School of Public Policy Capstones

Collaborative Social Change Models: Lessons from Six Case Studies

Jennifer Berman, University of Massachusetts - Amherst


In 2003, the Garfield Foundation launched an ambitious new initiative called RE-AMP, which is now a thriving network of over 130 organizations from eight mid-Western states working to reduce regional greenhouse gas emissions 80% below 1990 levels by 2050. Encouraged by RE-AMP’s success, the Garfield Foundation recently decided to support the development of another highly strategic collaborative network. The new initiative will help align the work of foundations and advocates on a to be determined issue with the goal of creating impacts that are greater than what has been possible with traditional funding and non-profit practices. As the Garfield Foundation reflects on the successes and challenges of RE-AMP and considers other emerging initiatives to support, they recognize that there are important lessons to be learned from other collaborations focused on systemic change. This paper is a client based project that identifies key learnings from six other collaborative models that can help inform Garfield’s future work.