Leveraging Social Networks in Direct Services: Are Foundations Doing All They Can?

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  • 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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2010


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Beyond the Grant 

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