Collaborative Problem-Solving

The Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation believes that meaningful change is generated at the local level, where community members use their experiences and connections to people and places to improve the world around them.

During the Foundation’s statewide listening and learning tour, we saw that changes are often driven by the unique assets, challenges and opportunities within communities and that people who live in those communities yearn to connect to one another to work across lines of difference.

The Foundation believes that the more an initiative or process engages many different views, voices and experiences in tackling a community challenge, the more resonant and innovative the solution. Therefore, this Collaborative Problem-Solving approach is intended to support a limited number of community proposals that use inclusive, collaborative and resourceful processes to authentically engage the community to tackle challenges and create solutions. In particular, we seek to fund efforts that work across sectors and/or jurisdictions, are built on existing assets, use a racial equity lens, and/or bring people together across identity/ideology. We intend to dedicate a significant portion of our grant support, in this approach, to efforts that actively enhance racial and/or economic equity.

Download a printable summary of ZSR's Collaborative Problem-Solving approach.

To be considered for a Collaborative Problem-Solving grant, applicants must first submit a Proposal Summary (see below). Please note that submitting a Proposal Summary is the preliminary step in introducing a proposal to ZSR. Email with questions about Collaborative Problem-Solving.