The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Local Funding Partnership program is looking for Alaska partners with a vision to improve the health of the people in their communities. Are we in?

Philanthropic investments can be significantly bolstered through collaboration and partnerships. Rasmuson Foundation encourages and promotes funding partnerships, and seeks to maximize “outside” funder interest in Alaska organizations. Part of each proposal’s evaluation in our own grantmaking includes a review of which partners and funders are at the table. Are stakeholders invested in the project? Is there anyone missing? These are important questions in helping to determine the potential success of a project.

The value of funder collaboration comes in many forms, with some of the most obvious benefits including:

  • greater funding capacity;
  • stronger community and partner investment and buy-in;
  • increased potential for sustainability; and,
  • expanded communication channels for broader engagement.

One national funder that is seeking out opportunities to collaborate with local funders like Rasmuson Foundation is the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Its Local Funding Partnerships (LFP) program provides matching support for innovative, original programs that are collaborative and community-based, and that show promise to improve the health of vulnerable people in their communities. LFP operates with the belief that the long-term potential for local programs developed to serve local needs could be significantly enhanced if a national foundation partners with local funders to leverage their combined resources.

Since 1988, LFP has awarded over $116 million in matching grants and funded 312 projects together with more than 1,200 local funding partners to support innovative health and health care projects. These projects have challenged established practices, engaged new coalitions and offered ambitious improvements in systems and services.

As part of the application process, organizations are required to work with a local funder that will nominate the project for LFP consideration. Rasmuson Foundation participated in the nomination process for three Alaska organizations:

If you work for an organization that is focused on this kind of work, and you believe that a project meets the eligibility criteria for LFP funding, here’s what you should do:

  1. Learn more about the LFP program and deadlines at the program website.
  2. Plan to attend one of the LFP program’s upcoming informational teleconferences scheduled for May 13 and May 18 at 10 a.m. AST.
  3. Contact a Rasmuson Foundation Program Officer (or another local funder with whom your organization has a relationship) to discuss if the Foundation might be an appropriate nominator for your proposal.

For those who follow our blog posts, you might recall that we wrote about LFP when Program Director Polly Seitz made a visit to Alaska in November 2008. During that visit she emphasized the importance of collaboration and encouraged Alaska organizations to strongly consider LFP as a resource to achieve funding partnerships and project success.

So now it’s up to we Alaskans to take the next step.