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Participatory Grantmaking Initiative Brings Public-Private Partnership to Address Behavioral Health Needs of Immigrant Communities in Philadelphia

April 11, 2019

(Philadelphia, PA) – The City of Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services (DBHIDS) joins the Scattergood Foundation, United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey, and Patricia Kind Family Foundation in supporting the Community Fund for Immigrant Wellness. The $100,000 contribution from DBHIDS will grow the pooled fund to $300,000. Grants from the fund will be made to address behavioral health needs of immigrants and refugees in the City of Philadelphia.

In its second year, the Community Fund for Immigrant Wellness will continue to use a participatory grantmaking design, which alters the traditional process of philanthropic giving. In this innovative approach, representatives from community-based, immigrant-serving organizations make up a Community Advisory Board that defines the grantmaking strategy and nominates a Decision Making Group to review applications and allocate grant dollars. By asking service providers and community organizations to not only inform a funding process but to actually drive it, the Community Fund shifts the power dynamic in the funder-grantee relationship.

“Too often funders create their priorities after an internal process that might not include any representation from those they aim to support,” said Oni Richards-Waritay, Executive Director of AFAHO and a member of the Community Fund Community Advisory Board. “This process has proven the importance of ensuring that funding is driven by real needs within the community in order to be effective.”

This year, grants will be awarded to focus specifically on addressing behavioral health needs of immigrants in the City of Philadelphia through non-traditional, community-driven approaches.

“Through our community conversations, the Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services has shown a commitment to listening to immigrant communities about how we can provide high quality, culturally relevant services,” said Commissioner David Jones. “We are thrilled to support the Community Fund for Immigrant Wellness to build capacity among organizations to provide programs that meet community needs.”

This year, there will be two rounds of grantmaking. In the first round, grants will be made to partnerships of two or more organizations to support program planning for new and/or expanding programs. Partnerships selected to receive $5,000 planning grants will participate in a 12-week planning period. During this time, partnerships will have access to training and consultation in program planning and evaluation and will work toward developing a more robust proposal. These partnerships will then be eligible for funding to implement their programs and to participate in a Community of Practice, which will work toward bringing about broader systems change in order to best serve immigrants and refugees.

“By providing financial support and capacity building for the careful planning of behavioral health programs, we hope to see highly effective implementation so that these programs can be scaled up in the future,” said Joe Pyle, President of the Scattergood Foundation. “With the additional funding from DBHIDS, the Community Fund will be able to give upwards of 10 planning grants, which will allow for more partnerships to develop robust applications for promising programs.”

The Community Fund continues to accept funding from additional partners through the end of the planning period in late September 2019. Growing the pooled fund is an express goal of the funding partners and Community Advisory Board, who also hope that funders will align their dollars to support the implementation of programs that are not selected for implementation funding from the Fund itself.

The Community Fund for Immigrant Wellness Community Advisory Board includes representatives from the following organizations: ACANA, AFAHO, HIAS PA, La Puerta Abierta, Nationalities Service Center, Puentes de Salud, Southeast by Southeast (a Mural Arts program), SEAMAAC, and Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians. The Decision Making Group has yet to be finalized.

Submissions for planning grants are being accepted until May 24th, 2019 at 5pm EST. Information about how to apply to the Community Fund for Immigrant Wellness is available at scattergoodfoundation.org/support/community-fund-for-wellness.

For more information, please contact Caitlin O’Brien, Special Projects Manager, at cobrien@scattergoodfoundation.org.


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