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Reaffirming GIH’s Mission and Values

July 2016

Welcome to the new all-digital Bulletin! This issue is special for us in that it marks our transition from a printed newsletter to one that is housed entirely on our website. It will arrive in your inbox monthly and you’ll be able to link to and share stories and sections you find interesting. We hope you enjoy the new look.

Now, here is what GIH has been focused on in recent weeks…

Every year, GIH’s board holds a 1 ½-day retreat focused on topics that deserve more attention than there is time for in a typical board meeting. This past June, we used the retreat to review GIH’s mission and values. The mission statement predates any of the current board members—and most of the staff members as well—so the review was an important opportunity for all of us to reaffirm what GIH stands for.

Our mission is to foster communication and collaboration among grantmakers and others, and to help strengthen the grantmaking community's knowledge, skills, and effectiveness.

The mission statement provides guidance—but also flexibility—for how we work with Funding Partners and the broader community of health philanthropy. It highlights our role both as connective tissue among funders and as a connector between the health funding community and others, whether funders from other sectors, state and federal government agencies, or other organizations. It also highlights our role working with staff and trustees to strengthen the quality and effectiveness of health grantmaking.

Coming out of the retreat, these commitments have not changed. The language may be updated for clarity, but otherwise GIH’s mission is as relevant now as when it was first defined. In fact, as the number of foundations steadily increases, and as new players enter the arena of health funding, our role as a connector within inside and outside of health philanthropy is more important than ever. Likewise, ever-growing demands on staff and trustees, and the complexity of the health challenges they confront, require us to be an ongoing source of information and assistance, and to find new ways to build grantmakers’ knowledge, skills, and effectiveness.

The board also reviewed GIH’s Statement of Ethics and Values, along with the mission. Currently, the statement focuses on integrity, fiscal responsibility, accountability, excellence, respect, diversity, responsiveness, and innovation. These continue to be important organizational guiding principles. However, revisions are being considered, including new language to reinforce the importance of equity as a core GIH value, both organizationally and programmatically.

Our mission and values are at the heart of everything we do, whether it is our programs, fund development, recruitment of new Funding Partners, or outreach to the field. Looking forward to next year’s 35th anniversary, we aspire to be the best in our work, ideas, and services, and in so doing to make health philanthropy better than ever.