TFA Strategic Articulation & Fund Development Strategy


Prepared for



1.0 Introduction


2.0 Key Process Highlights


3.0 Strategic Articulation Map


4.0 Fund Development Plan


5.0 Fund Development Partner Deck (Appendix A)


6.0 Landscape Analysis (Appendix B)


7.0 More Vision Snapshots (Appendix C)


8.0 TFA Implementation Plan (Appendix D)


9.0 Balanced Scorecard (Appendix E)





Since its start five years ago, the TransFormation Alliance (TFA) has made an impact in Atlanta through a commitment to collaboration and partnership. Our accomplishments include: • Securing the Strong, Prosperous, and Resilient Communities Challenge grant • Securing support from local funders namely The Kendeda Fund, MailChimp, NeighborWorks, and the Annie E. Casey Foundation • Creating a mini-grant program that has distributed $65,000 to local small businesses and nonprofits • Conducted citizen leadership academies, including our most recent youth summer camp • Developed an equity evaluation project tool • Executed a community-based murals program that resulted in public art at four MARTA stations • Created a shared multi-issue policy platform • Invested capital grants in innovative programs such as Station Soccer, Atlanta C.R.E.W., and the Atlanta Land Trust The Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) provides administrative and staff support to TFA and serves as our fiscal sponsor. The Executive Committee supports the Managing Director in leading the collaborative’s vision and strategic direction, making decisions around internal operations and external partnerships, creating and executing an annual workplan, and fundraising. Regular meetings with the full membership and a monthly newsletter help to keep TFA’s full membership and stakeholders informed about their work. Heading into 2020, TransFormation Alliance realized that they needed a clearer roadmap to support their continued health and sustained impact. TFA selected Hummingbird Firm through a competitive RFP to develop a comprehensive and customized strategic framework and fund development plan to help us increase and diversify funding, build capacity for operations, support the growth of our members as leaders, and partner more effectively with community members. Just as important as the final deliverable was the process by which this work was conducted, and Hummingbird Firm’s S.O.A.R. (Strengths/Opportunities/ Assets/Results) framework was the right fit for TransFormation Alliance’s collaborative approach. The

Hummingbird Firm team developed a series of engagements that balanced work with energy management practices, such as guided stretching and meditation, in keeping with TFA’s values around human centered design. In addition, Hummingbird Firm utilized locations and vendors from TFA’s focus geography in keeping with the goal to support businesses and venues along Atlanta’s Lee Street Corridor.

“We are really reflecting the core values that started TransFormation Alliance”

The strategic articulation map and fund development plan that follow will help TFA stay on course with goals, more clearly communicate objectives and impact, and give an accountability framework for showing progress to supporters and to TFA.




The TransFormation Alliance is a diverse collaboration of 34 members ranging from nonprofits, government agencies, business partners, and MARTA working together to amplify the impact of their existing resources. TFA’s members are dedicated to ensuring that the opportunities and benefits provided by transit investment are available to all residents – present and future. Amidst all of the moving parts of TransFormation Alliance’s work, they center two “north stars”: • Race and racism are the reasons for the disparities they seek to disrupt; and • Transit is central to the success of each member’s mission.

“TFA members are really good at collaborating in order to achieve our shared goals”

TFA members sign a Memorandum of Agreement which outlines their guiding principles for working together. These guiding principles are: • Leading with racial equity • Transparency • Respect

• Strengthening Atlanta’s civic infrastructure • Sharing of resources and resource development • Branding and messaging

To ground their process in TFA’s existing body of work, Hummingbird Firm conducted a comprehensive review of TFA’s governance documents and work program, including but not limited to: 1. Governance structure

2. Guiding principles 3. Policy documents 4. Memorandum of Agreements 5. List of existing members 6. 2017 and 2018 lists of accomplishments 7. 2018/2019 work plan.

A review of these documents revealed that TFA has several processes in place to support its success but should also consider some changes. The consensus process for decision-making, a clear commitment to shared guiding principles, and a policy platform are assets. Areas for improvement include adding more arts & culture members and stakeholders, adding residents to the Executive Committee and membership as a demonstration of power sharing, aligning the annual workplan to the strategic priorities laid out in the strategic articulation map, and creating an accountability process for confirming that work is being completed. TFA could also benefit from measuring it’s impact by using a balanced scorecard, see Appendix E for example scorecard.

“What makes us extremely unique is that we are a diverse group of organizations and individuals that can change the lives of young people”



In order to gather the requisite intel to inform the fund development plan, a landscape analysis of 9 similarly situated alliances, 5 key stakeholder interviews, and a literature review was conducted. Hummingbird Firm was challenged to encourage broad participation from TFA’s diverse membership. At the start of the strategic planning process, Hummingbird Firm asked TFA members to share what they were most proud of regarding TFA and what made the organization unique. Hummingbird Firm used these findings to highlight the strengths of the organization. The full video can be seen here: https://www.

