Smart Collaboration At the Grassroots Level

Emerging Lessons from Detroit’s Community Connections Program

Touchstone Center for Collaborative Inquiry
June 2014

This report was produced by Touchstone Center for Collaborative Inquiry with support from Prevention Network, which operates the Community Connections resident grants program, and Community Connections funders the Skillman Foundation and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

In 2013, the Community Connections resident grants program in Detroit conducted a collaborative inquiry into the topic of smart collaboration among grassroots groups and others working for youth development and community improvement.

The inquiry probed the experience and perspectives of 13 Community Connections grantee groups known for effective and strategic collaboration. Leaders of these groups were interviewed and engaged in reflective circle conversations, and project reports and other documents from these groups were reviewed. The inquiry was conducted collaboratively with Community Connections staff and Changemaker resident panelists. The inquiry team included four current or former members of the Community Connections Changemakers leadership panel plus three consultants. It was guided by Touchstone Center for Collaborative Inquiry, the program’s learning and evaluation partner.

This report shares insights from these conversations.

Learnings from this inquiry are intended primarily for grassroots leaders who want to become more effective collaborators. They also may be useful to larger organizations that want to collaborate with grassroots organizations, and to funders, policy makers and intermediaries that want to promote improved collaboration with grassroots groups.

 

Smart Collaboration at the Grassroots Level

 

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