The Richmond Memorial Health Foundation (RMHF) launched the Collaboration, Community, and Peer Learning to Promote Health Equity with the goals of 1) supporting multi-entity, cross-sector collaboration; 2) meaningfully including community members in projects that promote health equity; 3) increasing understanding of health equity; 4) using an intersectional approach that acknowledges race and racism; and 5) informing RMHF’s learning around effective grantmaking. To this end, RMHF conceived an initiative to support eight community collaboratives where each would work to improve their understanding of core racial equity concepts, increase their capacity to use a racial equity impact-assessment tool, and execute an equity-focused project that, in part, using said tool..

Community Science designed and implemented an evaluation and learning process to provide insights about the initiative’s training and learning opportunities, grantmaking approach, and collaborative dynamics. We conducted virtual focus groups and a survey of representatives from the eight collaboratives. We also facilitated virtual meetings to review paths of change, operationalize effectiveness, and impact; a webinar on how to use data within the context of racial equity impact assessment; and two in-person peer-learning sessions with grantees.

We learned that nonprofit organizations require 1) consistent, frequent, and long-term technical assistance to help them understand and apply a racial equity lens to their health promotion and services; as well as 2) assistance to clearly define, practice, and sustain community engagement.

Community Science worked with the National Network of Consultants to Grantmakers (NNCG) to conduct a webinar about using research and evaluation to inform diversity, equity, and inclusion strategies, using RMHF’s case as an example, and also wrote about the experience in NNCG’s newsletter NNCG’s newsletter. 00543