Funding public policy work is as important to health improvement as funding for direct services. Lessons learned from funding advocates include the importance of providing core operating support, the need to engage the grassroots, and how to empower community members.
The issue of the uninsured is one of America’s biggest health challenges, and the situation is growing worse. In response, health philanthropies from coast to coast and some of the nation’s most influential organizations in the United States are joining together to support Cover the Uninsured Week from March 10-16, 2003. We hope you will join us in supporting this unprecedented foundation-led educational effort so that we can speak with one voice on behalf of the nation’s uninsured.
If we were measuring the health of our foundations by financial growth over the past two years, some of us might be considering life-support systems. Fortunately for the field, and for those we support through our grantmaking, the health of our organizations is not measured by dollars alone. The measure of our work is defined in people
A recently released report from The Center for Effective Philanthropy, Indicators of Effectiveness, comments on foundations’ growing understanding and interest in assessing their overall performance, noting that many are “convinced that better performance assessment will lead to greater effectiveness and, in turn, to more social impact on the people and issues they affect.”
A challenge to the philanthropic community: do better when it comes to funding for mental health. Dr. Garduque describes how grantmakers can – and should – play a key role in charting new territory, challenging service systems to do better, and promoting the adoption of evidence-based practices.
This Views from the Field spotlights the Pittsburgh Regional Healthcare Initiative, a regional health care quality and patient safety improvement program. With initial funding from the Jewish Healthcare Foundation and support from a wide variety of community stakeholders, this initiative has evolved into a nationally recognized model for improving health care quality.
The current debate about government funding has sparked renewed interest in faith-based organizations and their role in meeting the economic, health, and educational needs of society. The small, open country chapel…the urban church with declining parishioners and rising community needs…the burgeoning suburban congregation of young families…the mega-church with a multimillion dollar budget…all are lumped together with countless other religious groups as one solution to the nation’s needs.
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.