Get to Know the Mission Sustainability Initiative at Forefront

Get to Know the Mission Sustainability Initiative at Forefront

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The Mission Sustainability Initiative (MSI) at Forefront provides resources and support to nonprofits looking to strengthen their organization through strategic partnerships. Listen to this conversation between our Program Officer Tina Ramirez Moon and Molly Baltman Leonard, Assistant Director of the Communities Program at the McCormick Foundation, who co-chair the MSI Funders Committee. They discuss what MSI seeks to accomplish and how philanthropy can support organizations seeking ways to deepen collaboration with others.

Here is an excerpt of that conversation:

Q: How did you come to work with MSI?


We at Healthy Communities Foundation are a place-based health funder that’s uniquely positioned across several communities in Chicago and suburban Cook County. We have a really rich landscape of community-based organizations, social service agencies, and health providers that we partner with to advance health equity in our region. As we learned about the work of the MSI, it’s really been the vehicle for us to support strategic partnerships, in part because of some of our values around partnership and collaboration.

This is something that I think funders and nonprofit leaders alike talk about a lot. We value reducing silos between organizations to enhance service delivery between organizations or within communities. We understand that if we’re trying to address really nuanced issues in communities, then we have to understand them from multiple perspectives.

We know that there may be additional ways to explore and understand how to best meet the missions of organizations, but we also recognize that collaboration and partnership aren’t always easy. That it really can take time, and capacity, and resources. We recognize it can be tricky to even re-imagine how you operate. The MSI can provide some opportunities for learning and connection to understand what the options are.


Listen to the full conversation here.

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