Tag Archives: blue shield of california foundation

An Underutilized Tool For Foundations—Policy Change

In philanthropy, we are driven by the causes that matter to us and bolstered by the opportunity to generate meaningful change. For years, when I was out in the community or talking with my colleagues about the work of Blue Shield of California Foundation, I would rarely start by describing us as a “policy funder.” Instead, I would say that we aim to strengthen and transform the systems that support the health and safety of California’s most vulnerable populations. As I thought more about our programs and grant making and peeled back the many layers of “systems change,” I uncovered a policy framework upon which so much of our work relies. For us—and most foundations—strong policies are the infrastructure that … Continue reading An Underutilized Tool For Foundations—Policy Change

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“Policy” Shouldn’t Be a Four-Letter Word

“Policy” is a four-letter word within many foundations. That’s probably because policy is a gateway to advocacy, which can lead to lobbying. And that, if done incorrectly, can land a foundation in trouble. Better just to steer clear. Or is it? Think about the work that you do on a daily basis to fight poverty, promote health, improve education, address any number of social ills. Then think about how many times you or those you work with have said, “You know, we wouldn’t have this problem if…” Chances are, whatever “if” is, it’s related to policy. That means if philanthropy is truly going to be effective, policy engagement may need to be part of the plan. We’ve been very fortunate … Continue reading “Policy” Shouldn’t Be a Four-Letter Word

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The “Perfect Storm” for Leadership Development

Last year, the Putnam Consulting team had the privilege of working with Blue Shield of California Foundation (BSCF) on a case study documenting the Foundation’s work to build cadres of leadership in the state’s community health centers and domestic violence shelters. In a nutshell, BSCF created the Clinic Leadership Institute to provide an intensive 18-month leadership development experience for cadres of up-and-coming leaders as well as programs to enhance the leadership abilities of existing executive teams and new CEOs. It also incorporated a strong Leadership Development Program into a broader effort to strengthen the field of domestic violence service organizations. You can read more about program specifics here. What we found unique and particularly interesting about BSCF’s approach was the … Continue reading The “Perfect Storm” for Leadership Development

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