To advance our mission, we focus our efforts in three interconnected, mutually reinforcing areas:
Bonding: Developing our capacity to form and maintain healthy relationships with a focus on programs designed to establish positive, resilient bonds and emotional connection between babies and parents from birth.
Bridging: Reinforcing our ability to understand ourselves and each other, and positively relate across difference, with a focus on providing adolescents with experiences that enable them to develop lifelong skills of perspective-taking and bridge-building.
Building: Elevating our collective story by helping Americans build a culture of connection and belonging, find common ground, and take action together with practical tools that lift up our common humanity.
We proactively seek out a wide range of partners for collaboration to advance our strategies, so we do not accept unsolicited funding proposals. We have found that this saves the precious time and resources of grant seekers.
To advance our mission, we invest in organizations that are already doing the work of Bonding, Bridging, and Building in America. Therefore, we do not invest in individuals, international organizations, startup organizations, capital projects, humanitarian relief efforts, or organizations that are primarily local in nature. We also do not invest in organizations devoted to political advocacy or partisan politics.
We see collaboration as a way to harness collective wisdom and pursue common actions to generate better ideas and achieve more lasting outcomes together. We seek to enable collaboration by recognizing the importance of relationship-based philanthropy in all of our actions coupled with a deep commitment to learning and improvement. Our aspirations for collaboration are based on the approaches and lessons of Collective Impact, a framework of conditions that produce mutually beneficial results for collaborators, from agenda setting to backbone support to shared measurement in service of improvement.
Our approach to measurement is grounded in shared learning and continuous improvement. For our partner collaboratives, in lieu of reports, we ask partners to bring data and insights pertaining to common questions that enable all of us to do our work better. For our funder collaboratives, we develop specific measurement approaches in partnership with our peer funders that meet the learning goals of that collaborative, and benefit from the shared expertise, insights, and approaches our fellow foundations bring to those tables. For our discrete project investments, we ask for regular status reports (written or verbal) and seek to learn about the outcomes of the project based on how the individual partner chooses to measure them.