“We are very proud of the fact that we’ve been able to build trust within the community and our target areas and neighborhoods”

Hummingbird Firm also designed and facilitated three in-person meetings with an average of 24 participants at each meeting. These meetings took place on: 1. May 30, 2019 - The purpose of the first meeting was to set the foundational stage for which the strategic plan would be built. TFA members participated in a range of exercises that resulted in a thorough needs assessment of the organization. 2. June 26, 2018 - The second meeting was squarely focused on gathering data to inform the strategic articulation map and gave old and new members an opportunity to revisit the work that they had accomplished thus far and re-imagine a transformational future. 3. September 18, 2019 - The final in-person meeting was conducted focus group style, members were divided into vision areas and brainstormed ideas for the think big, start small, grow together portions of the strategic articulation map.

We were proud to support many westside neighborhood black-owned businesses. See logos below:



3.0 STRATEGIC ARTICULATION MAP Hummingbird Firm led TFA members through a needs assessment by using the Strengths, Opportunities, Aspirations, and Results (SOAR) analysis approach. This appreciative inquiry technique helped TFA to focus on current strengths and opportunities, and served as the baseline to transition TFA’s issue wheel into “Vision Snapshots”.

“Our membership is growing and as someone who’s been active on the executive level, I would say that that’s a beautiful thing”

TFA’s members have a strong passion for the success of the city of Atlanta and the region as a whole. This passion has driven them to develop promising pilots and secure a large, multi-year

S Inquiry into Strengths O Imagine the Opportunities A Innovate to meet Aspirations R Inspire to achieve Results

grant. TFA’s clarity around race and racism has also been a strength, which has propelled membership growth. By using the diversity of TFA’s membership, leveraging collective resources, and building community trust TFA is building strategies to alleviate racism and bring about a “New Atlanta Way”. TFA is not afraid to embrace the complexity of systems change.

Opportunities TFA can leverage for its ongoing success and sustainability include: a multi-issue platform that aligns with recent initiatives at the regional and city level; new hires at the City of Atlanta for housing, transportation, sustainability, and parks & recreation; expanded membership to enrich problem solving approach; ongoing recognition that Atlanta’s success as a region depends on systemic change around race.

TFA aspires to create an Atlanta in which a person’s racial identity no longer predicts their success and opportunity in life. TFA aspires to support & create leaders who are grounded in personal awareness and transformation. TFA aspires to contribute to the creation of Beloved Community wherever they are in the world.

Results are tangible outcomes and measures that demonstrate that you have achieved your goals and aspirations. The outcomes listed here can be tracked as key performance indicators (KPIs) or on a scorecard (see appendix E) to help TFA monitor success. • Reduce community member displacement. • Improve health outcomes by addressing social determinants of health. • The use of data tools will inform policy changes. • TFA’s equity evaluator tool will be utilized by policymakers and financing partners. • TFA has residents on the executive committee. • TFA funding is doubled. • Art and culture strategies are fully incorporated into TFA’s programs.

The outputs from the needs assessment greatly informed the design of the strategic planning process and each strength, opportunity, aspiration, and result are reflected in the strategic articulation map and strategic priorities.





The TransFormation Alliance directs the COLLECTIVE POWER of OUR MEMBERS to advance EQUITABLE TRANSIT-ORIENTED DEVELOPMENT as a pathway to




for our beloved Metro Atlanta neighborhoods, especially legacy communities of color.

Prepared by



OUR VISION // Think Big, Start Small, Grow Together MANY ISSUES, A SINGLE VISION

RACIAL EQUITY VISION A person’s racial identity no longer predicts their success and opportunity in life.

HEALTH VISION Healthy living is the most accessible, a…ordable, and appealing option for everyone.

CLIMATE VISION Every resident has fair and equitable access to a healthy and sustainable quality of life that is resilient to our changing climate.

HOUSING VISION Everyone has access to healthy, safe and a…ordable housing options that link them to transit, education, jobs and health services.


ARTS AND PLACE VISION Artists, arts administrators and creative entrepreneurs are recognized in playing a pivotal role in community development and inclusive place making.

JOBS VISION Residents in low-income communities have access to sustainable jobs, training, and education programs, as well as inclusive opportunities for economic advancement.

MOBILITY VISION Communities are served by safe and reliable mobility options that link all residents, including persons with a disability, to the opportunities that benefit their social and economic prosperity, health and culture.

