Partner Profile: West Marin Fund

October 13, 2021

Leading the Way in Aligned Collaborative Funding

Marin Promise Partnership is grateful to the West Marin Fund for its ongoing engagement as a Partner, its financial support for the Partnership, and its leadership and commitment to the Partnership’s collective impact approach.

The West Marin Fund leads by example in demonstrating the true potential of what can be accomplished when there’s a funder at the table as a collaborative partner. The Fund has not only supported the collective impact backbone of the Partnership’s Initiatives but is also involved in supporting the collaborative action of Partners.

The West Marin Fund has been instrumental in launching and supporting a Success Network at Tomales High School as part of the Partnership’s Future Ready Initiative, a Kindergarten Readiness effort as part of the Partnership’s Early Childhood Initiative, as well as the ongoing work of the West Marin Community Collaborative.

Because of the deep, trusting relationships developed through ongoing engagement as a Collaborative Action team member in the above mentioned Initiatives, the West Marin Fund was able to act quickly and strategically in responding to COVID19 education impacts by helping to launch the collaborative Summer Together expanded learning support effort.

They were also at the table, when the integration of preschool into the Shoreline Unified School District needed support. Nearly all collaborative efforts like this are financially underwritten through complex, multi-sector funding streams. Any one of the funding elements, as a stand alone source, may seem on its own risky or uncertain. The West Marin Fund, however, was able to look at the cross-sector project and its “braided funding” as a whole. The Fund demonstrated its confidence in the collaborative plan by creating an “escrow fund” to underwrite the risk of any potential financial shortfall. If one of the funding sources fell short, the project could draw from the West Marin Fund allocation. If all went as planned, the allocated “escrow fund” wouldn’t be used. In taking this innovative approach, the Fund demonstrated how collaborative grant makers can leverage their financial assets to mitigate risk concerns of other stakeholders and policy makers. In this case, the Fund was able to alleviate the concerns of the Shoreline Unified School Board which then approved the proposal. (Click HERE to view the Board Agenda item and letters of support from Supervisor Dennis Rodoni, UC Davis Professor David Kirp, and others) 

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