We’re using a range of philanthropic tools to help our efforts take root and grow.
Collaboration & Convening
We have ambitious plans, but we know we can’t do it alone. We’re engaging others in a spirit of collaboration by convening, connecting and catalyzing the people and projects that will help realize our vision.
In preparing our “Hudson Valley Food Hubs Initiative” report, for example, we convened an advisory group, interviewed more than 100 farm and other food businesses, and held listening sessions attended by more than 200 people. When we released it, we held several briefing sessions for nearly 100 people. And we continue to organize events to explore how to implement the recommendations from the report.
The Local Economies Project’s grant making is focused on a strategic set of initiatives that have been developed in collaboration with our partner organizations. For the next several years, we see ourselves fully engaged with these initiatives and, as such, will not be able to accept unsolicited proposals.
Impact investing is a new approach to direct investment whereby the notion of “return” is expanded to include people, planet and profits. Foundation endowments are sometimes invested in traditional markets that may be at odds with their overall mission. Impact investing redirects those dollars to companies and vehicles that actually further the change that is being sought through grant making.
The Local Economies Project is facilitating investments for a network of foundations that want to move more money from Wall Street to Main Street.
We couple this push for investment with grants that support economic development, workforce development, and technical assistance for growers and entrepreneurs.
The first investment we helped to facilitate was for Farm to Table Co-Packers in Kingston, NY, the only locally-focused food processor of its kind within a 250-mile radius of the Hudson Valley.