Mar. 25, 2021 12:00 pm

Aligning policy and practice through local grantmaking efforts

The Scattergood Foundation will award four $20,000 grants to grassroots orgs as part of its new grant program, Policy Meets Practice: Think Bigger Do Good Support Local.

One of the goals of Scattergood's new grant program is to build capacity of grassroots, BIPOC-led organizations.

(Photo by heylagostechie on Unsplash)

This guest column was written by Caitlin O'Brien and Alyson Ferguson of the Scattergood Foundation.
Public policy has broad and deep impacts for families and communities, yet many public policy discussions occur without those most affected informing the discussion.

Since 2016, the Scattergood Foundation has commissioned and released more than 20 papers as a part of its  Think Bigger Do Good Policy Series. This collection offers non-partisan and solution-oriented papers that address current behavioral health policy issues at the local, state, and federal levels.

With the recognition that policy and practice must work in tandem to drive critical systems changes, the Scattergood Foundation is now offering grant awards that will align the series with our local grantmaking. The new grant program, Policy Meets Practice: Think Bigger Do Good Support Local, will invest in grassroots organizations (annual budget of $1 million or less) that work directly with communities to address issues that relate to, inform, and advance the policy discussions outlined in the series.

Goals of the program include:

  • Investing in programs that connect important behavioral health policy issues to on-the-ground practice;
  • Building capacity of grassroots, BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color)-led organizations; and
  • Informing behavioral health policy discussions using lessons from real-world application.

In its first cycle of grantmaking, the program will support organizations that align work with the paper, COVID-19, Structural Racism, and Mental Health Inequities: Policy Implications for an Emerging Syndemic by Ruth S. Shim, MD, MPH and Steven M. Starks, MD, FAPA.

This timely paper offers a discussion of how the COVID-19 pandemic interacts with social conditions created by structural racism and mental health inequities to cluster and produce worse outcomes for specific populations. A total of eight recommendations are made and range from local-level solutions like engaging and empowering communities to state and federal policy shifts that would expand health insurance coverage and increase access.

From our Partners

A total of four $20,000 grant awards will be given to organizations that are working to reinforce and advance the policy discussion in the paper.

Grantees will also have the opportunity to participate in a Community of Practice in which they will share best practices and challenges with one another and members of a grantmaking group to inform ongoing policy recommendations.

Grant decisions will be made by a grantmaking group comprised of individuals who have been engaged in a wide range of on-the-ground community and behavioral health efforts.

For more information and to apply, click here. Applications are due on Friday, April 9 by 5 p.m. EST.


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