Whether by directly funding new research or calling on Congress to increase funding, philanthropic institutions can help build the evidence that leads to more effective gun policies and invest in initiatives for improved firearm data at the local, state, and federal levels.
As funders, we recognize that expansive challenges often require expansive solutions—and that building sustainable mental health support requires broad community buy-in. Our work with the University of Michigan organization TRAILS exemplifies this effort: by embedding mental health services directly into schools, TRAILS works to ensure that all students have access to the care they need.
COVID-19 has had disproportionate impact on justice-involved people because health and justice systems maintain discrete siloes due to longstanding policies. These policies create structural barriers to an integrated response to people living at the intersection of these two systems. Focusing resources in this overlooked area provides an excellent opportunity for a return on investment for grantmakers seeking to make impactful change.
The “how” of cross-funder collaboration—and knowing where to start—is not always easy to figure out. As colleagues from both a regional and national health philanthropy, we are proud to share insights on our unique journey from relationship-building to collaboration.
Moving towards sustained and authentic relationship-building with community partners requires that we examine and shift away from practices, policies, and behaviors that prioritize the transactional components of grantmaking. To do this, we must acknowledge and confront power where it lies within our foundations and work at all levels of the organization to truly make this shift.
Fifteen years ago, I heard the words no one wants to hear—I had breast cancer. Even so, I was lucky in that I had comprehensive health insurance, access to some of the best doctors, and could afford out-of-pocket costs. At Susan G. Komen, we know that not everyone is as fortunate.
I have worked in philanthropy for over a decade—and believe we are at a pivotal time in our field’s history when taking action for equity is our only option in our quest for a just future.
When thinking about equity and justice, funders should ask themselves if we are operating from an authentically inclusive space—or under the illusion of inclusion.
It is undeniable that violence, threats of violence, and discrimination contribute to toxic stress and social isolation on a community level—and these factors are connected to negative health outcomes.
For us, 2020 was defined by two watershed moments: the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and the day the world learned George Floyd’s name. More than a year later, here is what we have learned.