Giving Compass’ Take:
• Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors describe a nonprofit in Mali called Muso, which ran into financial strain after seeking to scale healthcare delivery, but found a pathway forward thanks to innovative thinking from its funders.
• This example shows us ways to build better relationships between funders and grantees. Remember, finding a sustainable model for impact often takes a village.
In an ideal world, when nonprofits encounter financial strain, funders would not only help them with immediate capital needs but would also work with organizations to strengthen them to avoid similar situations in the future. But power dynamics get in the way. An example of overcoming these dynamics and setting the stage for long-term, systemic change is Muso and Big Bang Philanthropy.
Muso was born out of partnership between Malians and Americans to address unequal access to healthcare in Mali. Founded in 2005, Muso’s mission is to eliminate preventable deaths rooted in poverty, with a vision of universal healthcare coverage. Muso works with government and academic partners to redesign community health worker systems to reach each patient the moment they fall ill. Muso also works with its partners to test the efficacy of the systems they build and tweak them for better results.
Muso’s initial work focused on urban communities. The outcomes were so successful that in 2016 the Malian government asked Muso to scale its proactive healthcare model across remote areas of Mali. Muso wasn’t certain whether or not the model would translate well to rural circumstances, but was excited by the prospect of serving 100,000 more people.
The response was fast. In reached in weeks the number of patients Muso expected to serve in a matter of — a ten-fold increase in utilization of its services. It was a massive and immediate sea change in access to care in these communities, which could not have corresponded better with Muso’s mission. However, while Muso’s leadership thought it had budgeted conservatively for the expansion project, the incredible success of the effort put Muso in an immediate cash crunch.
Read the full article about Muso’s path to scale at Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors.
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