Innovative Fund Launches in Dallas to Invest in Formal Collaborations

June 7, 2017

Dallas (June 7, 2017) – Today, The Dallas Foundation, Lyda Hill Foundation, The Meadows Foundation and United Way of Metropolitan Dallas announced the launch of the Better Together Fund, a pilot program to drive large-scale social change by supporting nonprofits that come together in a formal collaboration, for a common purpose, to maximize impact.

While a first-of-its-kind funding concept in North Texas, variations of formal collaboration funding have sprouted in other areas of the country in recent years. Setting North Texas apart from other U.S. cities, the Better Together Fund goes well beyond funding to provide end-to-end support. In addition to offering grant funding from $3,000 to $600,000 to cover staff time, consultants, and other costs associated with exploring, planning and/or implementing formal nonprofit collaboration, Better Together Fund also provides a repository of tools, resources, research and best practices as well as pro-bono or reduced-rate facilitators, consultants and professional service experts such as Bain & Company and La Piana Consulting who offered to assist partners in developing strategic partnership plans.

The Better Together Fund sees formal collaboration as a more permanent model that defines a relationship between one nonprofit and another nonprofit, corporation or governmental agency. Operating with both shared goals and resources, ‘formal’ relationships will: change the way participating organizations do business for the long-term; have board involvement and endorsement; and preserve, expand or improve efficiency or services to constituents.

The Better Together fund resulted from years of research with strategic consultants, local nonprofit CEOs and funders, and industry experts including BoardSource, La Piana, Nonprofit Finance Fund, Bridgespan, and the Lodestar Foundation. “With community needs on the rise and funding streams increasingly competitive, the time to bring organizations together to solve big problems is now,” said Anne Wallested, president and CEO of BoardSource. “We know communities benefit from formal collaborations because of the new ideas they generate and maximum impact achieved as a result.”

“Nonprofits are doing extraordinary work and the goal of this initiative is to strengthen those nonprofits so they can continue to serve our community consistently for years to come,” said Nicole Small, CEO of Lyda Hill Foundation. “The goal of the Better Together Fund is to provide the financial assistance, expert resources and time needed to explore potential strategic shifts in thinking that result in more positive change faster.”

Sponsorship and oversight of the Better Together Fund is provided by its founding steering committee: The Dallas Foundation, Lyda Hill Foundation, The Meadows Foundation and United Way of Metropolitan Dallas. The steering committee will consider applications on a rolling basis and for any topic area. Nonprofits can apply starting today on www.bettertogetherfund.org.

Grants are approved by the Steering Committee and awarded through the Dallas Foundation with the anticipation of awarding $2 to 3 million in the first few years of the project.

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About The Dallas Foundation
The Dallas Foundation, established as a community foundation in 1929, serves as a leader, catalyst and resource for philanthropy by providing donors with flexible means of making gifts and bequests, the income from which primarily supports the charitable causes of the city and county of Dallas. For more information, visit dallasfoundation.org.

About Lyda Hill Foundation
The Lyda Hill Foundation is a private foundation established by Lyda Hill, a Dallas entrepreneur, philanthropist, and one of the few women to make the 2013 Philanthropy list of most generous donors and Forbes’ 2014 list of top 15 entrepreneurs who give back to the community. Based on Hill’s vision, the foundation seeks to fund transformational initiatives in science and nature, empowering nonprofit organizations, and improving the North Texas and Colorado Springs communities. Hill’s business savvy, entrepreneurial rigor, and a commitment to balancing profit with passion translates to investing in game-changing social sector solutions as opposed to incremental change.

About The Meadows Foundation
Algur and Virginia Meadows established The Meadows Foundation in 1948 to benefit the people of Texas. The Foundation seeks to enrich the lives of Texans in the areas of arts and culture, civic and public affairs, education, health, and human services. The Foundation has also developed current grantmaking initiatives in support of public education, mental health, and the natural environment. The Foundation looks for programs and services that employ imaginative, innovative ways to solve community problems through projects leading to organizational self-sufficiency and in capital plans that enable agencies to flourish.

About United Way of Metropolitan Dallas
United Way of Metropolitan Dallas brings people together to improve lives and create lasting change here in North Texas by focusing on education, income, and health – the building blocks for strong families and thriving communities. We galvanize and connect all sectors of society – individuals, businesses, non-profits, and government – to create long-term change through investing in solutions that produce healthy, well-educated and financially stable individuals and families. We raise, invest and leverage more than $50 million annually in community-focused solutions serving Dallas, Collin, Rockwall and southern Denton counties. We do more than help one person beat the odds – we are changing the odds for entire communities. To learn more, please visit UnitedWayDallas.org.

Press contact:
Christine Rogers, (214) 364-7049