EHF is committed to creating healthy communities for the 10 million Texans in the 57 counties we serve. To help us understand the impact of our work, we’ve implemented a Strategic Learning and Evaluation System and have produced our 2015 Impact Evaluation Report.
This report contains findings related to how EHF invested in 2015, our first full year of operations, through making grants and working with our 150+ churches. Over the next two years, we will build upon this report to include other areas of investment and additional questions. Using the baseline information in the 2015 report, we’ll continue to refine EHF’s Strategic Learning and Evaluation System to inform future investments for greater impact.
The key questions addressed in this report are:
- What areas of health did EHF support through grantmaking?
- How did grant partners use the funding?
- To what extent did EHF fund organizational and community development, as opposed to service delivery?
- How were grantmaking funds distributed geographically?
- Were EHF’s grantmaking funds generally distributed to areas where low income populations live?
- To what extent was EHF able to work with our churches in 2015?
- In what ways does our work with churches present opportunities to leverage and expand our reach into communities?
1. What areas of health did EHF support through grantmaking?
EHF is committed to strengthening the health system, the first of the Foundation’s three goals. In 2015, access to health services, comprehensive primary care and mental health services were key funding areas. We made over 50 grants to nonprofit health clinics and other organizations working in these 3 areas.
We invested smaller amounts in early childhood development and healthy planning, while we sharpened our strategies before investing more heavily.
Altogether, the foundation provided more than $11.5 million through 72 grants to 69 organizations.
2. How did EHF grant partners use the funding?
EHF provides grant funding to support programs and projects, operations and capacity building. EHF grantees were most likely to receive grant funding for specific programs or projects. Almost as many grantees received funding for specific programs or projects as received unrestricted operating funds or capacity building grants, combined.
3. To what extent did EHF fund organizational and community development, as opposed to service delivery?
EHF believes that organizational and community development is an important part of building strong and sustainable change for improved community health. In 2015, 16% of grant funds were awarded for organizational and community development purposes, and another 8% went to other types of indirect services. The bulk of funding to grantees supported direct services, generally healthcare services for patients.
4. How were grantmaking funds distributed geographically?
- Distribution across counties:
Overall, Texas is ranked 34th in the nation for health (America’s Health Rankings, December 2015). EHF’s 57-county area has a disproportionate share of the counties in Texas, ranked with the poorest health. In 2015, we were able to provide grants to organizations in 15 counties in our 57-county area. Many of these grants served multiple counties. In addition, four grants aimed to provide services benefitting all counties in our region.
- Distribution by poverty level:
EHF aims to invest in areas of greatest need. In 2015, we invested nearly half (49%) of our grant dollars in the Houston Metropolitan Statistical Region (MSA). The significant investment in this region was driven, in part, by its disproportionately large share of the region’s poor families.
6. To what extent was EHF able to work with Episcopal churches in 2015?
EHF’s congregational engagement work established a strong baseline year of activity with churches across the 10 convocations of the Diocese of Texas that demarcate our service region. We conducted outreach to all 152 churches, resulting in active collaboration with churches in all but the Southwest convocation.
7. In what ways does our work with churches present opportunities to leverage and expand our reach within communities?
Collectively, EHF achieved significant geographic reach between its grantmaking and congregational engagement work.
EHF recognizes that its work with congregations provides an important opportunity to join communities in dialogue about community health, and build more comprehensive strategies. In fact, congregational engagement proved an important way to extend the foundation’s work in both rural and eastern-most counties of the region, where fewer grants were awarded.
Geographic proximity of grantee organizations and Episcopal churches also create opportunities for expanding, accelerating and sustaining transformational change in communities. As shown in the map below, there are a number of areas within and outside the Houston and Austin areas, where EHF can support connections between grant partners and churches.
EHF is committed to working with communities across 57 Texas counties. Through our grants, research, community engagement and partnerships with Episcopal churches, we’re transforming the systems that influence and shape the health of Texans.
We believe this work requires our foundation to transform the traditional relationship between funder and grantee. We understand the limitations of our influence, knowledge and resources for promoting change without authentic community partnerships. We also understand that we must accompany communities through the change process in a way that honors the significant effort involved, the expertise of local organizations and groups, and the untapped resources residing within the community.
Moreover, EHF recognizes that we have a great deal to learn in partnership with our communities, including how to be truly transformational in the deployment of our financial and social resources.