When it comes to funding biomedical research, there is a
perception among health grantmakers that only the Goliaths
of the world can make a difference. A foundation must be as
large as the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, for instance, to hire
a sophisticated staff that can comprehend complex scientific
protocols. It must have the deep pockets and staying power
of a Howard Hughes Medical Institute to afford the notoriously expensive equipment and salaries, and to take a gamble on a payoff that may be long in coming, if ever.
In late 1999, the Foundation for Seacoast Health celebrated
the grand opening of a noble experiment: The Community
Campus, home to health-related nonprofits, public programs, and the Foundation. The road that led to this
decision to build and share space with grantees was long
and winding, leading us to question if we’d ever get there.
A hot topic of discussion in philanthropic circles in recent
years has been the phenomenon of sizable new foundations being created as the result of nonprofit health care organizations converting to for-profit status.
How can health grantmakers and state policymakers collaborate and when does it make sense to try? What does it take to develop and sustain these relationships? This piece is based on Smith’s plenary remarks given at Grantmakers In Health’s 2000 Washington Briefing, The Intersection of Health Policy and Philanthropy.
After passage of federal legislation creating the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, the Rose Community Foundation stepped in as the private partner in a public-private partnership to ensure its implementation in Colorado. Van Dusen and Nash share six key lessons learned about engaging government as a collaborator.