Increasing collaboration among public health, healthcare, and social service organizations working to improve community health—specifically support for community-led organizations and networks to participate as full partners.
While public health, healthcare, and social systems have made progress in aligning their efforts more strategically toward better health outcomes, this new effort focuses more explicitly on uprooting deeper structural problems that perpetuate inequities and diminish opportunities for people to live their healthiest lives. Feedback data indicate the systems-level shifts that many funders say they want to see require community-centric approaches where residents are valued as co-owners and co-creators. In other words, funders can best support systems-level change by partnering with communities in trusting, power-sharing relationships that value the lived experiences of those who are directly affected by a problem or issue.
The Building Local Alignment Initiative is using a participatory grantmaking process overseen by a diverse panel of stakeholders external to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. This Grant Advisory Committee (GAC), comprised of 10 individuals representing a broad cross-section of partners, will design and oversee an application process and make grant decisions in support of 2-3 intermediary organizations. The selected intermediaries, in turn, will employ their own participatory grantmaking processes to disburse (or “regrant”) these funds to community-based organizations and networks to ensure the voices of those most affected are involved in decisions. An important part of this project is providing co-learning and knowledge-sharing opportunities among all participants—including GAC members, intermediaries, grantees, and Foundation staff over the multi-year grantmaking period.
About the Building Local Alignment Initiative
Rooted in the belief that those closest to a problem should be central in crafting solutions, the GAC will award grants totaling $4.2 million to 2-3 intermediary organizations around the country for regranting, as well as supporting some related costs for the intermediary(ies) itself.
This multi-year process also includes: ongoing evaluation; communications and information-sharing among all participants—including GAC members, grantees, and Foundation staff; coaching, support, and technical assistance; and convenings of all grantees, GAC members, and Foundation staff.
This initiative has been designed as a one-time grant opportunity. This pilot has the potential to impact and inform future strategy development, programming, and grantmaking. There is no guarantee that renewal funding will be available.
How to Apply
There are two phases to the GAC’s grantmaking process. In Phase One, the GAC is asking interested organizations and networks to respond to this request for information with answers to the questions that can be found on pages 4-5 of the RFI document. The focus in this phase of review will be to assess the organizational fit of applicants for the initiative. Responses should be submitted by April 24, 2023.
In Phase Two, the GAC will invite a smaller set of responding organizations to provide more detailed proposals describing how they would approach the work.