The Convergence Partnership showcases a new philosophy and approach for philanthropic collaboration. It is demonstrating the value of equity-focused, cross-sector efforts that create leverage and synergy, and yield co-benefits. It is creating a new “field of fields,” where connections and collaborations across an array of fields are recognized as bringing strategic impacts with multiple benefits. Thus, the Convergence Partnership is focused on advancing healthy people and healthy places by supporting multifield, multisector policy and environmental changes that create the conditions that allow all to reach their full potential.
In the more than seven years since the launch of the Convergence Partnership, the answer to “why Convergence” is tangibly evident:
- Invested more than $22 million to support grantmaking and advocacy strategies that influence policy change, promote greater investments that advance equitable policies and practices, and build a network and philanthropic community of practice that spreads and amplifies the Convergence agenda at the local, state, and regional levels.
- Expanded access to healthy food through the 2014 Farm Bill by supporting inclusion and implementation of the Healthy Food Financing Initiative, Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentives program, and regional food systems innovation.
- Helped advance transit equity nationally and locally by supporting the Transportation Equity Caucus’ and Transportation for America’s federal and local efforts, and the integration of equity considerations into the implementation of California’s landmark bill on climate change.
- Established a national network of more than 80 philanthropic organizations representing more than 40 local and regional sites across the country, leveraging significant resources from philanthropic and public sources. In October 2014, the Partnership launched its first Convergence Leadership Institute with a two-day intensive training program attended by members of the Convergence Network. These efforts have changed philanthropic practice and built the leadership, capacity, and commitment of philanthropy to engage in multifield collaborations, to advance equity, and to support the adoption of local and state policies and environmental changes.
- Informed the structure and approach of CDC grant programs through Partnership and regional network advocacy efforts. As a result, Convergence language and priorities around community prevention were included in a new round of federal funding opportunities.
- Built relationships through the Convergence Partnership that have resulted in partners working together in different groupings, launching new organizations and joint efforts including The Partnership for a Healthier America, the National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research, and state-based partnerships to improve access to healthy food.