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Building Sustainable Cities through Blended Capital

A Program of Study and Case Analysis on The Kresge Foundation’s Social Investments Practice in Detroit. This case study examines strategies to confront the interconnected web of complex issues facing cities and their residents as they address income inequality and reimagine a sustainable Detroit.







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Report: Community-Driven Resilience Planning

The following framework: 1) advocates deepening democratic practices at the local and regional levels, 2) seeks to put forth the principles and practices defining this emergent field, and 3) outlines resources for community-based institutions implementing community-driven planning processes. While the primary audience for this framework are community-based organizations developing, advocating for, and implementing climate solutions, we hope it will also be useful to philanthropic institutions that are developing funding strategies to tackle the climate change crisis, as well as to public sector officials charged with protecting our cities from the unpredictability of climate disruption.





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Capital Scan: Climate Resilient & Equitable Water Systems

This Climate Resilient & Equitable Water Systems Capital Scan was commissioned by The Kresge Foundation and authored by MissionPoint Partners and California Environmental Associates. It is designed to illuminate integrated strategies with pathways for using a full suite of capital tools — including program related investments (PRIs) and mission related investments (MRIs) – to  accelerate the implementation of innovative solutions to unlock the flow of capital in the water sector. The goal is support of Kresge’s Climate Resilient and Equitable Water Systems (CREWS) work – advancing a water equity agenda that supports solutions to address climate-related impacts on water systems, enhance climate planning at Read more





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Guide to Impact Investing

Grantmakers In Health (2017): This guide provides a framework to help funders think strategically about the potential of impact investing, part of a growing practice that incorporates environmental, social, and governance criteria into investment decision making. Kresge helped fund the study.





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Integrated Transactions: An Emerging Focus For Community Development

This paper examines development models that intentionally integrate elements from two or more sectors, the capital challenges inherent in such projects, and the unique role that CDFIs and philanthropy play in overcoming those challenges. This paper focuses on neighborhood-level efforts that go beyond single sector investments that are emerging through partnerships and collaboratives working to deliver community driven solutions. Includes case studies.  







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A Resilient Power Capital Scan

This report, one in a series of reports by Clean Energy Group and Meridian Institute on advancing resilient power in low-income communities, seeks to address how foundations can best develop a portfolio of capital interventions—from grants to impact investments— that together would successfully scale up the solar+storage/resilient power market to benefit low-income populations and to advance their missions. It provides a capital scan of foundation opportunities and actions to guide foundation financial support for this market.





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Building and Restoring Civic Capacity: The Obama Administration’s Federal-Local Partnership with Detroit

This report focuses on what the partnership contributed to Detroit’s revitalization efforts and how it helped build local capacity. Initiatives and projects detailed in the report in which The Kresge Foundation was involved include the Blight Task Force, the Detroit Home Mortgage program, creation of the city’s global engagement strategy and attracting support for sustainable recreation at Historic Fort Wayne.







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Capital and Collaboration – Strengthening Community Investment in Smaller, Postindustrial Cities

To better understand the system of community investment, and with the hope of developing interventions that would permit it to achieve greater scale, efficiency, and impact, the authors developed a framework they called “capital absorption.” This work offers potential routes forward for understanding and addressing need in low- and moderate-income communities in postindustrial cities throughout New England.





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Capital and Collaboration – An In-Depth Look at the Community Investment System in Massachusetts Working Cities

This publication presents the work of the Capital & Collaboration Initiative, a cross-sector effort designed to increase the scale, efficiency and impact of investments in Massachusetts cities of more than 35,000 people (excluding Boston.) The initiative has identified several cross-cutting priority areas for action that are important to achieving their broader goal of transformative change.







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Blueprint for a Healthier America

This report, produced by the Trust for America’s Health with support from several foundations including Kresge, calls for a new approach to health which prioritizes improving health and addressing major epidemics in the United States. The report highlights pressing crises and how investments could yield positive returns on investment by adopting proven health strategies, such as substance use prevention, programs to promote physical activity and connecting health and social services.





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Healthy Communities of Opportunity: An Equity Blueprint to Address America’s Housing Challenges

This research paper by PolicyLink, with Kresge support, examines how housing and development policies affect economic opportunity and community health, reviews recent trends that have increased housing insecurity, surveys practices that link health and housing opportunity, and suggests a reform agenda for policy changes.





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Breaking Down Creative Placemaking

What exactly is creative placemaking? The simple answer is any artistic or creative effort to make a particular community stronger. There are literally hundreds of communities carrying out creative placemaking projects across the U.S. – and countless more around the world. Here are two particularly strong examples, both generously supported by The Kresge Foundation. .





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Community Investment: Focusing on the System

This working paper reviews initial work on community investment (CI) as system. CI is defined here as investments intended to achieve social and environmental benefits in underserved communities Our goal in writing it is threefold: • To encourage people to think about the system for organizing CI demand, • To suggest ways to make the system visible and tractable in a given place, and • To offer some suggestions based on current and past efforts on how to make the CI system more robust.







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Natural Allies: Philanthropy and Civil Legal Aid

Investing to help low-income people solve their legal problems is smart, results-oriented philanthropy. Yet, civil legal aid for families living in poverty or near poverty has often been an overlooked partner in philanthropic efforts to improve the bedrock economic, social, and health conditions for low-income people and communities. Funders have an opportunity to help tackle barriers to equal justice and enhance their grantmaking programs. This report discusses what funders can do.





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Strengthening the Human Services Sector

The Kresge Foundation held a symposium with leaders of national networks and umbrella human services nonprofits on April 4, 2014, at the Aspen Institute in Washington, D.C. The goals of the symposium were to: 1. Identify the major challenges and issues in the current environment that affect the capacity of human services organizations and networks to effectively deliver services. 2. Provide an opportunity for human services leaders to share knowledge and expertise with peers while forming new relationships and partnerships. 3. Develop actionable recommendations to assist in the transformation of the human services sector. This document distills the themes of Read more