The Brush Foundation – Funding Strategy 2016
The Brush Foundation has a proud history of funding essential and innovative work in the field of reproductive health and rights. The long term aim of the Brush Foundation is to advance access to reproductive health care, including abortion, and increase cultural support for reproductive health, rights, and justice worldwide.
In November 2014, the Brush Foundation’s Board of Managers evaluated the Foundation’s grant making strategy to ensure that its funding decisions have the greatest impact in this challenging time for reproductive health, rights, and justice. Through a rigorous and thoughtful process, the Board refocused its funding strategy; for the next three to five years the Foundation will support reproductive health, rights, and justice in Ohio through activities designed to advance public policy, access to care, and culture change.
In November 2015, the Board determined four “paths forward” to further its goals:
1. Build Relationships with Allied Funders – In order to multiply the effectiveness of its efforts the Foundation will reach out to allied funders to learn about related work, share our strategy, solicit feedback, and identify opportunities for collaboration.
2. Promote Targeted Action – In order to hone strategic thinking about how best to influence public opinion and affect policy change on reproductive health, rights, and justice, the Foundation will support a mapping project to identify target areas in Ohio where action and focus could be particularly influential and productive. Once created, the mapping product can be used by the Foundation and by other funders, organizations, and grantees to inform outreach and create opportunities for data-informed collaborative work. Analysis of the mapping product also may be helpful to identify additional policy leverage points and to broaden the base of supporters.
3. Support New Thinking and the Next Generation – In order to influence the public narrative and promote culture change, the Brush Foundation seeks to amplify voices that are sometimes marginalized in the reproductive health and rights arena. The Foundation is reaching out to selected groups – including millennials, communities of color, multi-issue social justice organizations, and others – to support new approaches to change the current narrative. The Foundation also intends to support capacity building to work in new and effective ways to promote reproductive health, rights, and justice in Ohio.
4. Expand Collaboration – The Foundation is exploring the potential to support an array of organizations working on progressive social justice issues in Ohio – including but extending beyond reproductive health access and rights – to come together for strategic thinking, strategy development, and possible collective action that could further policy reform and culture change.
The Foundation will support these strategies in 2016 through grant making and ongoing assessment. In doing this, the Foundation is departing from its past funding cycle for a process that is intentionally focused on inspiring change. At a time when access to reproductive health care hangs in the balance, the Foundation has chosen to take risks in its grant making to find new ways forward.
The Brush Foundation strives to create, foster, and drive change by supporting people and organizations with aligned visions of reproductive health, rights, and justice in Ohio. The Foundation is willing to take risks, realizing that not all the initiatives will succeed. The increasingly negative discourse around reproductive rights and the mounting restrictions on reproductive health access in Ohio have intensified the urgency of adopting this approach.
Over the next several months, we will be inviting a small number of organizations to respond to one or more Notices of Funding Opportunity (NOFO). More information about our funding strategy and other grant making opportunities will be available on our website in Summer 2017.