OUR DIFFERENTIATORS // What Makes TFA's New Atlanta Way Di erent

1. We are the connective tissue between funders, policy shapers and community based organizations and nonprofits

2. We are a trusted identifier of front line organizations, practicing trust based pass through philanthropy

3. We are committed to building and advancing the learning agendas of our members and partners

5. We develop and equip our members and partners with the tool to bolster their equitable practices

4 . We recognize the importance of an evaluative framework that measures the change and impact our partnerships yield in the community

6. Our diverse membership and trusted community partnerships are a powerful vehicle for achieving polices and practices that enact our vision for the city and region of Atlanta










Racial Equity Vision A person’s racial identity no longer predicts their success and opportunity in life. Vision Snapshot: Young neighbor giving a presentation on how former predictions of negative outcomes for youth are no longer valid.

Health Vision Healthy living is the most accessible, a„ordable, and appealing option for everyone.

Climate Vision Every resident has fair and equitable access to a healthy and sustainable quality of life that is resilient to our changing climate.

Vision Snapshot: Residents are happy and healthy with increased health literacy & awareness.

Vision Snapshot: Atlanta has 100% clean energy with community ownership.

Housing Vision Everyone has access to healthy, safe and a„ordable housing options that link them to transit, education, jobs and health services.

Arts and Place Vision TFA members learn about and experience art and place strategies for creating deeper connection to residents and to one another.

Vision Snapshot: Beautiful community centered arts festival that showcases our wide range of culture, performance and visual arts drawing people from all over the country.

Vision Snapshot: Families smiling in front of their homes, with easy access to MARTA and other transit options, proud of their communities.

Jobs Vision Residents in low-income communities have access to sustainable jobs, training, and education programs, as well as inclusive opportunities for economic

Mobility Vision Communities are served by safe and reliable mobility options that link all residents, including persons with a disability, to the opportunities that benefit their social and


economic prosperity, health and culture.

Vision Snapshot: All Atlanta residents have jobs with livable wages and the chance to increase their earnings through career development and advancement. Entrepreneurs of color are thriving in their chosen neighborhood and creating stable jobs for others.

Vision Snapshot Commuters are spending less time in tra‘c, and all Atlanta residents are safely using a variety of readily available mobility options, including walking, to access home, work, and recreation.


Racial Equity


Community voices are heard and their feedback is included in decision making



Community identified health equity metrics are tracked and improved



Local residents are trained and placed in green jobs



Community member displacement reduced Decrease in combined cost of housing

Arts & Place





Percentage of Jobs in Communities with a Livable Wage Greater access to jobs via public transit



Transit Ridership Higher rates of safety in walking and biking Decrease in combined cost of transportation




Racial Equity • Community advisors are engaged more closely in TFA • Add sta or consultant capacity to begin designing policy campaign for equitable development policies and practices



• TFA members improve their understanding of social determinants of health and health-in-all policies

• Increased community awareness of climate impacts and stormwater management


Arts and Place

• TFA members better

• TFA members learn about and experience art and place strategies for creating deeper connection to residents and to one another

understand a ordable housing issues through landscape analysis and presentations from front line organizations



• Showcasing key organizations that support a living wage • TFA members learn more about existing workforce development programs with capacity to serve

• Mobility and transit

decision making are more inclusive of community

• Develop relationship with new Atlanta Department of Transporation Commissioner, head of MARTA's TOD Program, and new leadership in mobility advocacy organizations, i.e. PEDS. • Making existing stations more desirable (clean, safe) and accessible

our partnering neighborhoods • TFA members map their job training and workforce development programs to identify gaps and possible leverage points




Racial Equity • TFA members are recognized more and more as thought leaders around racial equity in all contexts • More residents are engaged in civic conversations • TFA has created platforms to advance honest discussions about the roles of white supremacy and institutional/structural racism in areas including data, development, capital, policy and civic engagement.



• Organizations outside of TFA understand our integrated health vision • Meaningful community engagement into health equity metrics

• Build awareness of Atlanta CREW among TFA members and partners • Create climate profile of Atlanta, GA • Communities access

innovative and a‚ordable climate change solutions


Arts and Place

• TFA advocates and lobbies for city moving forward on housing a‚ordability act • Current City Inclusionary Zoning Policy is enforced city wide • Preserving a‚ordability via Assistance FUND (i.e., Eviction Prevention Fund)

• Develop and pilot training to equip artists and those working on cross-sector issues to learn from one another



• Develop a centralized digital resource that allows people to

• Mobility policies based in racial equity principles are being implemented and tested with a robust community feedback process. • TFA is supporting tactical, speedy infrastructure

view all of their job training options in the TFA ecosystem • Utilize Living wage calculator in each community (tool) • Illuminate Entrepreneurship Pathways (Highlight membership, supportive, connective, etc.)

improvements to demonstrate innovation in our partnering neighborhoods.



