This article examines one community’s effort to use a large-scale civic engagement process to improve the health, safety, and education of children. In doing so, it describes the challenges that foundations can face in trying to sustain a cross-sector collaborative process while working to produce highly visible outcomes in a relatively short period of time. The findings from this study illustrate important lessons for foundations that are funding and leading cross-sector collaborative efforts – lessons related to the importance of communication and transparency, the need for shared leadership, the limits to voluntary collaboration, and the need for a sustainable structure to maintain the commitment and effort over time.
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