Lessons from our Grantmaking
Since the creation of the Health Fund, our grant partners have worked diligently to expand access to healthy food and physical activity in Michigan—especially for children and older adults who face disproportionate barriers.
Reports and case studies help us identify key successes and points of growth in these past grants, opening the door for future growth and replication.
Our Evaluation Principles
- Be collaborative. The evaluation ecosystem includes grant partners, other funders, community members, policymakers, and the evaluation field—and we all learn more when we work together. At the Health Fund, we engage grantees and other partners from planning through dissemination.
- Tell the story. It’s important to understand not only what’s working but why (or why not), and to translate those lessons for practitioners and decision-makers. To give our evaluation efforts a life beyond reports, we seek to share timely, accessible, and compelling stories with partners, peers, and policymakers.
- Be accountable. Through evaluation, we assess the effectiveness of our grantmaking against our mission and strategic plan. We aim to use evaluation results to become more effective funders and partners.
- Inform policymaking. We work closely with evaluation professionals to design evaluation projects that can inform structural change, influence health policy, and transform health delivery.
- Value multiple perspectives. Michigan is a diverse state, and evaluation is a varied practice. We tailor our approach to the needs of a particular community or project, drawing on a variety of measurement methods and strategies rather than a specific template or tool.
- Embed equity. Our evaluation work is in the service of broader work to reduce health disparities and address inequity. We’re working to advance, explore, and implement more equitable evaluation principles.
Each year brings a fresh reminder that as funders, our success is not separate from that of our partners and ultimately the communities they serve.