STRATEGIC PRIORITIES What’s most important to us


Leadership Development • Design and execute a "leadership development" program to support members' growth as leaders dedicated to racial equity and social justice • Grow operational capacity by adding 1.5 FTE sta• (including development/grant writing capacity) • Know and tap into the talent in the collaborative

STRENGTHEN A Healthy and Influential TransFormation Alliance

Proposed Launch: 2020 Q3

Strengthen Internal Functions • Analyze and adapt issue champion structure and governance to increase member connectivity • Grow operational capacity by adding at least 1.0 FTE sta• • Identify working structure that will help us accomplish high impact goals through our combined talents, connections, and expertise

Proposed Launch: ???

Strengthen TFA’s Brand for Collaboration and Change • Develop a comprehensive and strategic communications strategy that: • Supports and spreads TFA’s influence on policy making and in community development conversations • Elevates members’ work and organizational value • Positions TFA and its members as “go to” thought leaders around racial equity and equitable development practices • Supports and amplifies the voices of emerging and grassroots leadership and movements • Elevates collaborative strategies as the best practice for creating pathways to opportunity and access • Creates high impact moments to demonstrate TFA's value as a multi-issue collaborative to key partners such as The ATL, City governments, Invest Atlanta, and MARTA

Proposed Launch: 2020 Q2

Fund Development • Identify and cultivate funder champions

• Boost our capacity for grant writing by developing readily available shared language and information to respond more rapidly to grant opportunities and announcements • Map TFA members' relationships and areas of work to find overlaps and common ground that can be leveraged for support and funding

Proposed Launch: 2020 Q1

Keeping It Real • Execute plan for adding three resident members to the Executive Committee • Develop and implement a scorecard with TFA's Headline Indicators to help us track progress and maintain accountability

Proposed Launch: ???



STRATEGIC PRIORITIES What’s most important to us


Advance Systems Change for Equitable TOD • Develop and implement a campaign for equitable development policies, especially around transit, that: • Activates TFA’s multi issue policy platform and lessons from the past three years to propose bold anti-displacement initiatives and placekeeping campaigns • Uses data to illuminate current challenges and demonstrate potential impact of better policies and practices • Leverages TFA’s relationship reach to cultivate diverse champions • Uses art, culture, and place-based strategies to shape the campaign and explain the recommendations • Activates TransFormation Academy graduates to educate their peers and neighbors

ACTIVATE Our Influence

Proposed Launch: 2020 Q3

Build a better decision maker • Leverage TFA members’ diverse expertise and reach to design and pilot a state legislator certication program covering equitable transit oriented development concepts and best practices • Launch online Equity Evaluation Tool to support nancing partners, such as Invest Atlanta's TOD Fund and DCA's Low Income Housing Tax Credit program, to make more equitable decisions in allocating resources.

Proposed Launch: 2021

Invest in citizen leaders • Continue TransFormation Academies for youth and adults – with deeper use of arts and place approaches – to advance a greater understanding of equitable transit oriented development, power building, and the interactions of race, climate, and health in our built environment • Activate TFA members' work with youth to develop intentional processes for engaging children and youth in equitable TOD practices and community development planning

Proposed Launch: 2020 Q2



STRATEGIC PRIORITIES What’s most important to us


Advance current programs that demonstrate intersections of race, climate, and health: • Continue Atlanta CREW, and solidify job placements • support completion of 1091 Tucker Avenue as a demonstration of community informed design for permanent aordability • Support Station Soccer in West End & East Point

LEVERAGE Our Collaborative Power

Support redevelopment of Outdoor Activity Center and Rev James Orange Park • Focus SPARCC and TFA resources on next steps for creating state of the art facilities in our partnering neighborhoods.

Proposed Launch: 2020 Q1

Create and advocate for more resources • Double TFA mini-grant program • Support Black urban farmers in our partnering geography • Utilize vendors and venues in our partnering neighborhoods for TFA events and meetings • Explore and support financing and capital strategies that promote community ownership of land, homes, and businesses • Groundtruth and evolve TFA's equity evaluation tools and strategies with community residents to underscore racial equity context of data use and to create tools that solve problems and answers questions for community

DEEPEN Our Solidarity with Community Partners

Proposed Launch: 2020 Q2

• Double our Community Grants program to $100,000

Proposed Launch: 2020




Introduction In the last decade, there has been an increase in philanthropic support of race equity focused organizations and community economic development. The TransFormation Alliance is well positioned to successfully compete for this growing pool of funds utilizing a comprehensive approach to fund development. The methodology used to develop the proposed fund development strategy included: a landscape analysis of similar alliances, key stakeholder interviews, a literature review and strategic planning sessions with TransFormation Alliance members. From our research emerged five central themes to be integrated into TransFormation Alliance’s fund development strategy:

