A flexible, responsive partner to those funding systems change.

Talent Hubs and the National Talent Network were created by national philanthropy as a vehicle to realize a bold vision for a more educated, talented, and prosperous America.  Now part of CivicLab, our team continues to help private and public funders from philanthropy, the private sector, and government achieve their goals.  Whether serving as a lean national intermediary that allows funding partners to support multiple place-based initiatives, or assisting in the design of systems change efforts in community, region, state or across the country, Talent Hubs lends its diverse expertise and agile systems building to funding partners across the country.


Making Impact at Scale

With nearly 100 cross-sector partnerships in the Talent Hub and National Talent Networks, we assist funders who want to make an impact at scale.   Both networks were designed by national philanthropic organizations, allowing them to make multiple, place-based investments aligned to their strategies.  Our blend of capacity-building, just-in-time technical assistance, perpetual networked learning, and service-first orientation assists cross-sector partnerships in leveraging their unique assets to achieve bold goals set through privately and publicly funded initiatives.


A Principled Approach

CivicLab is guided by a set of principles designed to authentically serve our partners – whether they are a funding partner, technical assistance partner, or cross-sector partnership.

  • Lean Operation: We are all about partnerships, and we practice what we teach!  Through dozens of strategic partnerships, CivicLab is able to remain a lean operation, allowing us to maximize funding provided to partnerships and practitioners.
  • Do with, not to or for: We are capacity builders, helping partnerships achieve their ambitious goals today and in the future.  Our capacity building approach is present in all of our funded initiatives, and promotes sustainability long after philanthropic dollars are depleted.
  • Putting Changemakers First:  Our just-in-time technical assistance approach places practitioners and leaders first – allowing them to determine what technical assistance they need, when exactly they need it, and the context in which is should be provided.  Through our Andon Approach, we fundamentally change the technical assistance marketplace by placing changemakers in the decision-making seat, making strategic connections between partnerships and technical assistance providers, and braiding funds across sources to effectively use philanthropic or government funding.


Designing and Executing Systems Change Initiatives

Philanthropic, corporate, and government organizations partner with us to design and operate systems change initiatives to address complex social challenges.  Ranging from improving postsecondary outcomes for learners of all ages, improving comprehensive equity to ensure all people live a prosperous life,  and redesigning community and regional health/mental health systems, funding partners rely on CivicLab to create and execute funded initiatives aligned to their goals.


Capacity-Building & System-Building

Our team provides tailored Design Labs, coaching, technical assistance, communities of practice, and leadership academies to build capacity at the individual, organization, partnership, community, and state levels.


Capacity Extension

With pressing issues demanding immediate action, some partners require capacity extension to implement their work.  Rather than follow a traditional consultant approach – which rarely builds lasting capacity – we deploy our team and our partners in specific, contextual ways to temporarily extend the capacity of organizations and partnerships.  These extension services are intentionally designed to reduce over time while capacity is concurrently built, allowing progress to made immediately without sacrificing future sustainability.

How can we help?

We are ready to work with you, to help you achieve your goals, and connect you with our network and partners.


Learn More - Place-based Investments

Ascendium Education Group partnered with CivicLab to support five rural cross-sector partnerships to improve higher education and workforce outcomes for low-income adults.  Learn how this collaboration is helping Ascendium achieve their goals.

Learn More