From 2007 – 2016, the Central Corridor Funders Collaborative brought together a group of local and national funders working with others to unlock the transformative potential of the Green Line running between Saint Paul and Minneapolis, MN.
The Funders Collaborative was founded with a belief in light rail’s potential for benefiting the people and places closest to the line. The Funders Collaborative envisioned stable, thriving neighborhoods throughout the corridor that reflect community identities and link all people to regional opportunities and local amenities.
Members of the Funders Collaborative included:
- Annie E. Casey Foundation
- Bush Foundation*
- Ford Foundation*
- F. R. Bigelow Foundation*
- Jay and Rose Phillips Family Foundation of Minnesota
- John S. and James L. Knight Foundation*
- Living Cities, Inc.*
- McKnight Foundation*
- The Minneapolis Foundation*
- Northwest Area Foundation
- Otto Bremer Foundation
- The Saint Paul Foundation*
- Surdna Foundation*
- Travelers Foundation*
All members provided funds to staff and operate the initiative and those marked with an asterisk provided resources to the “Catalyst Fund” which allowed for flexible grantmaking around priority issues.
Since 2008, the Catalyst Fund has made more than 160 grants, totaling nearly $12 million and leveraging more than $54 million of additional investment.
How We Worked
Working with others — local resident organizations, community groups, nonprofit and business coalitions, and public agencies — the Funders Collaborative sought to create and implement corridor-wide strategies aimed at ensuring the adjoining neighborhoods, residents and businesses broadly shared in the benefits of public and private investment in the Green Line. The Funders Collaborative focused on four main areas of activity:
- Access to Affordable Housing
- Strong Local Economy
- Vibrant, Transit-Oriented Places
- Effective Communication and Collaboration
The Funders Collaborative carried out its work by:
- Promoting learning so decisions affecting the Corridor are well informed and far-sighted. This was done through shared learning events with diverse corridor stakeholders; commissioning and sharing research; learning from other communities; and presenting our experiences to other funders.
- Building shared solutions through corridor-wide working groups and community partnerships focused on outcomes in four major investment areas. Through investment in these groups, the Funders Collaborative encouraged learning, innovative thinking, creating corridor-wide strategies and goals, and effective implementation of the shared solutions they developed.
- Investing capital in strategies, policies, and programs aimed at achieving corridor-wide benefits. These resources were separate from, and a supplement to, the programs and initiatives of individual member foundations.
Working Groups were at the heart of the Funders Collaborative model. They convened and supported nine active corridor-wide working groups with members from the public, non-profit, and private sectors.
Forming at different stages of the Green Line’s life cycle, these working groups came together to learn, develop joint strategies, to prioritize and lead implementation activities from those strategies, and to measure results. This approach helped to galvanize many voices around key issues and led to the creation of corridor-wide plans and strategies that could be implemented at multiples scales.
- The Working Group process is described here.
- An evaluation of the working group process is available here.
Click each work group or investment area to be taken directly to that page.