New York City’s Change Capital Fund Incentivizes Cross-Sector Coordination

New York City’s Change Capital Fund Incentivizes Cross-Sector Coordination
Aurelia De La Rosa Aceves, David M. Greenberg
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Through its Economic Mobility Initiative, New York City’s Change Capital Fund (CCF) funds nonprofits engaged in cross-sector evidence-based strategies that weave together housing, education, and employment services to serve low-income residents in areas of persistent poverty. The initiative operates under the assumption that coordinated services provide better results for residents. By funding multiservice organizations and efforts to form partnerships across sectors, CCF intends to combat conventional funding methods that sponsor a specific program or service, creating “silos,” or isolated efforts. CCF has asked the initiative’s five grantees to develop a rationale for internal program coordination. A research brief by MDRC describes the grantees’ service coordination challenges and approaches to addressing them. The brief is the second in a five-part series. The first brief described the grantees’ programs and service areas.

Key findings:

  • To improve the sustainability of the organization’s shift toward coordinated services, the New Settlement Apartments initiative spent two years rebranding itself to coordinate the organization’s 12 programs that previously acted autonomously.
  • Coordination efforts are essential but can produce barriers. While attempting to break down silos, many workers must use their specialty to achieve an end outside their sector. This causes an identity crisis that needs to be overcome delicately.
  • Informal and formal coordination methods are equally important. Some CCF grantees create formal mediums for coordination, such as shared databases. Informal avenues of coordination include occasional correspondence. Both methods contribute to more comprehensive services for residents.