The Orton Family Foundation, over the last few years, has masterfully coalesced several national organizations all working on key pieces of what a shift in civic infrastructure needs to look like for stronger community-based planning. After some great convenings hosted by the Orton Foundation and The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, we are proud to help launch CommunityMatters®. This national innovation-action network is a partnership of eight organizations with the common goal of  imagining, driving, and creating community change. These seven leaders will collaborate on projects and advocate for a new paradigm that takes a systemic approach to community building and planning.

The newly-formed CommunityMatters partnership aims to equip cities, towns and all community members to strengthen their places and inspire change. This group champions the notion that people have the power to solve their community’s problems and shape its future. The alliance facilitates connections, provides education and infuses inspiration at the local level.

The organizations and disciplines currently included in this partnership are:

Each organization has significantly advanced the field of community building through its own research, methods and projects. The strength of the alliance lies in the collective potential for broad social impact through the connection of typically isolated organizational endeavors. CommunityMatters relies on its partners to continue the work for which they are renowned, sharing their experiences and building a learning community of practice. The partners believe that this agile, collaborative approach will help shift the field and create culturally and economically vibrant places to live and work.  We think Grassroots Grantmakers’ involvement will provide our network with valuable opportunities to connect with, learn from and contribute to a broader audience of community builders and funders.

Originally rooted in a 2007 national conference by the same name, CommunityMatters is an initiative inspired by the Orton Family Foundation. CommunityMatters sponsors regional convenings, a national conference, conference calls and webinars, and other networking and learning opportunities.

Bill Roper, President & CEO of the Orton Family Foundations says that “We’re thrilled to see the CommunityMatters partnership come to fruition.  With our founding partners, we’ve built an alliance that actively collaborates to address the complexities of 21st-century society. We know that our collective impact will far exceed what any one of us can accomplish individually. Each partner brings distinct perspectives, talents and networks; we couldn’t be more excited to join in a common cause with these esteemed organizations.”

Here’s how Grassroots Grantmakers network members can get involved:

Join a Free Conference Call on Civic Infrastructure with the CM Partners
On Thursday, June 28 at 4PM EST, CommunityMatters will host a free conference call to discuss what constitutes strong civic infrastructure and the importance of building it in our communities.

PPS’s productive collaboration with the Orton Family Foundation has been growing over many years. We recently combined our messages, tools and approaches for a couple workshops in Maine.