Zone Grants Collaborative
The New Mexico Collaborative Zone Grant (“Zone Grant”) is co-designed as a multi-sector platform to test, prove, and propagate collaborative approaches to social challenges in New Mexico. As these challenges are beyond the scope of any single organization or foundation, this project is developing into success collaboratively, creating new community-based approaches to solving New Mexico’s greatest challenges.
The Zone Grant opportunity includes awarding of a one-year planning grant followed by the potential for two years of implementation funding. Zone Grants support alignment, collaboration, and integration in the New Mexico nonprofit sector by providing funding and technical support to groups of organizations seeking to truly test the effectiveness of their collaboration.
A “Zone” can be thought of as a distinct area of alignment among the collaborating organizations. It can be a geographic (e.g., the South Valley in Bernalillo County or rural southeast New Mexico), programmatic, and/or policy (e.g., early childhood education or family economic security) zone. Cohorts are determined through a “framing question” based RFP process.
The Zone Grant received 62 applicants during an open call RFP in fall of 2018. Since January 2019, funders have awarded one-year planning grants to over 14 collaboratives (comprised of more than 75 organizations), dedicated to one of five areas: affordable housing, agriculture, energy transition, direct service to policy change and family asset building. A total of 8 multiyear implementation grants were awarded in the fall of 2019. Participating funders have collectively committed over $1.5 million in grant dollars for zone grant opportunities.
The 8 current implementation grant lead organizations are:
- HomeWise/Santa Fe Housing Action Coalition
- Chainbreakers Collective
- New Mexico Immigrant Law Center/Color Theory
- Prosperity Works
- Agriculture Implementation, Research and Education (AIRE)
- Cruces Creatives
- Quivira Coalition
Benefits for participating funders:
- Flexible modes and levels of participation
- Leverage in scale and scope of funding for larger impact through co-investment
- Designed for co-learning across grantee groups and between funders and grantees
- Space to have “uncomfortable” conversations on competitive and power dynamics
- Help reduce programmatic funding and collaboration silos and facilitate intersectional, systemic solutions
- Enable blended/integrated capital over time (grants, technical assistance, impact investing, etc.)