Boosting Community Health through Philanthropy

Boosting Community Health through Philanthropy

It may seem obvious, but to improve the health of the public, nonprofits need to fund the people. Many organizations focus on funding programs aimed at improving the health of the impoverished or reducing social detriments but then fail to harness the power of the actual individuals. While the goal is admirable, it will fall short without talking with those most affected.

Health-Sector Driven Concepts Missing the Mark

The health sector produces a variety of ideas on how to improve community health. Some of the most popular theories include population health and value-based health care. The first idea focuses on keeping people healthy; the second is to alter compensation so that doctors can focus on improving the health of their patients rather than billing by individual procedures.

However, these conversations happen among medical professionals with no input from the affected community members. As a result, the ideas focus on treating illnesses rather than stimulating overall community health. The following recommendations can help nonprofits in the health sector make meaningful improvements to the community’s wellbeing.

  1. Prepare to be in this line of work for the long haul. Improving the overall health of a community is an arduous task, and there are no quick fixes.
  2. Create a team that works well together while handling the stressors inherent to the medical sector.
  3. Do not disregard local history. Failing to understand the story behind a community can derail goals.
  4. Ask for the community’s input. Find out what matters to them and respond accordingly.
  5. Work within four levels in unison: individual, community, institutional, and procedure.
  6. Foster a sense of agency in the community.

This final point is much more important than many nonprofits may think. Identifying personal, environmental, and social factors that affect health are important, but they do not tell the whole story. When individuals do not feel in control of their lives, attempts to improve their health are often unsuccessful.

As mentioned above, it all boils down to the biggest problem plaguing community philanthropy attempts. Current methods are born from the opinion of the healthcare sector. By focusing on the individuals, improving community health becomes a much more achievable goal. To learn more about how nonprofits can make significant changes in community health, contact the experts at Trion.