For decades, the community development and health sectors have worked in the same places with the same people – often, without knowing about each other. In recent years, the sectors have begun to work more frequently together to improve opportunity in neighborhoods where residents face obstacles to health and wellbeing. There are bright spots, but we need more – more examples of how collaboration can work and the impact it can generate.
With this in mind, the Build Healthy Places Network and The Kresge Foundation co-hosted a breakfast at the 2015 Opportunity Finance Network conference in Detroit. The object of the networking event was to bring together a group of BUILD Health Challenge grantees and Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) to discuss partnership opportunities.
The Build Healthy Places Network and Kresge Foundation are happy to share that three BUILD Health Challenge grantees will receive the Network’s Joining Forces Planning Grants. These six-month grants support planning activities that will result in collaboration between BUILD grantees and CDFIs.
The Network, with grant funding from the Kresge Foundation’s Social Investment Practice and Health Program, will provide $20,000 planning grants to support the following:
- First Choice Community Healthcare of Albuquerque, New Mexico, will develop a financing package and business plan for its South Valley Commons expansion project. First Choice will explore financing partnerships, including New Markets Tax Credit opportunities, with CDFIs such as Capital Impact Partners, Housing Partnership Network and others.
- Harris County Public Health & Environmental Services (HCPHES), of Pasadena, Texas, will undertake a sustainability planning process resulting in a Healthy Food Financing Plan for scaling, sustaining and replicating urban farms. Partners include the CDFI PeopleFund and the local economic development corporation Pasadena Second Century.
- DevelopSpringfield of Springfield, Massachusetts will develop a project pro-forma to successfully attract a viable grocery store operator. Partners include the local CDFI Common Capital and a local community development corporation (CDC), HAP Housing.
Sectors Joining Forces
These planning grants might be small, but the implications that they have for cross-sector collaboration are mighty. Here’s why:
- BUILD grantees are coalitions involving a community-based organization, local public health department and hospital system. These grantees are already working to improve health equity in their local communities.
- CDFIs are by definition an action arm for health equity, revitalizing low-income neighborhoods to improve opportunities for all. CDFIs are part of a more than $200 billion sector that brings public and private investment into place-based initiatives.
As health care moves into a value-based system, health care systems are seeking new partners who can help them achieve their population health goals. Community development is a logical partner in this regard, as the sector brings significant resources, expertise and community validity to upstream, population health efforts.
By joining forces, CDFIs and BUILD grantees can have even greater impact improving communities and the lives of people living in them. These planning grants give them the resources needed to explore concrete ways to partner.
Building the Field
We’re excited about these planning grants. They represent a growing cross-sector movement to address neighborhood factors that shape health. These are promising partnerships, but we need more. Our hope is that grantees will develop strong relationships with CDFIs and the community development sector as a whole, and that we can lift up their stories as successful pathways for cross-sector collaboration.
We congratulate the Joining Forces planning grantees and all of the BUILD grantees on their important work, and we look forward to learning from their collective efforts.
About the Funders
More about the BUILD Health Challenge
The BUILD Health Challenge is a multi-funder collaboration that is supporting 18 communities that are collaboratively taking Bold, Upstream, Integrated, Local, and Data-driven approaches to moving resources, attention and action to the primary determinants of population health. In order to drive sustainable change in the improvement of community health and promotion of health equity, the BUILD Health Challenge seeks to increase the number and effectiveness of hospital-community-public health collaborations. Read more here.
More about the Build Healthy Places Network
The Build Healthy Places Network catalyzes and supports collaboration across the health and community development sectors, together working to improve low-income communities and the lives of people living in them. We do this by lifting up examples of what works, curating resources that build the body of knowledge for collaboration, and connecting leaders across sectors in pursuit of our vision: communities where all people can live rewarding and healthy lives. Please share your stories with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
More about the Kresge Foundation
The Kresge Foundation is a $3.6 billion private, national foundation that works to expand opportunities in America’s cities through grant making and social investing in arts and culture, education, environment, health, human services and community development in Detroit.
About the Authors
Chris Kabel from The Kresge Foundation, and Colby Dailey from Build Healthy Places Network
Chris M. Kabel is deputy director of The Kresge Foundation’s Health Program. He is responsible for developing and co-executing the Health team’s grantmaking and investment strategies to promote health equity. He also invites and reviews grant proposals in support of the Health Program’s goals, while contributing to the team’s learning and evaluation strategies. Chris in addition manages cross-team work at the foundation, supporting the development of interdisciplinary grantmaking and investment approaches that advance the strategies of multiple Kresge programs. Prior to joining the foundation in 2013, Chris worked for eight years as a senior program officer at the Northwest Health Foundation in Portland, Oregon. Before this he served as a fundraiser for Doernbecher Children’s Hospital and Oregon Health and Science University. Chris earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Southern California and a master’s degree in public health from Portland State University.
Colby Dailey is the Managing Director of Build Healthy Places Network. She is on the National Advisory Committee for RWJF’s Culture of Health Prize, and is an officer of the Board of the Northern California Community Loan Fund. Her background and expertise spans community development and social impact investing policy development. She received her Masters in Public Policy from U.C. Berkeley and lives in San Francisco with her family.