Key Points

· Systems that provide services to children tend to operate in silos; foundations can play a role in helping bridge these silos by supporting “systems building” efforts.

· Using examples from two foundations and two communities, this article explores the challenges and lessons learned in systems building work.

· Educating grantees and other community members about systems and systems building is a critical first step in the process.

· Supporting systems building requires an iterative process and foundations should continuously reinforce the importance of systems building activities.

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