Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Local Funding Partnerships

An RWJF National Program

Dates of Program: February 1987 through August 2011

Field of Work: Using community-based interventions to improve the health and health care of underserved and vulnerable populations.

Problem Synopsis: Shortly after its establishment as a national philanthropy in 1972, RWJF made an effort to encourage local foundations to develop primary health care centers in their communities. The effort, however, was not uniformly well-received. RWJF staff decided that the Foundation's efforts would prove be better received if RWJF were to make money available.

Synopsis of the Work: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Local Funding Partnerships—formerly Local Initiative Funding Partners—provides matching grants for innovative community-based projects aimed at improving the health and health care of underserved and vulnerable populations.

Key Results

  • Through Local Funding Partnerships, RWJF has provided more than $106 million to stimulate health-improvement projects in communities spread across 48 of the 50 states.

  • All but a handful of the grantees accomplished their project objectives during the RWJF grant period. Since the program's beginning, only 12 projects have had to close before the end of the grant period because of an inability to meet grant objectives, according to program staff.

  • Most projects continued operating after their RWJF funding ended. Some 86 percent of all projects funded from the program's inception through 2001 lasted at least one year after their RWJF grant ended, and 75 percent were continuing to operate when surveyed in summer 2002, according to a study by Mathematica Policy Research.