.
This one-day conference is being sponsored by Albright, PA Campus Compact, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. Read more about Place Matters: Partnerships between Higher Education and the Local Communities...
Push Buffalo's Aaron Bartley examines metrics and strategies to leverage anchor institution resources for community economic development, including the Democracy Collaborative's Anchor Dashboard.
Representing the center of a $8.5 billion health system, Mayo Clinic’s hospital operations in Rochester employ more than 33,500 people and maintain 1,132 beds. Mayo operations here also procure more than $1 billion in goods and services annually, profoundly impacting the economies of the state’s third largest city and the greater region of southeast Minnesota. Recently assuming a larger role in spurring local revitalization of the surrounding region and Downtown Rochester, Mayo has begun to consciously target local and diverse suppliers in the area. It also served as the principal funder for First Homes, a community land trust that has to date developed 875 units of affordable housing available to all community residents.
A 125-bed facility with more than 950 employees, Bon Secours Baltimore is the flagship of the nine-hospital Bon Secours Health System, a $3.3 billion not-for-profit Catholic health system stretching from New York to Florida. As Southwest Baltimore’s primary anchor institution, Bon Secours Baltimore Health System has adopted an approach to community and economic development since the 1990s that focuses on revitalizing neighborhoods and rehabilitating housing, providing family and women’s services, offering youth employment and workforce development, and expanding financial services. As a result, Bon Secours’ larger system has since institutionalized these practices through its Healthy Communities initiative, which is modeled on Baltimore’s approach and requires each system hospital to develop community-specific initiatives that reflect the social determinants of health. Bon Secours Baltimore has also refocused efforts to increase local purchasing from minority- and women-owned suppliers.
This DiversityInc article highlights the release of our recent case study (published jointly with MIT): The Anchor Mission: Leveraging the Power of Anchor Institutions to Build Community Wealth.
Research Associates Dave Zuckerman and Sarah McKinley discussed impact metrics for anchor institutions at the Community-Campus Partnership for Health Conference along with David Perry of the University of Illinois, Chicago and Leif Elsmo of the University of Chicago Medical Center.