Over the past 15 years, we’ve seen how community collaboration can be a game changer. So we took that concept and expanded it into the Anchor Opportunity Network, bringing together regional anchor institutions—the hospitals, universities, and other large institutions that are deeply rooted in our communities—with community-based organization, private corporations and municipal leaders. Anchors are major employers and typically nonprofits with social missions. And they’re committed to equalizing access to healthcare and education, and building resilience among vulnerable residents at the local level.
By using our model of connected communities, we’re bringing these large anchor institutions together to harness the collective power of their missions and business capabilities.
Many of these anchors have similar goals and tend to serve the same clients. The network allows them work holistically—sharing experiences, learning from one another, and working together to solve challenges at the policy level to achieve systematic change. And at the same time, to improve their own social mission and become more responsible, more proactive, and more progressive anchors.
The collective power generated by the Anchor Opportunity Network is a potential win-win. It can be applied to address both community and anchor needs in these six areas:
When you hire local and diverse residents you improve career ladders, reduce commutes, boost employee morale, and create a reliable workforce for the anchor institutions. These are typically well-paying, sustainable jobs with benefits.
The tremendous purchasing power of healthcare and higher institutions can strengthen local economies when it is directed to local businesses, helping them grow, prosper and hire locally.
Anchor institutions making targeted capital investments in their communities can create a positive social, economic and environmental impact while earning a reasonable financial return.
By coordinating their capital investments in local communities and geographic areas, anchor institutions can improve efficiencies and multiply their impact.
A quality, mixed income housing stock in the local community creates healthy and socially diverse neighborhoods where people of all incomes can live and work.
When anchors bring their expertise in healthcare, education, and the arts to local communities, they can help solve tough community challenges—and advance their own core missions.