Giving Compass’ Take:
• Joanne Lee uses New Jersey Health Initiatives as an example of what funders can accomplish through meaningful partnerships with grantees.
• Why are transparency and authenticity so essential in developing functional relationships? What are you doing to form meaningful partnerships with grantees in your own organization?
• Learn more about what it takes to develop meaningful partnerships between funders and grantees.
For better or worse; for richer, for poorer; through sickness and health. You may not associate this vow with your typical funder — unless you’ve had the good fortune to partner with New Jersey Health Initiatives (NJHI).
Among the many things that make NJHI unique is the value it places on shifting power to communities, making longer-term commitments so that grantees have the time needed to achieve community transformation, and forming authentic relationships with grantees and partners.
Recognizing that the communities it supports are best positioned to create the most impact and sustainable change, the organization strives to be flexible, nimble, and innovative. “We allow community partners to determine the best use of grant funds based on their specific community needs,” says NJHI director Bob Atkins. “We have focused our grantmaking on engaging more voices and stakeholders in the communities in which we work, and to have them inform our thinking and approaches to making their communities healthier and more equitable.”
As a community-led funder and partner focused on a single state, NJHI can make multiple investments in the same communities in ways that are strategic and complementary, rather than duplicative. “It has been exciting to see past and current grantees weave in elements of what they first received funding for five or ten or fifteen years ago,” says NJHI deputy director Diane Hagerman. “We know that changes to health outcomes may not be seen for five or even ten years, so seeing work that was funded in the past resurface in a more current context speaks to the commitment of communities to make lasting change.”
That strategy serves NJHI, its grantees, and their communities well — and New Jersey is a healthier state because of it.
Read the full article about forming meaningful partnerships with grantees by Joanne Lee at Philanthropy News Digest.
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