In October 2016, The Foundation Review published an article describing a new vision for grantmaking at The Colorado Trust that shifted power from the foundation to community residents to determine locally relevant issues and solutions for advancing health equity. It discussed major shifts underway at The Trust as it developed its Community Partnerships for Health Equity strategy, which it believed would result in measurable change that was authentically planned, implemented, and led by residents of Colorado communities.
This article describes the initial years of the strategy, which began with a phased approach to sharing power with communities, and how the lessons from those years led The Trust to pivot to a new approach to achieving the effort’s central vision. This next iteration, the Community Partnerships Organizing Strategy, has evolved to include both building power in communities and wielding power in support of communities.
This evolution is not complete. The Trust is still learning from the communities that continue in the phased approach as well as those who are part of the Community Partnerships Organizing Strategy, and continues to go through major internal transformations that are necessary to authentically engage in community change work.
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Ricci, C., Csuti, N., & Ramirez, M. (2021). The Revolution Within: What It Really Takes to Partner With Communities. The Foundation Review, 13(2). https://doi.org/10.9707/1944-5660.1568