“The communities in West End and Oakland City and in the Atlanta University Center are definitely benefiting from the work we’ve done together”

1. “Grooming a Champion” refers to the TransFormation Alliance’s capacity to find someone in Metro Atlanta with enough wealth, power and prestige who could leverage their voice and social capital to be a patron of TFA’s mission and galvanize wide-spread support. 2. “Sense-making” entails helping stakeholders understand the concept of equitable transit-oriented development (eTOD) and the intersection between place based and people based interventions to help make the case for advocating and supporting TransFormation Alliance’s efforts. 3. “Relationship Mapping” refers to TransFormation Alliance mastering their capacity to cultivate and nurture relationships that result in strong strategic partnerships with funders, advocates and influential stakeholders. 4. “A Bridge to Equity” examines the ways in which the alliance serves as a bridge between small grassroots and grass tops organizations to the larger philanthropic community. 5. “Strong Policy and Advocacy Agenda” evaluates the importance of a research informed policy and advocacy agenda to better position TransFormation Alliance as a thought leader and influencer of policy and practice in the field of ETOD. These five themes categorize the proposed strategic approach to fund development.

TransFormation Alliance

verb /tran(t)s’fôrm/


To make a thorough or dramatic change in appearance.

Transform refers to making a thorough or dramatic change in appearance. TransFormation Alliance has a unique opportunity to leverage the collective power of its member organizations to transform Atlanta into a city that fully supports equitable transit-oriented development as a pathway to economic prosperity, opportunity, and a high quality of life for ALL of Atlanta’s residents. The TransFormation Alliance should leverage Atlanta’s unique history, illustrated below, to make the case for why Atlanta is primed to achieve eTOD and unapologetically brand itself as a champion of racial equity.



The Birth of Two Black Atlantas

White Flight

The Land of Black Public Housing

Urban Displacement

In the 1960’s, the construction of Interstate Highway 20 , coupled with the outlawing of discriminatory housing convenants, spurred white flight to the suburbs (Kruse 2013). Suburbanization resulted in severe public and private disinvestment in Black Southwest Atlanta neighborhoods as commercial infrastructure, businesses, franchises and jobs also migrated to the suburbs.

Atlanta was founded at the end of Georgia’s state-sponsored Western and Atlantic Railroad in 1835. Although a thriving Black middle class community emerged in the 1860s, Black neighborhoods were still in substandard conditions when compared to their white counterparts positioned closer to the rail hubs

In 1980, the completion of Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) allowed suburbanites to easily commute to the city for corporate jobs and encouraged the Black elite to leave the deteriorating city. Atlanta lost 21% of its population between 1970 and 1990

In 2019, historic Black neighborhoods along the recently completed Eastside Beltline Trail have seen an influx of middle-upper class populations, luxury infrastructure, and non-Black culture that have displaced original low-income residents and reduced the amount of affordable housing and Black cultural centers (HJL 2017).

(U.S. Census Bureau 2012). By the 1990s,

Atlanta had the highest proportion of residents in public housing in the U.S.

Only three out of the nine alliances researched in the landscape analysis mention racial equity as part of their organizational mission: TransForm based in the Bay Area, Elevated Chicago, and Puget Sound Sage located in Seattle. Transform is funded by more than seven prominent foundations (i.e. Ford, The California Endowment,Lisa and Douglas Goldman Fund, Kaiser Permanente,William and Flora Hewlett Foundation). TFA is also funded by SPARCC, and have challenges getting community foundation support. While each of these alliances referenced racial equity, this focus area is not placed at the center of their agendas. Furthermore, these cities do not have a concentrated population of Black neighborhoods as large as Atlanta. Despite its potential to champion racial equity, the TransFormation Alliance’s measures of impact and branding awareness are weaker than the aforementioned three alliances. In terms of funding trends, the three aforementioned alliances are still prime examples of partnerships that address racial equity and receive substantial funding from either major local, regional and national foundations. TransForm receives substantial funding partially because they operationalize their goals into common measures that can be reported to key investors and stakeholders. Some of these measures include the reduction in transportation pollution, a decrease in the combined cost of housing and transportation, higher rates of safety in walking and biking, and greater access to jobs via public transit. Recommendation: TransFormation Alliance should develop a set of metrics that are easy to understand, communicate and track. The metrics should demonstrate to key stakeholders and funders the impact of TransFormation Alliance’s work. “Thank you, TransFormation Alliance. I look forward to the next five years”



Both Transform and Elevated Chicago had the highest brand awareness because their branding strategy went beyond the fundamental website, social media pages, newsletters, and a creative logo. The chart below illustrates the extensive branding strategies for each partnership.


