Public Health Funder Network

The Public Health Funder Network is a community of grantmakers, donors and APHA members who recognize that philanthropy serves an important role in the improvement of population health outcomes and the overall health of communities. The network's goal: to promote a cross-sector approach to solving complex public health challenges by networking and sharing best practices. The network places a special focus on philanthropy as a catalyst to drive change through innovative strategies and partnerships with local communities and stakeholders.

In an effort to build an increasingly informed and transparent public health funding community, a network of funders and donors has been convening during the APHA Annual Meeting since 2013. Unlike most grantmaker associations, APHA has a membership that includes practitioners, scientists, educators, students and funders; and its meetings facilitate cross-sector dialogue. The Public Health Funder Network believes these conversations enhance the public health sector’s ability, both strategically and collaboratively, to impact health outcomes by investing private resources judiciously in communities served.

Public Health Funder Network activities include:

  1. A reception at the APHA Annual Meeting hosted by funders from the host city, where participants can meet and mingle; 
  2. Six peer-reviewed sessions for APHA Annual Meeting attendees to learn about grantmaking in public health, discuss best practices and share work with other funders and the broader public health community; and 
  3. A business meeting during the APHA Annual Meeting for Public Health Funder Network Planning Committee members to evaluate activities and plan for next year. New members working in philanthropy are welcome to join!

The APHA 2020 Annual Meeting call for abstracts will open soon!

Join us Oct. 24-28 in San Francisco for an exciting lineup of six peer-reviewed sessions, and be sure to drop by our Social Hour on Monday.

Contact Us

PHFN Founder and Chair: VNA Foundation Senior Program Officer Claudia Baier312-214-1521
APHA Staff Liaison: APHA Development Manager Torrey Wasserman202-777-2486

And visit our APHA Annual Meeting page for general meeting information including location and registration. 

In the News

Creating the Funder Network I Needed (, September 15, 2016)
We Need More Bridge-Builders in Our Fractured Era (, Nov. 25, 2014)
Philanthropy helping public health achieve its objectives; Donors becoming health partners (The Nation's Health, February 2014)

Public Health Funder Network Milestones

PHFN founded by APHA members based in Chicago

PHFN session at the Annual Meeting in Boston: Achieving collective public health impact: building bridges between funders and community coalitions (session #3213.1)

PHFN events at the Annual Meeting in New Orleans
1. Philanthropy’s role in advocacy and policy change (session #3118.0)
2. The ACA and philanthropy: strategies to support implementation (session #3221.0)
3. The next transformation in American healthcare: aligning health and healthcare (session #3327.0) 

PHFN events at the Annual Meeting in Chicago
1. Public Health Funder Network reception (session #311.1)
2. Philanthropic strategies to advance health in all policies (session #3007.0)
3. Philanthropy’s role in measuring progress toward health improvement goals (session #3120.0)
4. The dual role of foundations and grantees in catalyzing change through advocacy (session #3229.0)
5. Taking collective action: engaging people, place and systems to improve health (session #3330.0)
6. Public Health Funder Network business meeting (session #406.0)

PHFN events at the Annual Meeting in Denver
1. Public Health Funder Network reception(session #299.0) Sponsored by the Colorado Health Foundation
2. Five years of building health communities in California: mid-initiative accomplishments, lessons and adaptations (session #3014.0)
3. Tools for designing and implementing adaptive funding strategies (session #3121.0) 
4. It’s not just about checking boxes: evaluation and learning in philanthropic and pubic health practice (session #3326.0)
5. Hospital community benefit: leveraging the opportunity for change (session #4010.0) 6. Partnering with community: addressing equity and health disparities through philanthropy (session #4102.0)
7. Public Health Funder Network business meeting (session #417.0)
8. Capacity building 3.0: building sustainable learning communities for effective public health delivery  (session #4288.0)

PHFN events at the Annual Meeting in Atlanta
1. Public Health Funder Network reception (session #298.0) Sponsored by the Healthcare Georgia Foundation
2. Developing cross-sector leaders to advance health equity (session #3018.0) 
3. Funding public health in a time of political discord (session #3138.0) 
4. Using policy as a lever for improving community health practice (session #3356.0)  
5. The power of aligning partners through funding and impact measurement (session #4010.0) 
6. Healing trauma: A funder's approach to addressing violence (session #4103.1) 
7. Public Health Funder Network business meeting (session #416.0) 
8. Improving rural children's health: funders as partners and catalysts (session #4290.0) 

PHFN events at the Annual Meeting in San Diego
1.  Public Health Funder Network reception (session #294) Sponsored by the Blue Shield of California Foundation
2.  Funding Grassroots, Community Solutions to Address Social Determinants of Health (session #3017)
3.  Public Health Funder Network business meeting (session #419)
4.  Centering Racial and Health Equity within Government: Lessons from Richmond, E. Salinas, Long Beach and Building Healthy Communities (session #3341)
5.  What Funders Can Do As The Opioid Epidemic Reconfigures Health Policy And Funding (session #4012)
6.  Exploring Challenges, Barriers and Results of Funders Collaborating to Expand Equity with Comprehensive School-based Health Services (session #4137)
7.  Funding and Building Cross-Sector Collaboratives to Improve Children's Health (session #4331)
8.  In Their Own Words: Community Organizers' Messages to Funders about What Works, Challenges Faced, and Relevance for Growing Health Equity Now (session #4398)

