The consortium ceased operation in June 2004. An evaluation of the technical assistance provided to EZ/EC sites by the consortium and others concluded that foundation support of the consortium enabled the EZ/EC sites to maximize results from federal support by filling critical gaps in networks for peer exchange and specialized tools and models.
In December 1994, 105 U.S. cities and rural areas received designations under the Empowerment Zone/Enterprise Community (EZ/EC) Initiative, a 10-year federal effort to revitalize areas of concentrated, persistent poverty.
To support successful implementation of the EZ/EC Initiative and to secure long-term benefits for the field of community-building, nine foundations (joined by a tenth in 1998) formed the EZ/EC Foundation Consortium in June 1997.
Facilitated peer exchange and learning through meetings of site directors and others.
Promoted skills development for site staff and provided individualized or tailored opportunities for mutual learning.
Expanded the knowledge base of EZ/EC site staff by compiling topical information from external sources for distribution to sites.
Informed the larger field of community-building by documenting the EZ/EC Initiative in two projects.