Giving Compass' Take:

• Funders are supporting a variety of health-related causes, from access and coverage to addressing root causes of equity and the social determinants of health. 

• How can health funders utilize collaborative and collective impact methods to help fund health-related issue areas? 

• Read more about how philanthropy can help the health of all people.

From our vantage point at Grantmakers In Health (GIH), the professional association for health foundations and corporate-giving programs, we enjoy a bird’s-eye view of the ever-evolving field of health philanthropy. The following snapshot illustrates that health funders are both solidly committed to many longstanding priorities and open to emerging issues and approaches.

Access And Coverage: Access to health care is an enduring concern of health funders, with a focus on breaking down barriers created by costs, cultural differences, geography, and the structure of delivery systems.

Aging: Support for the social and health care needs of older adults and their caregivers is strong. Meanwhile, there is an emerging interest in high-quality care, older adult populations that require complex care, and equity.

Behavioral Health: Access to services and reducing stigma are ongoing behavioral health (including mental health and substance use) priorities, along with the integration of such services with primary care.

Children And Families: Recent changes in immigration enforcement have generated funder concerns about the social and emotional effects of immigration policies on children in affected families.

Equity And The Social Determinants Of Health (SDOH):  Funders remain committed to moving upstream and addressing the root causes of health disparities, such as housing, education, and financial insecurity.

Healthy Eating/Active Living: A 2014 GIH scan reported a steady increase in the number of health foundations that identified healthy eating/active living (HEAL) as a strategic priority.

Oral Health: To increase access to oral health services, funders have invested for many years in policy and advocacy, workforce development, and delivery system support.

Policy: As we found in a 2016 scan, local health funders are uniquely well positioned to inform and influence local policy decisions that can play a critical role in shaping community health and well-being.

Population Health: Population health funders are building upon hospital community benefit obligations and other financial incentives to engage health care systems in upstream investments.

Read the full article about health funders by Faith Mitchell at Health Affairs.