How We Work


Our capacity to convene lends momentum to the movement without directing its course. Since our inception, we have brought families, grantees, experts, and policy makers together to forge new connections and find common ground.

Beginning Through Listening

In 2002, we asked a simple question: How could we have the greatest impact on low-income families and children in the U.S.? A four-month-long nationwide information gathering process began. At Listening Circle gatherings in six cities, a unique mixture of families, community leaders, state and city officials and activists shared their insights. Forty “Thinking Papers” were commissioned and their findings summarized.

The common vision that emerged from listening to these voices helped lay the groundwork for the Foundation’s grantmaking strategy.

Sustaining the Movement

Regional and National Convenings enable grantees to build stronger networks, share knowledge and best practices, and improve their capacity to contribute to the movement.

Listening to Native Voices

In 2003 and 2011, we convened Native American elders, activists, select funders and scholars to develop a comprehensive strategy to strengthen and support indigenous families and communities