Foundations and Health Policy: Identifying Funding Strategies in Health Programming

Jack H. Knott, Carol S. Weissert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article analyzes the role of one important element of the nonprofit sector in public policymaking by examining the pattern of foundation giving in the health area. It examines the timing of foundation funding in six health policy areas: AIDS, Alzheimer's, cost containment, outcome‐based research, minority health care, and the uninsured. Four major foundations funding health are examined: the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Pew Charitable Trusts. We find that while some foundations can be classified into different groupings based on the timing and levels of funding, foundations differ greatly in their policy choices and some do not display consistent funding strategies across policy areas. While some foundations are early funders of policy before Congress recognizes the issue, foundation funding levels often pattern congressional interest, with funding peaking concurrent with the peak in the number of congressional hearings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)149-159
Number of pages11
JournalReview of Policy Research
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Mar 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Public Administration
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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