The 18-month, intensive pilot program is designed to help EHF and the other foundations strengthen relationships with their grantees and other partners that lead to better impact. For EHF, those partners include not only 32 current grantees, but also 153 Episcopal churches across 57 Texas counties.
The four foundations will work together to learn from each other as they address complex challenges facing each organization.
“Authentic partner engagement is important in structuring effective solutions,” said Kathleen Enright, president and CEO at GEO. “Change Incubator will help four participating foundations weave relationships with grantees into the fabric of their organizations.”
Since its inception in 2014, nonprofit and community voices have been a priority at EHF. As the Foundation further develops its approach to working with all partners, EHF wants to focus specifically on how those voices can be strengthened as they continue to be incorporated into its ongoing work.
“We hope to use Change Incubator as a way to turn our vision into action,” said Lexi Nolen, EHF’s vice president for impact. “We have a vision for transformation and we expect this program to help us ensure that community engagement is integrated throughout the work.”
EHF is not only a grantmaker. As a supporting organization of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas, EHF has the ability to devote resources to other kinds of work, including direct community engagement with congregations.
“EHF believes community-identified solutions are key not only to the success of the Foundation’s programs, but are the key component to creating healthy communities,” said Elena Marks, EHF’s president and CEO. “The communities we serve are critical to solving the health challenges they face. We view grantees, congregations and other organizations as true partners in our work to advance community health.”
GEO research shows grantmakers who are more connected to their grantees and other partners are more likely to provide support that those organizations need to be successful.
Joining EHF in the Change Incubator program are: Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation in Durham, N.C., The Heinz Endowments in Pittsburgh, and Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation in Little Rock, AR.
“We’re excited about this program not only for the transformative experience it will provide the foundations, but also because of what GEO will learn about making productive change,” Enright said.