Elevated Chicago

• 80 page work plan for next steps forward until 2020 • Community Engagement Principles and Recommendations report • Summary of their 2019 eTOD “All Aboard” symposium that was attended by 200 people • Blog of Elevated Chicago and eTOD news • Blog of media coverage • Elevated Chicago Stories from people being empowered by their work • Videos about Elevated Chicago mission and from their events

• 2020 Priorities Report • A list of reports that they have produced or collaborated with since 1998 • A blog called TransForum that covers the alliance, victories, challenges, and new bills • News coverage of TransForm efforts • E-news videos • Recommendations on state, regional, and local policy • A list of press releases • The reports of TransForm Transportation Equity Summits from 2012 to 2019

Recommendation: The TransFormation Alliance should develop a branding and communications plan to market their community impact to ETOD funders. TFA should center racial equity at the core of their new branding strategy and replicate some of the communication tools utilized by alliances like Elevated Chicago and Transform to increase awareness of the importance of the work and galvanize support from funders, stakeholders, and individual donors.

Capacity Considerations: Engage a communications consultant to support the development and implementation of a branding and communications campaign.

TransFormation Alliance

noun /fòrm/


To influence or shape by training or discipline.

“We’ve been able to sustain such a large cohort of really amazing leaders in the community on the southwest side”

An integral part of what TransFormation Alliance does is shape policy and practice impacting the eTOD space by informing and influencing stakeholders. Part of the strategic approach to fund development and stakeholder engagement focuses on 1) Grooming a Champion, 2) Sense Making and 3) Building a strong policy and advocacy agenda.



“Grooming a Champion” 1. “Grooming a Champion” refers to the TransFormation Alliance’s capacity to find someone in Metro Atlanta with enough wealth, power and prestige who could leverage their voice and social capital to be a patron of TFA’s mission and galvanize wide-spread support. We received critical feedback from our interview respondents on how the TransFormation Alliance can amplify their voice through building strategic relationships with high net worth individuals. An example of this strategic approach in action would be the major collaborative efforts and significant investments poured into early childcare and education. Early childcare and education have received tons of philanthropic support and resources partially because the cause had

“We’ve got that age diversity, race diversity, organizational diversity, and we’re all working together in a very cohesive and sober manner”

a champion in Stephanie Blank. Stephanie Blank was groomed to be an educated and well-versed champion of the issues impacting early childcare and education and became a powerful voice and, in some ways, a conduit between organizations on the frontline doing important work and hard to reach wealthy donors and philanthropic networks with the capacity to invest. Recommendation: All proposed approaches should be done in phases and consider TFA’s priorities and constraints. However, we’d recommend developing a tactical plan for this strategic approach as early as feasibly possible. Identifying and grooming a champion takes a considerable amount of time. Initial steps may include developing a set of criteria to evaluate one’s overall fit and capacity followed by curating a list of potential candidates. Once the list has been narrowed down and your top candidates are identified, TFA still needs to assess interest, cultivate the relationship, and develop them to be outspoken ambassadors willing to leverage their sphere of influence in support of TFA. “Sense Making” 2. “Sense-making” entails helping stakeholders understand the strong connection between place based and people based interventions to encourage new interests in funding the TransFormation Alliance. As eTOD initiatives increase, there is a rising funding pattern in which funders are more inclined to support partnerships that target affordable housing, access to quality jobs, eTOD, climate change, and health disparities. In the landscape analysis, each of the nine alliances concentrated on at least four out of five of these focus areas. What differentiates the stronger alliances from weaker alliances, which had less funding, are the type of strategies used to target the five common focus areas. There is a strong correlation between an organization’s capacity to actively sense-make with potential funders and key stakeholders and its fundraising success. We can compare and learn from the stronger alliances who showed high efficiency in connecting people and place based issues. In terms of tactics for sense-making, stronger alliances developed comprehensive branding processes that unified focus areas into one narrative and leveraged reports to demonstrate interrelatedness of focus areas. Other methods included launching a series of initiatives that address each of their focus areas together in a holistic approach, and explaining to key stakeholders how their policy advocacy for each focus area is interconnected. Recommendation: TransFormation Alliance should develop a set of funding pitches that showcase its critical initiatives and use our art and culture commitment to help develop these narratives and connections. For example, new soccer fields in the West End are helping promote health through exercise, enhance climate resilience through transit, promote social cohesion, and create local jobs. Making sense of how focus areas are interconnected helps funders move beyond viewing issue areas as silos. The holistic vision encourages funders to support agendas that are addressing the multiple dimensions of racial equity that impact one another. The primary resource expended to identifying and grooming a champion is time, but the payoff can be great and well worth the effort in the long run.



