In 2014, the Medical College of Wisconsin’s Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin Endowment made a significant shift in focus to supporting adaptive rather than programmatic solutions to address critical health issues, and adopted a new approach that emphasized engagement with key stakeholders, recognizing the importance of contribution over attribution and requiring a long-term perspective on outcomes.
The endowment identified three new “changemaker” roles for itself, alongside new funding mechanisms and a set of conditions where positive change could be supported to influence health. While changemaking began as a description of the endowment’s strategic direction, today this philanthropic philosophy permeates all that it does.
This article discusses how the endowment experimented with a new model of creating change, ultimately translating new knowledge from national thought leaders and aligning it with its own experiences to create a path that continues to guide the endowment’s work. This article also shares lessons for other funders seeking to identify how to deepen their engagement and drive true systemic change.
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Ellis, C., Pinsoneault, L., Deering, S., Ehrenfeld, J., Fabian, E., & Maurana, C. (2020). Turning Changemaking Inward: How One Health Philanthropy Transformed Its Grantmaking Approach to Drive Deeper Impact. The Foundation Review, 12(2). https://doi.org/10.9707/1944-5660.1517