HOW WE SUPPORT

We are “weavers”

Given the complexities of the issues and inequities our communities face, we consider ourselves to be “weavers” that bring together multiple strands of our work to strengthen the health ecosystem that operates around us. Our grantmaking strategies, when woven together, inform each other as well as our broad vision to address the long-term impact on residents’ health and well-being in our region. 

 

We envision that organizations and leaders have what they need to succeed, and residents, especially those underserved and underinsured, can see and feel their experiences reflected in decisions made by organizations in their community.

 

SUPPORTING AN EQUITABLE & JUST RECOVERY

 

With the COVID-19 pandemic and its deep impact to communities in our region, we acknowledge that communities will not recover at the same rate nor in the same ways—the long-term health and economic implications of the pandemic depends on what we all do today.

 

Aligned with the cornerstones of our grantmaking principles, our grantmaking strategies will shift over the next few years to move from emergency response to long-term, strategic investment in our service region. As a result, our grantmaking mechanisms have evolved to support communities and partners in nimble and responsive ways that leverage community assets and partnerships towards a more equitable and just post-pandemic future.

“reimagining health & wellness” – a cOMMUNITY PARTNER INSIGHTS REPORT 

Click the image to access the report

During the COVID-19 pandemic, communities in our service region have been among the hardest hit in Illinois. After a year of listening to, learning from, and collaborating with grantee partners and peer funders to direct rapid response funding to these communities, we understood that meeting this moment required much more. We aimed to shift from rapid response to a more responsive, bold approach that addressed the region’s long-term health and wellness needs. So, we turned to community to understand those needs and develop a strategic pandemic response for the next three years.

 

Our community partner insights report, “Reimagining Health & Wellness: Building an Equitable COVID-19 Recovery with Community” summarizes the experiences and challenges of nonprofit organizations and communities in our service region and examples of their resiliency during the most extraordinary circumstances of recent history. While the insights and reflections come from a hyper-local lens, many are applicable beyond our service region, including those that speak to philanthropy’s role in this moment and beyond.

Learn About our grantmaking areas

Our 2021 General Operating Support Grant Cycle is now open. Learn more here.

What We Look for in Partners

We seek grantee partners that successfully utilize all of the organizational strategies below, regardless of which funding type they apply for:

Intersectional Approaches to
Achieving Health Equity

We recognize that community leadership and expertise are necessary to address health and racial inequities, as they are closest to the inequities they aim to address. We seek partnerships with organizations that have existing or emerging pathways where community constituents actively influence decision-making, strategies, and/or policies.

Community-led

We recognize that community leadership and expertise are necessary to address health and racial inequities, as they are closest to the inequities they aim to address. We seek partnerships with organizations that have existing or emerging pathways where community constituents actively influence decision-making, strategies, and/or policies.

Effective Organizational Stewardship

We seek partners who use data and internal systems to foster learning and encourage accountability in pursuit of racially equitable outcomes and continuous quality improvement. Partners must also demonstrate that their policies and practices reflect organizational and fiscal health.

Systems Change

We recognize that systems change takes time, and no single organization or strategy can entirely erase the impact of existing inequities. Yet, we seek partners with a strong understanding of how existing systems create and maintain those inequities with the ability to articulate how their work contributes to broader efforts in our local health ecosystem.

Grantmaking Priorities

Our grantee partners must demonstrate that their proposed work aligns with at least one of the categories below and has a meaningful footprint or serves core population(s) in our region.

ACCESS

to quality health services

 

Partners should demonstrate how they are innovating to remove physical, financial, and/or cultural barriers to care while highlighting and engaging on upstream solutions.

ADDRESS

social determinants of health

 

Partners should demonstrate how they focus on creating more equitable, inclusive, and just communities while meaningfully improving community health by addressing social determinants of health. 

ADVOCATE

for health-related policies & systems change

 

Partners should share how they center and cultivate the leadership, expertise, and solutions of communities and individuals most impacted by the inequities they seek to address. They must have a track record of cultivating deep, meaningful relationships in community.   

AUGMENT

knowledge through capacity building

 

Partners should share how they have developed intentional partnerships to ensure that public health data can live and belong in communities and how those relationships have led to community-led inquiry, improved data collection, and outcomes reporting.  

2020 TOTaL GRANTS SUMMARY

In 2020, it was imperative for us to increase support to our grantee partners as a reflection of the cornerstones of our grantmaking principles. We wanted to be fluid in our response to emerging crises, focused on racial, ethnic and socioeconomic equity, and provide general operating support to catalyze systems change. 

 

We recognized the importance of a balanced response that addressed downstream, immediate needs and aligned with a long-term, upstream approach necessary to strengthen our local health ecosystems to respond more aptly towards recovery.

 

We funded $8,817,000 in total 2020 grants across our grantmaking strategies, a 76% increase in funding compared to 2019 funding. 

$8,817,000

TOTAL GRANT AWARDS

GIVING TO DATE

Since 2017, we have remained committed to supporting efforts that advance health equity in our region. 

 

We have awarded $24.9 million since our reconstitution in 2017 to organizations and initiatives that help fulfill our mission and vision.

$24.9 Million