Giving InSight

A Blog for and about Funders Focused on Health and the Environment
Tree-shaped word cloud of 2017 HEFN Annual Meeting
December 20, 2017 by Cindy Glass
We asked funders who attended HEFN’s 2017 Annual Meeting on “Rewriting the Rules” to share their top takeaways in a post-meeting survey. The myriad thoughtful responses ranged from the pointed – “Flint still has a water crisis” -- to the poignant – “It is incredibly frightening the trajectory of increased health and environmental threats that will be growing under the current political and economic paradigm and the people in the room give me HOPE” – to the poetic – “Funders need to learn how to dance.”
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Photo by Stephen Leonardi on Unsplash
November 29, 2017 by Kathy Sessions
In these disruptive times, it’s not always easy to know where the right balance is between staying a course and responding to changing realities, or between focusing on “our issues” and forging alliances across issues when there are so many challenges around us.
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Photo Credit: Ron Schwane/AP
The question I ask daily is, of these good people with kindness in their hearts, are there more outspoken than silent ones? Are there more activated people than passive ones? Are there more brave ones than cowards?
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Ruth Hennig
August 14, 2017 by Ruth Hennig, Executive Director, the John Merck Fund
HEFN and this funder community are deeply grateful for Ruth Hennig’s many contributions to the environmental health movement. Here are Ruth’s reflections and advice as she prepares to move on after almost 30 years with the John Merck Foundation and step down as its executive director on Sept. 29.
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Campaign button, What's at Stake
August 2, 2017 by Gary Bass and Mark Rosenman
In these politically disruptive times, are philanthropies doing enough to defend the civility, inclusivity, transparency, and accountability that informs their nonprofit work? Gary D. Bass, executive director of Bauman Foundation (a HEFN member) and an affiliated professor at Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy, and Mark Rosenman, professor emeritus at Union Institute & University, discuss what's at stake.
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Who We Are

Kathryn Gilje
Steering Committee Member
Kat Gilje is Executive Director of Ceres Trust. Ceres Trust, whose name honors the ancient goddess of agriculture, provides grants that support healthy and resilient farms, forests and communities; and the ecosystems upon which we all depend. Ceres Trust...

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