Mindful Philanthropy launches to expand informed giving to mental health, addiction, and community well-being initiatives
PHILADELPHIA, May 28, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Mindful Philanthropy, the only national resource of its kind, aims to significantly expand philanthropy for mental health, addiction, and community well-being initiatives. Barbara Ricci, nationally recognized mental health advocate, has been named Founding Executive Director. Seed funders include The John Heller Fund, Well Being Trust, Peg's Foundation, and The Scattergood Foundation. The nonprofit has identified three primary channels to achieve their goal:
- Maximizing donor impact through strategic giving. Mindful Philanthropy connects new and interested donors to subject matter experts and experienced behavioral health funders as they consider high-impact opportunities for funding. When donors see the positive impact of their donations, they are more confident in their giving and more likely to continue supporting these programs.
- Increasing overall investment in behavioral health programs. Mindful Philanthropy collaborates with foundations whether they are solely focused on behavioral health or working in adjacent areas like education, poverty alleviation, criminal justice reform, and health equity.
- Initiate, develop, and support new programs. Mindful Philanthropy will help initiate and drive interest in promising programs, research and policy initiatives that meet the criteria for high-impact philanthropy set out in "Health in Mind: A Philanthropic Guide for Mental Health and Addiction," published by the University of Pennsylvania's Center for High Impact Philanthropy (CHIP).
"At CHIP, our goal is always to provide guidance that is both informed by the best available evidence and actionable," says Kat Rosqueta, founding executive director of the Center for High Impact Philanthropy. "Our recent Health in Mind work benefited tremendously from the perspectives and networks that Paul Heller and Barbara Ricci shared with our team. I am thrilled to see how Health in Mind has now inspired them to work together to engage their peers in increasing high-impact funding for behavioral health."
The COVID-19 pandemic has already spurred a rise in stress and trauma, increasing the demand for services that were already stretched to the breaking point by years of funding cuts. According to a recent Kaiser Family Foundation survey, 19 percent of respondents said the current crisis has had a "major impact" on their mental health.
"Mindful Philanthropy will play a vital role in bringing significant new resources to improving mental health and well-being in our nation. Well Being Trust is committed to building 'movement infrastructure' that can assure a strong foundation for measurable, sustained benefit. Core to this is having the economic resources that increase overall investment, and increased investment focus and associated leadership on what works," according to Tyler Norris, CEO of Well Being Trust.
We are experiencing a pandemic in the middle of another massive and unchecked epidemic in the United States. Five-hundred-thousand American lives were lost from 2015-2018 to alcohol use, drug use, and self-harm, yet foundation funding for mental health represents a fraction of overall philanthropy.
Funder Paul Heller of The John Heller Fund knows firsthand how grave the funding shortfall is. "When we lost our son John to mental illness and addiction, we wanted to honor his memory," he says. "I quickly realized that so little philanthropy went to behavioral health and the conditions that contributed to our son's death. I decided I needed to change that. I believe connecting the heart with the head allows donors to make well-considered investments to achieve their philanthropic goals."
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SOURCE Mindful Philanthropy
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