What role Grassroots Advocates play in progress of healthcare foundations


One of best-ranked national healthcare foundations, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, insists grassroots advocacy should be built to make progress on trauma-informed care.

Data keeps supporting this but still the grassroots advocates do not get included.

It is said that Community organizers are very important for progress in health equity. If advocates are empowered then progress on behavioral health can be made worldwide. It is said that The Recovery Movement is behind a lot of behavioral-health innovation. Research shows that patient engagement the improves healthcare outcomes and reduces overall cost of healthcare.

Yet advocates are still not included. Healthcare foundations are minimizing advocates’ role and damaging our organizations. Here is what healthcare foundations should do:


  1. Healthcare foundations pick favorites instead of most qualified for funding. It’s time they considered the Power Moves toolkit and learnt how to make decisions and community-engaging RFPs. If you look at Grant Advisor for foundations that have reviews, almost everybody has been accused of choosing insider people, according to Grant Advisor for foundations’ reviews. Once, a funder required a well-honed machine for their project to train advocates and a team that was multisectoral. The funders went for an agency with only 5 sectors and ended up training zero advocates. All 16 sectors were brought in by our team and trained over 240 grassroots advocates with proved outcomes, proved methodology, and proved impact. This funder passed out materials before recognizing that advocates make the most change on this specific issue.


  1. Nonprofits are being funded by Healthcare foundations rather than individuals. For understanding of why it matters so much, Asset-Based Community Development should be looked into. A pass-through grant by 1 agency to another agency, still funds agencies, not individuals.


  1. Our roles are minimized by healthcare foundations. Advocates are the pivotal for progress. Advocates are essential. Healthcare foundations should feature advocates at pre-proposal conference, while the selection process happens, while anything happens in our community. If you do not know the difference between a consumer advocate and a healthcare provider, you should start hanging out with new people.
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