« View All Upcoming Grants

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation: Raising Places: Building Child-Center Communities

Deadline: March 31, 2017

Raising Places catalyzes local momentum for cross-sector collaboration, engaging diverse partners to build healthier communities where all children and their families can thrive. Grants will be awarded to communities from across the country to participate in a nine-month, lab-based process, designed and facilitated by Greater Good Studio. Social labs are an internationally recognized approach with a flexible structure that brings together diverse stakeholders to engage with complex challenges in new ways. Within a lab, participants focus on systems, seek to identify and address root causes rather than just symptoms, and embrace—with an emphasis on learning and iteration—going beyond “business as usual.” Through Raising Places, Greater Good Studio leverages the labs process to help communities explore the intersection of two important perspectives: what it takes to create better communities and what it takes to support better childhoods. Local leaders drawn from these perspectives will collaborate to develop actionable, practical solutions to pressing community challenges.

Applications are sought from communities enthusiastic about engaging in a new approach to cross-sector collaboration. Each community will define its geographic area of focus, identify a trusted convener to accept and manage the grant, and build a design team comprised of 10 to 12 local leaders. Through a series of two-day labs—as well as ongoing coaching from Greater Good Studio—teams will frame a focus area, conduct research, identify priorities, brainstorm ideas, and test through prototyping. Local teams will work in partnership with community members, practitioners and other stakeholders at each step, gathering diverse insights and experiences and co-creating ideas and prototypes. Through Raising Places, communities will both develop locally driven solutions and gain hands-on experience in a process that can support continued collaborations.

The specific outcomes of the work will vary in each community, based on the local interpretation of “healthy, child-centered community” and the challenges they want to prioritize. Local goals are:

  • Establish and strengthen working relationships between diverse leaders, focused on better communities and better childhoods
  • Meaningfully engage families, children, and other stakeholders in a co-creation process
  • Create novel, actionable solutions to challenges that impact children and their families
  • Initiate a bridge to implementation
  • Catalyze additional momentum on local priorities

National goals are:

  • Inspire additional national interest in the intersection of better childhoods and better communities
  • Amplify local stories and experiences to demonstrate the impact of cross-sector collaboration
  • Explore the impact of a lab-based process for local problem solving
  • Identify community characteristics that support the development of child-centered communities

Amount: Six conveners will each receive a grant of $60,000.

Eligibility: Applicants must consist of the following:


  • The community must have a recognized identity—either formally (e.g., neighborhood, ward, business district, census tract, reservation/pueblo, rural community) or informally (e.g., neighbor-recognized area, focus of an existing collaboration)
  • Be located in one of the 50 states or the District of Columbia


  • Be a registered 501(c)(3)
  • Be located in one of the 50 states or the District of Columbia

Design Team:

  • Include members with perspectives focused on both better childhoods and better communities (see the Call For Proposals for examples, link below)

Link: http://rwjf.ws/2mP7F8b

Note: An informational webinar will be held on March 20, 2017. See registration details at raisingplaces.org.

« View All Upcoming Grants