Health foundations are increasingly recognizing that their mission is not simply to award grants to deserving nonprofit organizations, but rather to play a catalytic role in improving the conditions that influence health, especially at a population level.
Update from the Field: Results of Grantmakers In Health’s 2015 Survey of Foundations Formed from Health Care Conversions
GIH’s Update from the Field provides a fresh, comprehensive profile of foundations formed from transactions involving nonprofit hospitals, health systems, health plans, and other health entities. Health conversion foundations have become a significant force in the philanthropic sector.
COVID-19 has struck with a vengeance, hitting African Americans, older adults, and those with chronic health conditions the hardest. Simultaneously, our nation is experiencing a moment of reckoning, resulting from a long history of racism that has shaped the foundation of this country and thus permeates every system and institution.
The beauty of philanthropy lies in its inherent flexibility and ability to adapt. We have an obligation to “meet this moment”—a moment of dual public health crises: COVID-19 and race equity—and an opportunity to change the landscape, dynamics, culture, and outcomes of our field. In times of crisis, where innovation and collaboration across systems are enhanced, I am reminded why I chose public health as a career and am committed to adapt, listen, andcontinue support for the most vulnerable.
It is no longer sufficient to be a “good grantmaker.” More and more foundations are grappling with philanthropy’s defining question: “What will we do to make the world a better place, especially for people who have historically been denied the opportunity to lead full, healthy lives?”
GIH’s July 2020 Quick Poll asked foundations about the provision of general operating support to help current grantees and other nonprofits weather the financial impacts of COVID-19.
As we continue our work, Health Forward Foundation will center racial equity in our core competencies of leadership, advocacy, and resources. Practicing racial equity means that we will work to create the conditions in which one’s racial identity has absolutely no influence on their ability to thrive. This aspiration requires Health Forward to be the change we wish to see by ensuring racial equity becomes our very ethos.
The COVID-19 pandemic is becoming the defining moment of our time. And so too will the response. Coming through to the other side will take the collective effort of all sectors – including philanthropy – both in the now and in the rebuilding that will follow.