Garfield Foundation announces the launch of a new Collaborative Network Initiative

The Garfield Foundation announced the launch of a new Collaborative Network initiative in partnership with the Lowell Center for Sustainable Production, Breast Cancer Fund, BlueGreen Alliance, Jenifer Altman Foundation, John Merck Fund, Marisla Foundation, and the New York Community Trust. Building upon the substantial work of our partners and many, many others who have advanced this field for over two decades, this initiative will use a systems approach to improving human health by:

• Seeking ways to wean our economy from dependence on chemicals and other environmental factors known and reasonably suspected to cause cancer and other chronic diseases; and
• Shifting investment towards products and processes that enhance health and well-being.

Over the next several years, collaborators will identify, align, and advance a set of complementary interventions and strategies to achieve its goals. These will include raising the public awareness of the compelling science of environmental health, and engaging citizens, scientists, advocates, foundations, progressive entrepreneurs, organized labor, and businesses in the process to effect significant and sustainable change that will improve health for all.

The Garfield Foundation’s decision to invest in this collaborative network is based on its experience initiating and engaging in the successful RE-AMP Network ( RE-AMP, begun in 2003, is now a network of over 170 nonprofits and foundations across eight Midwestern states working on climate change and energy policy with the goal of reducing global warming pollution economy-wide 80% by 2050.

In 2013, the Garfield Foundation launched its Collaborative Networks initiative and invited proposals from advocate and funder collaborators who thought a network approach to problem solving was right for their issue. Garfield received 64 proposals from partnerships representing 800 organizations and 60 foundations. The proposals covered a broad range of critical and complex sustainability issues. Through a deliberative process involving Garfield’s Collaborative Networks team and outside experts, seven finalists were chosen and presented to the Garfield Foundation board of trustees. Trustees selected this collaborative network based on the strength of the partners, and their compelling vision for improving human health.

The Foundation is proud of the successes of RE-AMP and optimistic that the new collaborative Network we are initiating with our partners will be equally impactful. We will be investing over $1M per year on the network design and implementation including the cost of convenings and their facilitation, systems analysis, identified gap research, and related grant making. Given the audacious goals of this Network, we welcome the interest and participation of foundation colleagues.