Our Work

Cultivating the conditions required for health, well-being, and equity requires many different approaches. 

As a funder, community leader, and partner we work to meet our mission through program development, grantmaking, place-based investments, community partnerships and convenings, capacity building and advocacy. 

Our strategic framework directs the foundation’s focus towards the underlying conditions impacting health – external factors such as our homes, schools, workplaces, and neighborhoods which create opportunities for health and well-being. From this framework, the foundation has identified three priority areas which we direct the foundation’s financial and human resources towards: 

Strengthen Organizations 

  • Build resiliency & effectiveness of nonprofit organizations 
  • Support nonprofit organizational health
  • Create opportunities for leadership development 
  • Seed pilot initiatives of bi-directional collaborative efforts

Improve Community Assets

  • Leverage existing community assets, such as schools and libraries, to advance health access and well-being 
  • Invest in local infrastructure needs related to broadband, food, and housing 
  • Support school-based oral health and rural transportation operational resiliency and effectiveness

Support Local Decision-making 

  • Strengthen engagement between decision-makers and those most impacted by policy decisions 
  • Make community health needs information accessible and actionable for local decision-makers
  • Support planning, pilot, and demonstration projects of our municipalities that are participatory and consider the social determinants of health

Learn more about our strategies and anticipated outcomes associated with our strategic framework here. Our strategic framework was developed through community conversations, analysis of our previous grantmaking, as well as numerous external reports, research, and articles. It also comes at a unique moment in time – the movement for black lives has driven national attention to the persistence of injustice and inequity for black people, as well as other communities of color. This period has also been defined by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has exacerbated existing inequities and resulted in an economic crisis that strains the community-based organizations that serve our rural region. 

This moment has served as a catalyst to FCH as we revisited our strategies, policies, and practices. As our community begins to recover from the health, economic, and social justice crises, it is our intent to continue to learn from those we serve and contribute to recovery efforts that build a more resilient and equitable place. 

Grantmaking 

Through our grantmaking we focus on the resiliency of the social sector, strengthening community assets, and supporting local decision-making that is inclusionary and public-health oriented. 

We do this through capacity-building grants focused on organizational health, multi-year general operating support for social service organizations, and by advancing opportunities for leadership development and collaborative efforts. When possible, we provide unrestricted funds so organizations and collaborative efforts can best determine their needs. 

We are also investing in existing assets of our community, like schools and other community anchors, so more parts of our rural region can act as health access points. When there is readiness, we also work to create new entry points for health and well-being. 

We also believe that when decision-makers have the tools and resources to make more inclusive and equitable decisions then they will. Through education, actionable information, and funds to support planning and pilot initiatives led by our community’s decision-makers, we work to create a culture of health, well-being, and equity throughout our region. 

Advocacy 

We advocate for policy changes that improve health in our rural community. This means creating actionable information around public health issues affecting our rural community and supporting participatory processes that include those most affected by a practice or policy at the table.

Community Leadership

We collaborate with other foundations and government. We work together with local healthcare and social service providers. We participate in coalitions and workgroups. We engage partners and bring together stakeholders to solve problems.