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Case Study

How Texas Health Resources Foundation reconciles donor and health system goals to fund community partnerships

15 Minute Read


The challenge

Texas Health Resources (THR) sought to develop an infrastructure for funding new community health investments using philanthropy. THR’s leaders initially hoped to ask donors to support a community health impact fund, which would make grants to local organizations aligned with critical health objectives. However, the foundation team was unsure that donors would attach to that idea. Despite showing interest in community health needs, donors weren’t likely to invest in a grantmaking fund without knowing how the monies would be used.

The organization

THR is one of North Texas’s largest health systems with more than 4,000 beds across 27 hospitals. Headquartered in Arlington, Texas, their foundation team has 26 full time employees and raised $14.6M in FY2019.

The approach

THR Foundation used market research to understand whether donor interests aligned with the health system’s funding strategy, and offer evidence based alternatives. The foundation conducted a feasibility study with donors to determine what type of community health strategy they would fund. Donor feedback helped the foundation design a two pronged, market informed approach to funding community health improvement programs.

The result

THR’s two pronged community health improvement funding strategy meets donor and institutional interests. Across FY2019 alone, donors and the health system committed a combined $7.4M to community health investments.



How market research advanced THR community health improvement goals for the system and its donors 

Using market research, THR Foundation designed a two-pronged strategy for using donor and health system goals to advance community health initiatives. The first part consists of councils, funded by the health system, that award community impact grants. The second part is working with external funders and community partners to launch focused and strategic community health improvement interventions.


Three components

How leaders at THR Foundation used market research to advance community health improvement goals:

  • Component

    Conduct assessment of the donor community

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  • Component

    Recommend dual approach to channel system and donor dollars

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  • Component

    Advise on selection and design of community health improvement projects

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Market research advances community health improvement goals

Based on its market-driven research, THR Foundation chose a successful two-prong strategy. This strategy allocates financial resources and expertise to community health improvement programs across THR’s market, including the launch of a housing solution initiative.


Total funds (system and donor) committed to
community health in FY2019


Of total funds raised were specifically for
community health in FY2019


Fundraising dollars committed to permanent
housing initiative to date


THR’s projected savings per patient from the
planned permanent housing initiative

Going forward, THR Foundation is exploring investments in telehealth, indigent care clinics, and behavioral health. Upcoming projects will continue to engage local funders while serving health system interests.

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