Advancing Health and Creating Lasting Impact: MacKenzie Scott’s Grants to Health Foundations

In 2019, MacKenzie Scott announced that she was stepping into the world of philanthropy to give away her multi-billion-dollar fortune “until the safe is empty”. She has kept her word—to date, she has given away $16.5 billion. Her initial process for choosing which organizations would receive grants was shrouded in mystery. From 2019 to 2023, Scott used a process she termed “quiet research” to identify possible grantee organizations. The lucky organizations received a call from Scott’s consultants, who let them know they were receiving a grant for immediate use however they would like to spend it. In the Fall of 2022, Grantmakers In Health (GIH) became one of those grantee organizations, along with more than 20 health foundations. Two additional GIH Funding Partner organizations received gifts in 2020 and 2021, respectively.

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Issue Brief by Eileen Salinsky

Public Health Approaches to Firearm Violence Prevention

Firearm injuries are a serious public health problem, killing more than 47,000 Americans each year and becoming the leading cause of death for children and teens in the United States in 2020. Given the impact and complexity of this health crisis, Grantmakers in Health (GIH) hosted a first-ever preconference session focused on firearm violence in advance of the June 2023 GIH Annual Conference on Health Philanthropy. Session speakers briefed partners on the causes of gun violence and provided an opportunity for health funders to learn more about potential solutions through a public health lens. This Issue Brief provides highlights of the meeting’s proceedings and previews GIH’s plans to convene a funder learning collaborative on firearm violence prevention to continue the peer learning and sharing that began at the preconference session.

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Climate Change, Health, and Equity: Action Steps for Health Philanthropy

Climate change is one of the biggest health and equity issues of our time. The scale of climate change can be daunting, and some may think of the issue as the sole responsibility of federal, state, local, and tribal governments—however, philanthropy has an essential role to play.

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Issue Focus by Rana Suliman

Funder Strategies to Support Oral Health Care Access and Equity

Stark inequities in oral health care access and outcomes reflect the United States’ deepest societal divides and overarching social justice concerns. Health philanthropy is among the sectors aspiring to accelerate change and drive upstream solutions in a period of increasing vulnerability for communities heavily impacted by the downstream effects of oral health disparities.

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Issue Focus by Eileen Salinsky & Kate Treanor

No Time for ‘Business As Usual’: Health Philanthropy Responds to the COVID-19 Pandemic

As the novel coronavirus races across the globe, health funders are urgently preparing for and responding to COVID-19 in the communities they serve. While past public health crises inform COVID-19 response, there is no proven playbook for how health philanthropy should respond to this rapidly evolving threat.

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Issue Focus by Alison Perencevich

Responding to the Opioid and Drug Overdose Epidemic

The opioid epidemic remains a critical public health crisis that necessitates philanthropic attention. Philanthropy is uniquely suited to respond to immediate challenges while also supporting broader systems change.

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Issue Focus by Eileen Salinsky

Data-Driven Approaches to Achieving Health Equity

GIH convened grantmakers to explore innovative ways to use data to advance health equity. Read the actionable guidance for these efforts that emerged from the meeting’s proceedings.

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