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Building the Capacity of Networks to Achieve Systems Change

This article describes the network-building strategy of the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation and the role that network officers play in carrying out this strategy. The author then assesses whether this strategy adds value for networks and discusses a range of complications that the strategy introduces, especially with regard to the grantmaker-grantee relations. Assuming that the foundation can meet these challenges, this approach may turn out to be the most effective way for a foundation to assist networks in achieving their full potential.