PHFN events at the Annual Meeting in Philadelphia
1.  The RISE Partnership: Multi-Sector Collaboration to Build Capacity for Readiness, Implementation and Sustainability for Effectiveness (session #3014)
2.  Grantmaking Foundations 101 (session #3122)
3.  Beyond Grantmaking: Catalyzing Philanthropy and Partnerships to Improve Community Health (session #3234)
4.  Public Health Funder Network Social Hour (session #337) Sponsored by Independence Blue Cross Foundation
5.  Placed-Based Investment for Health: What Have Foundations Learned (session #4010)
6.  From Hunger Relief to Food Sovereignty: Reimagining Funding Strategies for Community Health (session #4127)
7.  Public Health Funder Network Business Meeting (session #421)
8.  Trauma-Informed Philanthropy: Moving from Knowledge to Action (session #4317)

Organizations Participating in Public Health Funder Network (since 2013)
Organization Annual Meeting
Alameda Health System Foundation 2017
American Heart Association 2017
Annie E. Casey Foundation 2017, 2018
Asian Resources Inc. 2016
Association of State and Territorial Health Officials 2013
Athabascan Nation, Chickaloon Native Village 2018
Bay Area Metropolitan Transportation Commission 2017
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois 2013-2017
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation 2016-2018
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas 2014-2015
Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health 2017
Blue Shield of California Foundation 2018
BUILD Health Challenge 2017
California Community Foundation 2018
Casa de Salud 2017
Center for Community Change 2018
ChangeLab Solutions 2015
Chris 180 2017
City of Long Beach (California) 2018
City of Richmond (California) 2018 2015
Colorado Center on Law and Policy 2016
Community Catalyst 2016
Community Memorial Foundation 2014-2018
Criminal Justice Coordinating Council 2017
de Beaumont Foundation 2014-2017
Delta Dental of Michigan, Ohio and Indiana/The Delta Dental Foundation 2018
DuPage County Health Department 2017
Environmental Health Watch 2017
Episcopal Health Foundation 2017
EverThrive Illinois 2013
Exponent Philanthropy 2014-2018
Forefront 2017
Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky 2014-2015, 2018
Foundations of East Chicago 2016
Fund for a Safer Future 2013
Georgia State University 2017
Grantmakers in Health 2015-2018
Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce 2017
Group Health Research Institute 2016
Growing Well 2018
Health & Medicine Policy Research Group 2013, 2017
Health Foundation in South Florida 2015
Health Management Associates 2015
Health Resources in Action 2018
Highmark Foundation 2013
Incarnate Word Foundation 2016
Indianapolis Congregation Action Network 2017
Interact for Health 2014-2018
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health 2014-2015
Joyce Foundation 2013, 2016-2017
Kaiser Permanente 2015
Kansas Health Foundation 2018
Legal Action Center 2018
Lewis Health Solutions 2017
Maine Health Access Foundation 2014
Mat-Su Health Foundation 2018
Metta Fund 2015-2017
Missouri Foundation for Health 2016, 2018
NAMI Colorado 2016
Neighborhood Planning Unit V 2017
New America Media 2016
New Futures 2018
New Hampshire Charitable Foundation 2018
Nonprofit Strategy & Capacity Building 2016
North Dakota State University 2017
NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development 2013
Otto Bremer Trust 2017
PEK Consulting 2015-2017
Penn State University 2013
Peoria City/County Health Department 2017
Pew Charitable Trusts 2015
Pfizer 2013
Polk Bros Foundation 2014, 2017
Public Health Institute 2015-2016
Public Health Institute of Metropolitan Chicago 2017
Ravenswood Health Foundation 2015
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation 2014, 2016-2018
San Francisco State University 2018
SOULD Chicago 2018
Spark Policy Institute 2016
St. David's Foundation 2016
State of Alaska Court System 2018
State of Alaska Division of Public Health 2018
Sustainable Food Center 2016
Switch/Health Blog 2017-1018
TCC Group 2016
The Boston Foundation 2018
The California Endowment 2015-2016, 2018
The Chicago Community Trust 2013-2015
The Colorado Health Foundation 2016
The Colorado Trust 2016, 2018
The George Washington University, School of Public Health and Services 2016
The John Merck Found 2015
The Kresge Foundation 2014, 2016
The Melville Charitable Trust 2014
The New York Community Trust 2017-2018
Trinity Health 2016
United Way of Metro Chicago 2017
University of California at Berkeley School of Public Health 2018
University of Pennsylvania — Center for High Impact Philanthropy 2018
University of Southern California 2016
University of Wisconsin-Madison 2018
Vitalyst Health Foundation              2015-2018
VNA Foundation 2013-2018