Are You Ready To BUILD With Us?

Contact Emily Yu at for more information about becoming a partner in the BUILD Health Challenge.

Health isn’t made in a doctor’s office. It’s the result of the air you breathe, the food you eat, and the places you live, work, and play.

That’s why we came together in 2014 to launch a collaborative, cross-sector approach to improving health — by improving the social and environmental conditions we less readily associate with health. That means improving substandard housing stock, eliminating food deserts, creating opportunities for exercise and active living, and ending the cycle of violence, among others. We want to bring this model — which is a flexible framework for action, not a rigid or prescriptive program — to more communities across the nation.

Interested in learning more?

Now in its third round, BUILD is one of the nation’s most promising efforts to improve health in vulnerable neighborhoods. By aligning funding, capacity building, and multi-sector partnerships—between community organizations, hospital systems, and local health departments—participating communities target upstream factors that impact health, increase health equity, and lower health care costs.

BUILD was launched by The Advisory Board Company, Colorado Health Foundation, the de Beaumont Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Since then, we have been joined by the BlueCross Blue Shield of South Carolina Foundation, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation, Blue Shield of California Foundation, Communities Foundation of Texas, Episcopal Health Foundation, Interact for Health, Methodist Healthcare Ministries of South Texas, Inc., Mid-Iowa Health Foundation, New Jersey Health Initiatives, Telligen Community Initiative, and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

What are the advantages to partnering with the BUILD Health Challenge?
  • Get better and more sustainable results from philanthropic initiatives in community health: BUILD’s evaluation and monitoring arm is carefully compiling lessons learned and case studies to create an evidence base for scaling up our impact. Strategic partnerships with leading nonprofits and think tanks allow communities to benefit from expert technical assistance and gives funders the opportunity to learn from sites nationwide.
  • Foster a learning community of partnerships with an aligned mission but different tactics and areas of focus: BUILD awardees participate in a dynamic national cohort and learning community with opportunities for meaningful peer-to-peer exchange. Convenings and internal communications platforms allow sites to share their experiences with each other and gain valuable insights across disciplines and regions.
  • Leverage your own organization’s resources: Each participating funder brings different strengths and capacities to the table, which allows the collaborative as a whole to more efficiently allocate resources and eliminate redundancies.
What do people have to say about BUILD?
“This is the beginning of a shift in the way that we think about providing health care to our community.”
– Claire Richmond, project manager for the BUILD Health grant in Des Moines
“I’ve been in this field for a very long time and the BUILD Health Challenge grant was like a breath of fresh air… This was the first one that really challenges hospitals to say, “Alright, you need to get upstream on this stuff.” I think it’s kind of a ground breaking grant process that’s going on right now.”
Chris McCarthy, Community Health Project Manager at UnityPoint Health-Des Moines
“Ever since BUILD Health came on the scene, it’s had our attention. It’s ambitious, integrative, and it’s taking aim at a huge roadblock to implementing basic health care improvements in this country: data. […] There’s some real firepower behind this thing.”
– Kristina Strain, columnist at Inside Philanthropy
“All of my expectations have been met and more. I really appreciate – and I know that our team appreciates – the support and resources we are receiving.”
–  A BUILD Health partner at a community-based nonprofit spoke highly of the technical assistance and learning collaboratives offered through BUILD