“Strong Policy and Advocacy Agenda”

3. “Strong Policy and Advocacy Agenda” evaluates how TFA can continue to advance its public policy and advocacy agenda to appeal to national foundations. Our research has shown that larger national foundations are most interested in alliances that are transforming public policies or engaging in advocacy strategies. Seven out of the nine alliances in the landscape analysis had a public policy focus. The alliances without a public/advocacy agenda had the lowest number of funding sources. In contrast, the four strong alliances had high levels of policy and advocacy work and more funding sources. The three strongest policy and advocacy approaches were as follows:


Elevate Chicago

Puget Sound Sage

Organizational Function:

Organizational Function:

Organizational Function:

Disrupting inequity through work with agencies and decision- makers to craft policy and regulations that focus on equity and climate, without stifling innovation.

Shape the Debate: Elected officials, opinion-leaders and the media view Puget Sound Sage as a go-to resource for economic and environmental policy expertise, innovative ideas and racial equity expertise when it comes to shaping sound policies and winning local campaigns. Grow the Movement: We advocate for policy that makes racial and social equity a top goal for decision makers at all levels

Implementing the community working group “Systems Change” , which is focused on policy and other interventions in decision-making processes

The TransFormation Alliance can advance their funding strategies through considering or strengthening three fundamental approaches to addressing public policy. First, learn from TransForm’s approach to branding awareness to reflect on their process of building a reputation around the policies they support or have won. Second, Elevate Chicago’s approach to system change should compel the TransFormation Alliance to rethink their bridge work to not just fund smaller organizations, but provide these smaller organizations and community members a powerful platform to devise policies and demand racial equity. Third, Puget Sound Sage urges the TransFormation Alliance to embrace their unapologetic framework and use that as an asset

“I am proud, perhaps the most proud of the fact that we have embraced community engagement as a critical component of our approach to the work”

to conduct research and thus, shape debate around policies seeking to disregard racial equity. It should be noted that TransForm and Elevate Chicago were the only two alliances receiving funding from both local and national funders. Recommendation: Strengthen existing policy platform, including policy platform, including the following activities: • Developing a state legislator curriculum to help policymakers learn about and productively discuss the difficult, adaptive challenges of our transportation system • Shaping and Informing the City’s TOD Ordinance = TOD Living Transit Fund (Invest Atlanta) • Equipping Finance Institutions with the Equity Evaluation Scorecard (Southface)

Capacity Consideration: Hire a policy consultant to conduct a landscape analysis of city, state and federal policies that would hinder or advance TransFormation Alliance’s work.



TransFormation Alliance

noun for·ma·tion | /fòr-’mā-shən/


An arrangement of a body or group of persons or things in some prescribed manner or for a particular purpose

Formation refers to the arrangement of different forms with a designated purpose. The TransFormation Alliance’s approach to open and values driven membership cultivates relationships between neighborhood members, nonprofits, community activists, developers, and funders. This arrangement fosters a collective effort towards advancing equitable transit-oriented development as a pathway to economic prosperity, opportunity, and a high quality of life for all of Atlanta’s residents.

“Relationship Mapping”

4. “Relationship Mapping” refers to TransFormation Alliance mastering their capacity to cultivate and nurture relationships that result in strong strategic partnerships with funders, advocates and influential stakeholders. The TransFormation Alliance’s membership model and collaborative way it works creates a powerful opportunity to tap into the value of its network to reach its stakeholder engagement and fund development goals. This requires embedding relationship mapping into TFA’s fund development approach. Relationship mapping is a process of laying out the connections between people. A relationship mapping process, performed against your most highly engaged members and stakeholders, can be a great way to find and prioritize prospects with whom your members and allies already have a connection.The focus should be on empowering your members to become more actively involved in influencing the organization’s success. This could be as simple as identifying individuals within their network who may be interested in sponsoring a TFA hosted event or serving on a panel or providing in-kind professional services like graphic design, research or writing, or even being present during prospect and donor meetings. No single member organization can have large-scale impact on its own. It requires numerous relationships and connections working together to deliver the kind of scalable impact desired for lasting change. A solid relationship mapping program can provide TFA with the tools to discover new relationships, advance existing ones, and maximize every opportunity. Recommendation: Utilize a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system to not only manage current donor relationships, but to build a repository of information on influential stakeholders: who they are, who they know, what you have in common with them and how you can leverage the relationship to advance TransFormation Alliance’s mission. With 30+ members, TransFormation Alliance can amass a powerful database and relationship map that can be useful for TransFormation Alliance and its members.



