Aligning Institution to Community

August 1, 2016

Colleges and universities are anchor institutions in their communities. To adopt an anchor mission entails adopting a strategy to leverage institutional assets. Ways to leverage economic assets and revenues to promote local private-sector development include:

  • Directing a greater percentage of purchasing power toward local and minority vendors based in the community.
  • Hiring a greater percentage of the workforce locally.
    Providing workforce training for people needing assistance in the community.
  • Incubating the development of new businesses, including social enterprise among nonprofits.
  • Leveraging real estate development to promote local retail, employer-assisted housing, and community land trusts.
  • Using pension and endowment funds to invest in local job creation strategies and to provide community venture capital for nonprofits, entrepreneurs, and employee-owned firms.
  • Partnering with community groups to ensure that development benefits existing residents, rather than displacing them.

Ways to leverage intellectual resources:

  • Serving as a convener, advisor or network builder
    Engaging in partnerships with local K-12 schools
  • Supporting community health partnerships
  • Providing research support to assist communities in identifying and addressing environmental health challenges
  • Mentoring local nonprofits and connecting nonprofits with student and researcher support
  • Helping residents build assets through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program and related efforts
  • Using student practicums and capstone course placements to add to local community capacity while helping students have more meaningful educational experiences

One of a wide range of Knowledge Hubs developed by Campus Compact, Aligning Institution to Community offers resources and models for fulfilling an anchor mission.