Network Development, Coordination, and Management

Appalachia Funders Network Steering Committee We believe that the challenges facing rural areas of our region are too big for any one organization, agency, or funder to tackle alone. We work to develop and coordinate networks of collaborative partners who, together, can expand and deepen the scope of their work across geographic, political, and organizational boundaries. Learn more about the philosophy behind working with networks for collective impact.

Facilitated Collaboration

The idea of working together is an easy one to get behind, but in reality, true collaboration can be challenging. We work to make collaboration easier for everyone involved by developing effective communication systems and management structures for emerging and existing networks. We facilitate the creation and refinement of shared vision and goals. We help to create and carry out shared measurement systems to track the collective impacts and outcomes that networks create.

Network Research and Learning

In a recent study funded by the Ford Foundation's Wealth Creation and Rural Livelihoods Initiative, we looked at six networks of non-profit organizations working in rural communities in the United States. Each network had a unique structure and purpose. Our research focused on exploring the ways in which networks can achieve outcomes that individual organizations could not achieve alone, how organizations benefit from building or participating in a network, and ways to build effective networks that benefit the organizations, communities, and individuals involved. Because the body of experience the report represents was so rich and diverse, we used some of our learning to develop a toolkit, a set of practitioner-focused self-assessment questionnaires designed to help those building or working in networks.

Download the full report here: Rural Networks for Wealth Creation

Download the toolkit here: Building Sustainable Networks: A Toolkit


Roles We Play
  • Backbone support
  • Coordinating network tasks
  • Facilitation
  • Strategy development
  • Building and managing network structure
  • Communications
  • Administration
  • Developing collective measurement systems
  • Data collection and reporting
  • Fundraising