The Integration Initiative began in 2010 with the promise of transforming the lives of low-income people and the communities in which they live in cities across the country. The site partners in The Integration Initiative (TII)took a different approach to community development by building cross-sector tables and combining philanthropic grants with capital investments. The sites aimed to achieve their results not by delivering individual programs, but instead focused on changing the underlying systems that produced poor outcomes for the low-income people in their communities.
Recently, Living Cities released our evaluation report on TII’s first three years of work. The report is an extensive look at the successes achieved and challenges faced by each site. It outlines what it takes to alter the way government, nonprofit and business leaders work together to strengthen communities. It provides lessons learned for funders and practitioners on how to dramatically improve outcomes for low-income people in America’s cities.
The release of this evaluation report is an opportunity for those involved in the work to reflect on their biggest lessons learned.
Here, we share an interview with Benjamin Kennedy, Program Officer at the Kresge Foundation, who has been involved in Detroit’s TII cross-sector table from the beginning. Kennedy discusses the importance of integrating various cross-sector tables, blending grant and debt capital, as well as connecting to national thought networks.
Watch his video and read the full report on the first three years of TII.