Blended and Braided Funding

What is blended and braided funding? Blended and braided funding both involve combining two or more sources (or “streams”) of funding to support a program or activity. Braided funding pools multiple funding streams toward one purpose while separately tracking and reporting on each source of funding. Blended funding combines, or “comingles,” multiple funding streams for one purpose without continuing to differentiate or track individual sources.

How is blended and braided funding carried out? In some cases, an organization will plan to meet a specific goal or objective by raising funds from multiple sources, with each aware of the blended funding approach. Blended and braided funding strategies can also involve multiple organizations joining together to implement a common program or goal, bringing different funding sources to the table. Blended funding is sometimes instigated by funders collaborating to fund common goals (collaborative funding models).

Why use blended and braided funding? Limited federal workforce development and educational funding mean workforce service providers must do more with less. Also, public funding for workforce programs comes through multiple different agencies and programs with different requirements and purposes. Blending or braiding funding supports existing or new programs without having to raise the total funds needed from one source.

What are challenges of blended and braided fundingWhen using multiple funding sources for one program or objective, each source of funding usually comes with specific goals, target populations, and performance indicators. Effectively braiding funding streams requires organizations to track the requirements (such as use of funds or performance metrics) of multiple funding sources.