What is Giving Compass?
We connect donors to learning resources and ways to support community-led solutions. Learn more about us.
Giving Compass' Take:
• Heather Flaherty, at Grantmakers In Health, offers eight suggestions on how to impact change as an effective small foundation.
• What can you do to stay within your budget and still be effective as a small foundation?
• Learn more about how to embrace your role as a small foundation in the future.
It is easy to overlook opportunities for impact that do not rely on a large grant. But we know that making a dent in deep societal issues and in drivers of health outcomes and health equity—like systemic oppression, institutionalized racism, and generational poverty—takes a lot more than writing a check. While the number of zeros you are able to put behind the dollar amount may bring attention and certainly does make an impact, smaller foundations have a different opportunity and even an advantage to making a difference in their communities too.
Here are some of the lessons we at the Chuckanut Health Foundation have learned along the way:
Build a movement: Bring your investments and grantees together. Look for commonalities in cause and issue. Leverage that.
Focus on your ground game: Are you building authentic relationships with the individuals who are working on the issues you are focused on? Even better, are you working with the communities closest to and most impacted by the issue? Build the partnerships you need and remember that lasting systemic change is a long game.
Scale your impact: Investing in the vibrancy of your community through the lens that no grant or project is too small to consider can contribute as much to a community of health as do federally qualified health centers and community action agencies.
Use size to your advantage: Impact is not measured by the dollars we give—some projects take minimal funding but have outsized impact. And when you are small, you might fly under the radar, but use that to your advantage!
Read the full article about making an impact as a small foundation by Heather Flaherty at Grantmakers In Health.