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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.

Blended funding is often accomplished when fundraising is carried out across multiple funders. Blended and braided funding strategies can also involve multiple organizations joining together to implement a common program or goal. Blended funding is sometimes instigated by funders collaborating to fund common goals.

Cuts in 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. Since each source of funding comes with specific goals, target populations, and performance indicators, effectively braiding funding streams requires organizations to track the requirements (e.g., use of funds, performance metrics) of multiple funding sources.