Upstream Works is a collaborative of contractors, freelancers, consultants, researchers, and people with bright ideas. We use our skills and expertise to support community initiatives that build creative and effective solutions to complex challenges.  



Working together to support thriving and equitable communities.


We envision a world in which all people have equal access to health, happiness, and opportunity.


Upstream Works increases the capacity of independent changemakers to do good work in communities. We recognize the power of multidisciplinary and cross-sector collaborations in tackling our communities’ most pressing problems. We cultivate those collaborations for maximum community benefit.



Upstream works. Working upstream means tackling a problem at its roots — or in the groundwater. We investigate the policies, systems, and environments that impact us all and design creative, equity-oriented solutions that last.


How we work

The goal of our Collaborative is to facilitate as much positive and transformative work as possible. To that end, we focus our work across three primary dimensions.



Our network of urban planners, food systems researchers, economic development experts, designers, and artists seek multi-sector collaborations to inform, implement, and evaluate innovative solutions to complex community challenges. We recognize that cooperation across sectors and within communities brings unique perspectives and more creative solutions to the table.


We provide fiscal sponsorship for projects that align with our mission and do not yet have their own 501(c)(3) nonprofit status. We aim to facilitate positive community change and will work with projects of any size to determine a fiscal sponsorship rate that works with your budget.

Capacity building

We recognize that professional development opportunities are often out of reach for people working outside larger institutions. We aim to support equity-oriented changemakers by hosting workshops and trainings at an affordable rate or free. Get in touch to let us know what kinds of professional development you're looking for.