Local Philanthropic Organizations Collaborate to Form the Arizona Together for Impact Fund

Fourteen Arizona philanthropic organizations have joined  to form the Arizona Together for Impact Fund, a statewide initiative to improve the capacity, effectiveness and financial health of nonprofits. The fund has committed approximately $1.5 million over three years for grants to support permanent collaborations between nonprofit organizations.

National statistics indicate that most nonprofits have only three to four months of operating reserves, yet they are tackling some of the most difficult issues and most vulnerable populations in our communities. One often overlooked but powerful way nonprofits can build capacity and achieve sustainability is through permanent collaboration.

“The fund will provide safe space, technical resources and financial support for nonprofits to explore permanent collaboration as an option to increase impact in a rapidly changing environment,” said fund director Nora Hannah. Similar funds have been launched in cities such as Chicago, Dallas, New York City, Los Angeles and Philadelphia. Arizona’s fund is the country’s first statewide initiative.

“Nonprofit leaders and boards that want to consider how to further their mission through permanent collaborative partnerships often confront financial constraints and need outside expertise to fully explore these opportunities,” said Kristen Merrifield, CEO of the Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits. “Having a dedicated group of funders committed to helping nonprofits assess and implement such partnerships can remove obstacles and open doors for nonprofits across Arizona.”

“It is so extraordinary that more than a dozen funders have come together to support this important work,” said Suzanne Pfister, Vitalyst Health Foundation president and chief executive officer and chair of the fund. “It tells you how strongly funders feel about the health of nonprofits in Arizona, and how they want to help build capacity and sustainability in the sector.”

The fund, which expects to begin accepting applications in November 2019, will make three types of grants: early-stage Seed Awards, Exploratory Grants and Implementation Grants. These grants will support technical assistance and one-time third-party costs incurred by two or more nonprofits entering into a permanent collaboration.

Lois Savage, president of The Lodestar Foundation, a pioneering funder of permanent collaboration as a critically important capacity-building tool, stated, “The fund provides an exciting opportunity for Arizona nonprofits to obtain educational and financial support for permanent collaborations. In our years of experience, we have learned that through permanent collaboration, nonprofits can become more effective and stable, thereby increasing their impact and sustaining their missions.”

Sign up for Together for Impact Fund updates at http://arizonagrantmakersforum.org/impactfund

About Arizona Grantmakers Forum

Arizona Grantmakers Forum is the statewide network that connects, educates and advocates for Arizona philanthropy. Founded in 1986 and incorporated in 2001, AGF’s mission is to empower members to transform Arizona through leadership and meaningful philanthropy.

About Nora Hannah

Nora Hannah is a business executive, social entrepreneur and nonprofit strategist with a passion for citizen engagement. Her prior role in the nonprofit community was as Chief Executive Officer of Experience Matters, a groundbreaking initiative to engage the time, talent and experience of adults age 50+ to help meet the growing needs in the public and nonprofit sectors.