For decades, foundations have invested in a range of approaches that enable families to move forward -- to live in safe homes and communities, start their own businesses, pursue education, secure jobs and advance careers, access health care, and save for the future.
Despite these investments, the gap continues to widen between the haves and have-nots, driven by barriers that are increasingly complex, intertwined, and exacerbated by dwindling public and private resources.
In this context, new and more collaborative solutions are needed for advancing and sustaining greater economic security, opportunities for growth, and upward mobility. A mounting body of evidence demonstrates that when sector-based investments in education, housing, microenterprise, job training, health care, or community development are connected through a framework of asset building, the impacts are stronger and more sustainable.
Through this strategic approach, foundations increase the scale and scope of their work, and more effectively shift the trajectory from vulnerability to opportunity for many of the nation's families. Whether new to the asset building conversation or a proven pioneer, funders will find in this paper compelling evidence about the increased importance and relevance of connecting asset building to existing grant making strategies. This paper illuminates why assets matter and how foundations across sectors are investing in asset building for greater collective impact. It also provides guidance for foundations looking for ways to leverage the asset building framework to advance the impact of their work.