· Social networks are critical to physical and mental health, and they shape how people see themselves and their possible futures.
· Social networks represent an under-leveraged resource in social services’ efforts to alleviate poverty and other social challenges.
· Foundations may be unintentionally creating barriers to practice that leverages social networks by incentivizing individually-focused, highly specific services delivered in standardized, replicable ways.
· “Network-oriented” practice can help craft a new way forward that threads the needle between everything-is-different-for-everyone and everything- is-the-same-for-everyone.
· By focusing funding on efforts that build and support social networks, foundations can deepen and sustain the impact of their funding.
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Fels Smyth, K. (2011). Leveraging Social Networks in Direct Services: Are Foundations Doing All They Can?. The Foundation Review, 2(4). https://doi.org/10.4087/FOUNDATIONREVIEW-D-10-00021