Funding lessons

Two large projects designed to expand access to health care and insurance coverage provide valuable lessons for health funders, a new study says.

In the 1990’s, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation each launched multi-year efforts to help communities expand health -are coverage and access.

“Improving Health Access in Communities: Lessons for Effective Grantmaking,” published by Grantmakers in health, analyzes those projects for important lessons.

Community readiness is critical, the report says, and funders must determine whether they will invest in building that readiness or require communities to be prepared before funding, then set clear goals for the effort.

Successful projects require input from local leaders, the study says, and often involve social entrepreneurs, people who understand barriers to progress and how to overcome them.

Trust and frank communication is key to providing grantees the input and feedback they need, and they must have access to the tools and people they need to make their projects successful, the study says.

By understanding the lessons learned in previous projects, health funders can better execute their community-based efforts grantmaking efforts.

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