Cross-post: The Audacity of Building Capacity

  • By Grantmakers for Effective Organizations, March 1, 2019

This post originally appeared on the Healthcare Georgia Foundation website. To read the complete post, please visit Healthcare Georgia Foundation’s Notes from the Field.

Let’s face it. There are numerous health challenges in Georgia and health disparities that at times, seem almost insurmountable. As a funder, Healthcare Georgia Foundation acknowledges our privilege and responsibility to ensure that we remain good stewards of our grantmaking dollars to accomplish our mission to advance the health of all Georgians and to expand access to affordable, quality healthcare services for underserved individuals and communities.

Recently, the Foundation also has become keenly aware that in order to accomplish our mission, we need to take a more upstream, rather than downstream approach, by addressing the social determinants (e.g. poverty, education, employment, transportation) that impact health. Our current funding strategies reflects the Foundation’s values and commitment to place- based grantmaking and to supporting programs that address health equity, thereby reducing health disparities.

So one may question why, given all of the pressing health issues and disparities in Georgia, does the Foundation have the audacity to support capacity building? Unlike our other grantmaking programs, our capacity building program does not provide support for organizations to implement programs or to provide direct services. The reason is simple – we believe that strengthening nonprofits not only helps us to achieve our mission, but that providing organizations with the tools and resources necessary to build their capacity to better fulfill their missions’ leads to stronger organizations, programs, and ultimately, better health outcomes for Georgians.

Capacity building is defined as the funding and technical assistance necessary to help nonprofits increase specific capabilities to deliver stronger programs, take risks, build connections, innovate and iterate. We also know that in striving to achieve health equity, we need to support nonprofit organizations by making sure they have the resources and skills to be able to deliver programs and services that are “grounded in science, built on partnerships and focused on results.” Our capacity building work helps us to accomplish this.

Head over to the Healthcare Georgia Foundation Website to continue reading!