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Engaging Local Businesses and Funders in Collaborative Efforts

“How do we effectively engage local funders and businesses in our college attainment collaborative?”

“What are the roles businesses and local funders can play in this work?”

 “Who can help us sustain our effort after the original grant ends?”

We’ve heard these questions many times in the last few years as we’ve worked with different place-based collaborative efforts working to increase degree attainment in their communities. These are efforts bringing together nonprofits, higher education institutions, school districts, city governments, businesses, and local funders to increase the number of people in their community with quality post-secondary degrees and credentials. Many of the collaborative leaders we talked to knew that local funders and businesses could play a critical role in their degree attainment work, but still struggled to fully harness their interest and motivation.

In order to support these leaders and their initiatives, Lumina partnered with FSG to better understand how to effectively engage local funders and businesses in degree attainment collaborative work. Through our research, including many conversations with local funder and business leaders, practitioners, and education experts, we explored how different collaborative efforts around the country have successfully engaged these groups. We’re excited to share the results of this research in 2 new briefs with accompanying tools:

Degree attainment collaborative efforts can use these resources to develop a strategy for engagement with businesses and local funders by:

  • Better understanding their local funder and business landscape
  • Determining the roles local funders and businesses in their area can play to support their work
  • Considering a set of suggestions or success factors for local funder and business engagement

We hope these resources are the beginning of a greater conversation around the role local funders and businesses can play in degree attainment collaborative work. 

Efrain Gutierrez

Associate Director

Kyle Muther

Senior Consultant