Community Navigation as a Field of Practice

The Denver Foundation

In February 2014, The Denver Foundation launched the Basic Human Needs Navigator Learning Community. Through this peer learning group, the Foundation would help a group of local leaders working with local organizations and community members practicing navigation independently improve their practice and identify similarities and differences in their approaches.

The Community Navigation as a Field of Practice: Reframing Service Delivery to Meet the Needs of Communities’ Marginalized Populations article published in The Foundation Review, a peer-reviewed journal of philanthropy, discusses the multiyear peer-learning project, including the general lessons the Foundation learned about both navigation and the use of a learning community approach to reach its field-building goals. The article is written by Spark Policy Institute Researcher, Joby Schaffer, M.A. alongside members of the Foundation’s Programs department, M. Julie Patiño, Barclay Jones, and LaDawn Sullivan.

To learn more about community navigation, the Navigator Learning Community, and the lessons learned during the five-year journey, read the full article available here.


  • Basic Human Needs
  • Programs & Initiatives