The Sustainability Guide is intended to provide National Fund leaders and partners with a framework for thinking about what they must do to sustain their work. To create this guide, the authors conducted interviews with site directors and partners of collaboratives that have operated four or more years. They also drew on lessons and resources derived from a W.K. Kellogg Foundation-funded sustainability initiative supporting 11 National Fund regional collaboratives operating in the southern United States. Using these experiences, the authors have developed a framework and gathered dozens of resources and examples to provide insight into the elements of sustainability. The Guide is designed as a tool to serve newly established as well as more mature collaboratives. How you use it depends on where your collaborative is in working toward sustainability. You can review the guide in its entirety or just focus on specific components as needed.
The sustainability of National Fund collaboratives is founded on high-quality work that delivers value by addressing real and pressing community needs, and is pursued with strong leadership and engaged partners who contribute collectively to sustainability efforts. Sustainability is not just about sustaining collaboratives as organizations; it is about continuing meaningful work and fostering lasting positive change among the institutions and systems that serve both workers and the businesses that employ them.