243563 Convergence Innovation Fund: A national funding strategy for sustainable local change

Monday, October 31, 2011: 2:30 PM

Shireen Malekafzali, MPH , Senior Associate, PolicyLink, Oakland, CA
A collaboration of funders called the Convergence Partnership (CP) –which includes the California Endowment, Kaiser Permanente, Kresge Foundation, Nemours, Robert Wood Johnson, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as technical partners –has identified several strategies across their individual initiatives to be important in promoting and sustaining healthy, equitable communities. These include:policy and environmental change strategies, which can support long-term population impacts compared to individual behavior change; multi-field partnerships, in order to work across key policy arenas and achieve multiple positive outcomes through a collective strategy, and; a focus on equity through community leadership, engagement and focused attention on communities of color and low-income communities where poor health outcomes are most prevalent. In order to promote these key strategies CP launched a new initiative called the Convergence Innovation Fund (CIF) in May 2009. The CIF provides a 50% match on dollars raised by local and regional foundations to support foundations as they take risks and shift their grantmaking to promote the three key strategies and advance community health outcomes for all. Fifteen awards were made in October of 2009 to diverse foundations from across the nation. The presentation will discuss the overall goals of the initiative, describe the grantee pool, provide a preliminary look at the efficacy of this funding strategy and discuss how the initiative will change in response to lessons learned from the pilot round of funding.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Advocacy for health and health education
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Diversity and culture
Program planning
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe a strategy for national funders to support sustainable and effective funding at the regional and local level to promote health and equity. 2. Differentiate successful and less successful aspects of a funding strategy to support foundation leadership and risk taking. 3. Identify a funding opportunity to promote health and equity through environmental and policy change strategies.

Keywords: Public Health Advocacy, Obesity

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: PolicyLink is program director to the Convergence Partners and I am the manager of the Convergence Innovation Fund Initiative. I helped develop the Initiative and am informed of the progress of the individual grantees/Innovation Fund partners.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.