The easiest way to anticipate what support a network will need is to use the wheel diagram below to estimate its developmental stage. With that stage in mind, you can consider which of the common supporting roles might be necessary for a given network. Thinking in terms of these stages can also be helpful in providing the network with strategic guidance: it can help you stay focused on what your network needs now while keeping an eye toward what might be coming next.
(These six developmental stages were developed by Monitor Institute out of its work with the Network of Network Funders, a two-year community of practice that hosted some of the first dialogue among grantmakers about the most effective ways to engage with networks.)
Below, we describe 11 different forms of financial support, corresponding to many common grants given to networks, and 15 forms of non-financial backbone support that a network might need. Even if the network is still just a concept in your mind, ask yourself which you expect will be important for the network to form, and think ahead to the later developmental stages to anticipate what it might need in order to progress.