New Profit: Grants for Public Health

OVERVIEW: New Profit’s public health priorities are emerging as it selects new investments in the field. For now, the general focus seems to be supporting organizations with youth health initiatives and for those seeking to break the brutal cycle of poor health caused by poverty.

IP TAKE: Competition is fierce in the world of venture philanthropy, and New Profit is no exception. Overall, New Profit is looking for people that are passionate about big-picture, systemic change, but also rational about their own scope and focus.

PROFILE: New Profit was founded in 1999 in Boston on the idea that all social change organizations should have access to the resources they need to thrive. Through a lengthy and rigorous selection process, it chooses new investments to bring into the fold. New Profit hooks them up with strategic services, mentoring, and peer support, while also schooling them in the importance of internal assessments, and quantifying their organizational reach and impact.

The foundation’s overall mission is to “break down the barriers that stand between people and opportunity in America.” When choosing which groups to support, Eliza Greenberg, managing partner of New Profit Innovation Fund, stresses that the skills of the organization’s founder or leader are as important as their initiative goal, if not more important. “Really, it’s a person we are choosing over a particular outcome or vision,” says Greenberg. “They need to have sound judgment, be bold, hungry, and passionate, and be a real magnet for resources.”

Current Public Health investments have been made to organizations that are primarily volunteer-led, devoted to working with youth to understand and ameliorate the big-picture causes of poor health as well as those seeking to break the brutal cycle of poor health caused by poverty.

Though New Profit is currently focusing on its current investments, and not currently accepting LOIs, keep an eye on their website for their next open LOI announcement.

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