Capacity Considerations: Investing in a tool like Prospect Visual, or Relationship Science to support your relationship mapping program. These tools have access to millions of people and institutions, giving TFA a shortcut to the initial identification. Or you can build a map using a visualization tool like Visio, or even set it up in Excel. Implementing an effective relationship mapping program requires support from several stakeholders but developing a relationship mapping program that suits TFA’s needs could add significant value to its bottom line.

TransFormation Alliance

noun al·li·ance | /ə-’lī-ən(t)s/


The state of being allied: the action of allying to further the common interests of the group

Alliance refers to a union formed between organizations for mutual benefit. The TransFormation Alliance represents the formation of organizations, communities, governmental agencies and funders into one central partnership that collectively impact racial inequity in Atlanta. Currently the TransFormation Alliance uses the issue champion model which gives TFA a strong vehicle for developing an annual workplan, for anchoring its executive committee work, and for passing through dollars via grant agreements. However, the issue champion model doesn’t promote shared work outcomes, and doesn’t encourage members to share information with each other. Another model to consider would be the “Collective Impact” model. There are five components of collective impact: common agenda, share measurement system, mutually reinforcing activities, continuous communication and a backbone support organization.

“There’s such a broad coalition of organizations across all sectors of Atlanta coming together to ensure that we have a more equitable community”

Recommendations: TransFormation Alliance should consider using elements of the Collective Impact model to organize the alliance’s work and serve as the backbone support organization that is solely dedicated to coordinating and unifying the performances and outcomes of all alliance members.

“A Bridge to Equity”

5. “A Bridge to Equity” examines the ways in which the alliance serves as a collaborator and liaison between small grassroots and grass tops organizations, institutional partners and government. The Bridge to Equity can be reinforced with 1) deepening collaborative partnerships with community leaders and 2) convening stakeholders via hosting conferences about eTOD and how it intersects with TransFormation Alliance’s six issue areas.



Out of the nine alliances included in the landscape analysis, the four strong alliances are the only partnerships to value and practice deep collaboration and leadership development. For example, Elevated Chicago has community tables and working groups who meet on an ongoing basis to build upon existing plans of development that uplift the current community’s vision. Hope Community creates a pipeline of leadership development opportunities for community leaders and has created an annual report of their Hope Dialogues since 1997. TransForm demonstrates the power in pursuing long-term goals with community members, such as leading coalitions of community members to shape upcoming transportation funding ballot measures to prioritize transit, safe streets, and equity initiatives. Puget Sound Sage declared themselves the champion of long-term relationships through their community programs in each of their issue areas. These long-term partnerships distinguish these alliances from the weaker alliances that only abstractly discuss their endeavors to build and connect with community. Recommendation: The TransFormation Alliance’s Academy for both adults and youth have established a track record of success. To build upon this success, the Alliance should in addition to sharing information and resources with Academy participants, activate Academy graduates to influence and support TFA’s policy goals, sustain involvement by creating a pipeline of leadership development opportunities for promising and exceptional community leaders. These leadership development opportunities could be provided in partnership with local colleges and universities or can be developed as a TransFormation Alliance Fellowship program with Alliance members agreeing to accept Fellow placements at their organizations. This creates another opportunity for philanthropic investment in leadership development at the community level with TransFormation Alliance as the grant recipient. Capacity Consideration: No matter the duration of the fellowship experience a great deal of work will be required up-front to be successful and to ensure both the host member organization and the fellow have a positive and impactful experience. If soliciting funding for this idea, consider requesting Year 0 planning funds and a partnership with an organization like Hands on Atlanta to support development and implementation of a pilot year. TransForm has hosted Transportation Equity Summits since 2012 and the newer Elevated Chicago hosted their 2019 eTOD “All Aboard” symposium which was attended by 200+ people. Hosting summits/ conferences not only have the benefit of improving the Alliance’s brand but also create an additional revenue source from corporate sponsorships. Recommendation: TransFormation Alliance should work with its Executive Committee to plan and host its own “All Aboard” symposium or conference in Atlanta. The convening would support the Alliance’s sense making strategy inviting panelists/ speakers from member organizations to educate influencers about the mission and work of TransFormation Alliance and why it is critical to Atlanta’s future. Capacity Consideration: By engaging the executive committee, TransFormation Alliance can leverage the event planning experience and staff capacity of some of its member organizations to share the workload. All sponsorship dollars raised can be shared with the planning committee based on a previously agreed to revenue split. The coordination of the planning committee and logistics should be supported by an event planning consultant to ensure successful execution.



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