AREAS OF FOCUS
MMI is interested in learning more from educational institutions (early childhood education, K-8, middle schools, high schools) and organizations providing services to individuals experiencing homelessness (shelter and non-shelter services). The MIssion Grant application contains specific questions about each of the areas of focus. MMI's Tuition Assistance program is available under the Mission Grant program.
MMI and other members of the Vincentian family are focusing our efforts on promoting systemic change and providing assistance to organizations working on systemic change. There are many definitions for systemic change. MMI defines systemic change as … engaging people living in poverty in ways which enable them to emerge from their poverty; tackling root causes and looking at whole systems and sets of circumstances which result in poverty, disempowerment and extreme disadvantage.
The principle of systemic change, in the context of services for people living in poverty, looks beyond providing food, clothing and shelter. Its particular focus is on assisting those in need to change structures in which they live and on helping them develop strategies by which they can emerge from poverty.
System Change Resources
One way to tackle large scale systemic problems is Collective Impact. The Collective Impact approach is proving to be successful where isolated attempts are not working. Collective Impact utilizes the power of diverse perspectives and experiences to get a better handle on the system as a whole. With a broader view of the problem, new solutions often become apparent and/or multiple solutions can be coordinated towards solving the problem. MMI would like to assist organizations in this work by supporting and encouraging them to use the Collective Impact model.
Definition: Collective Impact is a clearly defined collaborative approach to complex community problems in which multiple, diverse, cross-sector stakeholders - including those most affected - work together to coordinate efforts and assets to achieve Systemic Change. This approach is most effective when communities set a common agenda for change, adopt a plan of action with mutually reinforcing activities for participants, agree to share data and measure results, build trust and motivation through open and continuous communication, and appoint a backbone organization to serve the entire initiative and coordinate participants.