For Funders

The Promise Neighborhoods Institute at PolicyLink (PNI) thanks our funders for their support in helping to build a national backbone organization that is:

  • Accelerating local leaders’ ability to make progress on the 10 results and 15 measures of progress associated with the Promise Neighborhoods movement;
  • Building evidence on what it takes to build cradle-to-career continua of solutions as well as evaluating the impact of the Promise Neighborhoods movement; and
  • Scaling and sustaining cradle-to-career continua of solutions all across America.


Philanthropy is playing a leadership role within the Promise Neighborhoods movement. Their philanthropic capital, knowledge, and expertise is enabling local and national leaders to demonstrate that we can build a pathway into the middle class for all children and youth in America; and that the pathway can include growing up in communities of opportunity with access to great schools and strong systems of family and community supports that prepare children to attain an excellent education and successfully transition to college and/or a career.


Learning to support children living in areas of concentrated poverty at every developmental stage of their lives is the challenge of our time. Philanthropic leaders are committed to solving this challenge by partnering with the national backbone organization, the Promise Neighborhoods Institute at PolicyLink, and the local backbone organizations and their networks of partners to:

Design and implement a comprehensive and integrated cradle-to-career continuum of solutions that:

  1. Serves an entire neighborhood comprehensively, and achieve population-level results.
  2. Creates and sustain a comprehensive and integrated continuum of solutions from cradle to career, and wrap the continuum of solutions in supports for families.
  3. Builds community among residents, institutions and stakeholders who help to create the environment necessary for a child’s healthy development.
  4. Evaluates results and create a data feedback loop to help leaders improve and scale-up their continuum of solutions.
  5. Cultivates a culture of accountability and success rooted in passion, accountability, leadership and teamwork.

As a result of this unprecedented commitment by local and national leaders, the Promise Neighborhoods movement is implementing solutions that are getting closer to being commensurate with the scale of the problems that block children from entering the middle class.

Why Philanthropic Involvement Is Important

Philanthropic resources are needed to grow the impact of the Promise Neighborhoods movement. It is less about growing the size of a program or organization than it is about leveraging resources and relationships to achieve better results at a population level. Involvement in Promise Neighborhoods allows philanthropy to:

  • Access a data informed and results driven network of local and national leaders that are flexible enough to integrate such content areas as asset building/family financial security, boys and young men of color, early learning, education reform, expanded learning, leadership development, public policy, scaling solutions, systems reform, two-generation approaches, workforce development, etc. into their cradle-to-career continuum  of solutions.
  • Leverage their investments with the braiding of local, state and federal funds that are resulting in the cradle-to-career continua of solutions being sustained.
  • Plug into a movement that is growing impact in four areas:
    • Programs: Increasing the reach of a program that research has shown to be effective.
    • Ideas or Innovation: Spreading a new way of thinking or a new solution to a problem to different contexts or places.
    • Technology or Skill: Increasing the number of people who have a skill or the number of organizations that use a technology, practice, or approach.
    • Policy: Ensuring that ideas expressed as policy are transformed into behavior throughout a place or jurisdiction.
  • Maximize their impact through a program that involves multiple interventions in one place;
  • Seize a unique opportunity to get in at the early stages of an exciting, large-scale social experiment;
  • Gain greater experience working comprehensively and in partnership with low-income neighborhood groups, a model that will help guide future efforts in other challenged neighborhoods beyond the original Promise Neighborhoods target area.


To explore partnership opportunities, please contact Michael McAfee, President,