Connecting the Dots—Guide to Federal Funding for Place-Based and Cradle-to-Career Initiatives

Published apr. 24, 2018

Connecting the Dots

Access Tool

Tool was last updated in January 2018

For many community initiatives, the first quarter of the year is an ideal time for a mid-point pulse check. Whether the program operates on a schedule aligned to the school year or the federal fiscal year, it seems natural to pause and consider how well your initiative’s goals and outcomes align to your budget and spending. That’s why we’re so excited to launch a new online tool, Connecting the Dots: A Guide to Leveraging Federal Funding Streams, this month.

This tool helps communities understand the purpose and key characteristics of over 120 programs, across 7 different federal agencies, that can support place-based cradle-to-career initiatives. Depending on a community’s needs, it can provide a starting point for mapping currently leveraged resources, identifying additional funding streams, and providing details on whether and how to pursue those other opportunities.

The technical assistance team supporting the U.S. Department of Education’s Place-Based Initiatives (PBI) and Performance Partnership Pilots (P3) is also excited to introduce this new, searchable funding tool and user guide to its grantees to pinpoint key opportunities to better coordinate and invest federal funding administered by a variety of local and state agencies.

To access Connecting the Dots: A Guide to Leveraging Federal Funding Streams, visit On your first visit to the tool’s website, you’ll be prompted to create a login for the system. The login will enable you to run and save customized searches and download reports. Once you’re there, you can browse and then conduct a targeted search for key categories of information, such as:

  • Program eligibility
  • Alignment to PBI and P3 service approaches
  • Service type
  • Program goal
  • Recent grantees

The Connecting the Dots site also includes an overview of the tool’s creation, a helpful user guide to inform the most effective use of the tool, and tips on how a community might use the guide as it scales up and sustains community-based, cradle-to-career work.

Give the tool a test drive and let us know what you think. For questions or suggestions, or to sign up to receive news and updates about tool, please contact Lucretia Murphy, at or via phone: 617.728.4446.