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Mindful Philanthropy Assists Funders in Making the Most of Their Mental Health Investments

In 2023, the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation announced a $275,000 grant to Mindful Philanthropy to support the organization’s capacity to expand its research and convening, including conducting a national landscape analysis of philanthropic investment in mental health. This grant was part of a large portfolio of Mental Health & Well-Being grants focused on partnerships with organizations poised to leverage philanthropic, corporate and government funding by developing new research and communications tools, education and convening.

Founded in 2020, Mindful Philanthropy acts as a catalyst and multiplier for investment in mental health, addiction and well-being. This is accomplished by connecting and convening funders through webinars and larger in-person educational events to increase their knowledge in the mental health and well-being space. Mindful Philanthropy then guides funders toward strategy and smart investments that align with their priorities and values to achieve greater scale and impact. 

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and as the spotlight on mental health has grown, so has the opportunity for all of philanthropy to fund mental health by recognizing its intersection with other issue areas. Mindful Philanthropy is leading the conversation around how philanthropy can transform that landscape. 

Mindful Philanthropy convenings utilize many programming components, including opportunities to hear from experts, practitioners and researchers. Connecting people through human storytelling allows people to feel more connected to one another and invested, which sparks ideas surrounding new models and practices in mental health.

Mindful Philanthropy takes a multifaceted approach to identifying and evaluating strategic investment opportunities by utilizing insights from a network of funders, subject-matter experts and high-impact nonprofit organizations to collaboratively pinpoint needs, gaps and opportunities. Through frequent, in-depth conversations and investigations of local and regional outcomes, Mindful Philanthropy synthesizes and simplifies this information for funders to spark structural change.

“There’s a strong desire to partner and experiment in the field, but there’s also a disconnect with coordination. Philanthropy needs a focused strategy and an established way to implement that change,” said Alyson Niemann, Mindful Philanthropy’s Executive Director. Mindful Philanthropy approaches issues that arise with curiosity. We invite the connections in our network to contribute their expertise and experience to the conversation, and we maintain a willingness to learn more, evolve and create a better environment for these discussions.”

Mindful Philanthropy recently launched the Mental Health at the Center guidance series, releasing the first two in a series of four reports designed to guide philanthropy in investing in mental health as a central focus. Recommendations are based on a nine-month effort to assess the current mental health needs, gaps and opportunities across the United States.

There is a growing need to create a more robust mental health system with better navigation and a roadmap so that any person in need will know precisely where to go to receive mental health care and what to expect. In partnership with philanthropy, mental health experts, corporate entities and government, Mindful Philanthropy is working to build a mental health system that is clear, accessible, effective and equitable.

The foundation is committed to supporting Mindful Philanthropy and other organizations in this space as they help to guide and inform where philanthropy can be most impactful in addressing mental health and well-being.

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