NationSwell Collaboratives

Place-Based Impact in Practice: An Immersive Experience


  • Design workshops
  • Landscape research + listening tour
  • Actionable strategic recommendations
  • Targeted social campaign
  • Signature dinner
  • Website to by launched Summer 2024

The need

The Place-Based Impact Collaborative launched early 2023 with the intention of surfacing key insights, best practices, and innovative strategies for responsible place-based investment and engagement. Year 1 of the Collaborative convened cross-sector practitioners, issue area experts, non-profit leaders, corporate philanthropists, and funders from Annie E. Casey Foundation (Casey), End Poverty in California (EPIC), George Kaiser Family Foundation (GKFF), KPMG, Nike, Tony Pipa of Brookings Institution. Together, the group set out to uncover critical gaps where practitioners can plug in and make lasting impact in the field of place-based investment. 

But what does place-based investment look like in practice? We have learned that it can take many forms and range in scale. Centering the needs and assets of each unique community is at the heart of this work.

In fall 2023, we had the unique opportunity to travel to GKFF’s hometown of Tulsa, Oklahoma and learn about their holistic, large-scale, and long-term investment.

The action

This NationSwell immersive experience — hosted by George Kaiser Family Foundation — was an interactive 1.5 day event taking place in Tulsa, OK focused on showing place-based impact in action. NationSwell community members, spanning sectors and areas of expertise, toured on-the-ground examples of place-based initiatives, took part in meaningful discussions between funders, grantees, scholars, and advocates, and explored innovative strategies to foster thriving and inclusive communities.

This immersive experience allowed attendees to explore the principles of place-based impact, and its importance to marginalized communities in a fast-growing city, through the lens of specific activation in Tulsa. Participants gained valuable insights for effective programmatic work and funding strategies tailored to unique community needs, engaged with local stakeholders, learned from successful collaborations, and explored innovative solutions — ultimately laying the foundation for collective action to amplify impact.

The impact

Engaged members

21 NationSwell community members gathered in Tulsa

A 1.5 day immersive

that sparked connections, important discussions, and actionable next steps around the impactful and thoughtful place-based investment.

Data-based actionable recommendations

drawn from a synthesis of research, convenings, and conversations to understand how funders can drive sustainable, equitable growth in communities.

From our partners

“The Place-Based Impact in Practice visit to Tulsa with NationSwell was an amazing personal and professional opportunity to reflect on the reasons organizations and business should take the time to enrich the communities they are part of. I learned a tremendous amount in just 36-hours on the ground in Tulsa. The entire experience changed my worldview as it relates to community action, philanthropy, and true impact in the community.”

Executive Director, NPower

“My experience in Tulsa was profound. In just two days, the planners and organizers of the conference efficiently accomplished three significant things. Firstly, I was provided with opportunities to connect with fellow conference attendees on a meaningful level, fostering genuine relationships. Secondly, I was immersed in a comprehensive exploration of the city—its culture, history, present, and future—viewed through the perspective of people dedicated to incorporating the voices and experiences of every community member, not just those deemed “successful.” Lastly, I was provided the chance to actively participate as a council member of NationSwell, integrating my lived experience and expertise into discussions that involved sharing and learning from others with vastly different backgrounds and lived experiences. I cannot emphasize enough how well-organized and thoughtfully curated this conference was.”

Principal, Susan Mason Consulting

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