The Riverside Community Health Foundation in Riverside, California, has announced that it will be adopting a more proactive grantmaking strategy in 2018.
The shift from the responsive grantmaking strategy the foundation has had in place since it was established in 1997 is intended to make RCHF more strategic in how it deploys its resources and drive deeper impact in areas of persistent need. While responsive grantmaking involves providing grants in response to requests from nonprofits for programs that align with a foundation's mission and priorities, proactive grantmaking (also known as strategic grantmaking) embraces more focused goals and a defined set of strategies specifically designed to help a foundation accomplish those goals.
In 2017, RCHF temporarily suspended its regular grantmaking program in order to assess the greatest health needs in the Riverside and Jurupa Valley communities and adjust its priorities and strategies accordingly. As a result of that process, the foundation identified three priority funding areas going forward for its grantmaking: heart disease and stroke; diabetes; and behavioral health, including mental health and substance use.
This month, the foundation will resume grantmaking for applicants that qualify for its inpatient priority area — which is restricted to inpatient healthcare programs, subsidizing or reimbursing inpatient health care, and medical insurance for medically indigent populations in the foundation's service area — and over the next several months will work to define a grant program that supports its other priorities. RCHF expects to release additional information on its new grantmaking program by early summer.