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Engaging in and supporting whole family practice and policy

This toolkit provides a guide on investing in families and communities with a whole family focus. It was made possible through a partnership between Women’s Funding Network and Ascend at the Aspen Institute with funding from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

a message from the leadership team

Women’s foundations and funds recognize that for the next generation to thrive, their mothers must thrive. We offer this funder’s guide to encourage philanthropy across the country to invest in families and communities with a 2Gen, whole-family approach. Our goal is to increase the impact of philanthropic investing for families, resulting in increased well-being for parents, caregivers, and children, with an intersectional racial and gender equity lens.

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What is Whole Family?

Whole family, multi-generation approaches account for the wide range of influences that define and support prosperity for families in today’s complex world. This guide helps funders identify how their foundation can directly engage grantees, parents, and policy makers resulting in more responsive and relevant grantmaking.

What this toolkit offers

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Working Internally

Templates, resources, and checklists for foundations to assess foundation fit and amplify outcomes through Whole Family investing approaches.

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Working with Parents

Insights, tools, and strategies for foundations, organizations, programs, policymakers for engaging with parents in Whole Family strategies.

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Working with Policy

A range of resources that provide support for foundations in building both state and federal policy knowledge for Whole Family work.

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How to use this toolkit

This toolkit can support philanthropy internally and externally—internally, in developing strategic direction, alignment of resources, and grantmaking strategies—and externally, in supporting grantees to engage in practice and policy. And increasingly, to support philanthropy’s direct engagement in policy work, increasingly recognized as the path to scaling solutions for families.

About Women’s Funding Network

When philanthropy invests in women’s foundations and gender justice funders, we empower a deeply intersectional movement that fights for policies and standards across lines of race, class, and gender. Women’s Funding Network (WFN) is the largest philanthropic alliance in the world dedicated to advancing the essential role of these funders in the unwavering fight for gender equality and justice.

It is WFN’s mission to support and amplify the critical role of gender justice funders and women’s funds with tailored strategies and resources that advance the intersectional movement for equality and improved quality of life for all genders across the globe.

Headquartered in San Francisco, CA, the Women’s Funding Network is made up of an international coalition of staff, partners and more than 120 members.

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About Ascend

Ascend at the Aspen Institute is the national hub for breakthrough ideas and collaborations that move children and the adults in their lives to educational success, economic security, and health and well-being. We take a two-generation approach to our work, focusing on children and the adults in their lives together, and we bring a gender and racial equity lens to our analysis. In everything we do, we draw on the expertise and experience of families.

The Aspen Institute is a global nonprofit organization committed to realizing a free, just, and equitable society. Founded in 1949, the Institute drives change through dialogue, leadership, and action to help solve the most important challenges facing the United States and the world. Headquartered in Washington, DC, the Institute has a campus in Aspen, Colorado, and an international network of partners.

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This Toolkit Was Funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), founded in 1930 as an independent, private foundation by breakfast cereal innovator and entrepreneur Will Keith Kellogg, is among the largest philanthropic foundations in the United States. Guided by the belief that all children should have an equal opportunity to thrive, WKKF works with communities to create conditions for vulnerable children so they can realize their full potential in school, work and life.

The Kellogg Foundation is based in Battle Creek, Michigan, and works throughout the United States and internationally, as well as with sovereign tribes. Special attention is paid to priority places where there are high concentrations of poverty and where children face significant barriers to success. WKKF priority places in the U.S. are in Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico and New Orleans; and internationally, are in Mexico and Haiti.

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