The Crucial Role of Foundations in Philanthropy

Philanthropy and Foundations

In the vast landscape of philanthropy, foundations stand as pillars of change, providing influence and resources to address important issues within their communities or areas of focus. This article offers an inside look into the philanthropic role of foundations, providing some clarity into their functions and their profound impact on shaping a better world.

Philanthropy: Functions of Foundation

In an era where philanthropy is evolving beyond mere financial assistance, foundations have emerged as pivotal entities in spearheading change, fostering innovation, and building capacities within communities and organizations they support. Below are just a few of the critical functions some Foundations deploy to make a lasting impact on the cause they feel passionate about:

  • Strategic Grant-Making: Foundations employ a strategic approach to grant-making, carefully selecting projects and organizations aligned with their mission and goals. This strategic focus enables them to target specific issues and maximize their impact. Like our Foundation, whose mission is to enhance the care of MJHS, foundations leverage internal grants as a powerful tool to further their organizational mission. By providing grants, foundations can channel resources directly into initiatives and programs aligning with their core values, driving meaningful change within the organization.
  • Research and Innovation: Many foundations invest in research and innovation to identify solutions to complex problems related to their cause. By supporting research, foundations can contribute to the development of new technologies, methodologies, and policies that address challenges.
  • Capacity-Building: Foundations, including ours, go beyond providing financial support by investing in capacity building, focusing on initiatives that empower organizations and communities while equipping professionals with essential skills. A notable example is our Music and Art Therapy program, which offers specialized care to enhance bereavement support, and is made possible through a grant from our Foundation. Our commitment to capacity building is also evident in the Holocaust Survivor Care Program. This program ensures clinicians receive trauma-informed guidance for patients and families who have experienced the Holocaust. Internal capacity-building grants play a crucial role in supporting organizational development. This strategic approach ensures foundations can better fulfill their missions and adapt to evolving challenges.


Foundations are experts at channeling resources toward creating a more equitable and sustainable world and attempting to fill in gaps where needed. As we navigate an ever-changing landscape, the role of foundations in philanthropy remains crucial.

Contact us to learn more about MJHS, a not-for-profit health system, or to donate through our Foundation in support of the health care programs and services we provide in our community.