Capacity Building Series: Taking Peer Relationships One Step Further – Tips for Collaborating with Organizations

How to Approach and Build Collaborations

In our last blog, we explored collaborative peer relationships. We shared why and how nonprofits might collaborate with each other—the benefits, reasons, and methods of collaboration. We now want to dive a little deeper into what collaboration could look like for nonprofit organizations. Let’s keep in mind that the goal of collaboration is not always to write a collaborative grant, but it could be, if it’s what might be best for your organization. Sometimes it’s even more beneficial to partner with other organizations—and funders—to seek out more funding and maximize your impact on your community.

“Most funders and nonprofits value working together, and many are looking for ways to improve the quality of their collaborations. Even if some of what we try doesn’t work, deepening relationships with grantees and other stakeholders builds a strong foundation for future efforts. With the right conditioning and enabling environment, we can make progress on effectively partnering with others to achieve meaningful impact.”  Source:


Here are Some Tips for Collaborating with Organizations:

  1. Tie collaboration into your organization’s goals:
    • Be clear on your goals and how collaborating can help you achieve them.
  2. Determine how you fit into the landscape:
    • Learn more about the subject matter, issues being addressed by the collaboration, other collaborators, and the roles they play.
    • Ask yourself, “What role do we want to play? Where can we add value?”
  3. Lay the groundwork through relationship building:
    • Time to utilize those relationship building skills we discussed in our previous blogs (linked below)! Be intentional about developing trust by showing your flexibility, ability to compromise, and communicating openly about your community’s needs and how a collaboration can make a meaningful impact.
  4. Build a diverse and committed leadership:
    • Having a diverse staff and board that’s representative of your community helps provide a variety of perspectives and connections that can strengthen your network, and therefore your collaborative.
    • Get your staff and board on the same page in prioritizing the collaborative. Make sure they have buy-in and get them involved.
  5. Focus on communication:
    • Communication is key, right? So, communicate often and well—both within and outside of your organization—to ensure everyone is aligned on the vision of the collaborative. Carve out space and time early on for your organizations to get to know each other. Having these connections can make it easier to talk openly about challenges and hold each other accountable.
  6. Provide the resources required:
    • Be mindful of the amount of time and money needed to invest into a collaborative as well as your team’s capacity to focus on it. Remember to secure funding appropriately to help cover the associated costs of a collaborative.
  7. Ensure that collaboration remains a priority:

How to Write a Successful Collaborative Grant (Just One Way to Collaborate!)

Collaboration takes many forms. Building relationships and partnerships might be all that your organization needs. However, if you find that exploring a collaborative grant with fellow organizations might advance your organization’s mission in impacting your community, we would love to provide support. If you’ve never applied for collaborative funding, that’s okay! We’ll break it down in a few steps.

Step one: Identify Partners

You’ll want to begin by identifying other organizations that could be great partners and reach out to them now. Great partners often address the same or similar challenges of your community, have similar mission, vision, values, and goals to yours to make a broader impact. Or maybe they have an entirely different approach to addressing the challenge that compliments and aligns with your organization’s goals.

Establishing trust and getting to know each other’s expertise and available resources takes time. You can think of developing a partnership as an ongoing part of your grantseeking efforts. You can start by appointing a team leader and establishing a workplan and project schedule. You then might assign roles and responsibilities and agree on how you’ll make decisions. It might also be helpful to designate one person to do the writing and have everyone read a draft and suggest edits.

Step Two: Establish Communication and Infrastructure

Although we know that frequent communication is critical, everyone communicates differently. Be sure to discuss communication approaches and ensure a strong infrastructure with tools that all organizations can utilize. There are many types of collaboration tools available online such as:

  • Project management software
  • Document sharing tools
  • Communication tools to stay in touch remotely via messages and video calls
    • e.g. Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts, Skype
  • Time tracking tools

Step Three: Call on Community

When you’re concerned about a community issue, act. Let the needs of the community be your driving force rather than funding opportunities. Before searching for funders, consider which other organizations you can partner with to address the issue together, leaning on your respective viewpoints, assessing data, and brainstorming possibilities.

Step Four: Talk Money

Discuss money early on. After agreeing on an approach with your collaborative partners, create a budget that details what each partner needs in the collaborative. Without a clear and comprehensive budget being established, a collaborative proposal can fail. Although, remember that a collaborative project budget does not always completely fund an initiative, program, or personnel. This means that organizations who are part of the collaborative might have to seek additional funding to make collaborative efforts monetarily whole.

Step Five: Confront Discord

Confront discord right away and ensure that all partners commit to civil, honest discussion to address the issue. If you are unable to find a solution, strive to maintain ongoing relationships even if a partner organization decides to part ways with the collaborative. However, keep in mind that collaborative relationships are often very fluid and just because a partner needs to bow out doesn’t mean the collaboration is failing. Source:

Hopefully some of these tips and suggestions will help you in your collaborative journey. We know that collaboration can look different from one organization to another based on needs, goals, connections, and resources. Your organization might be newer to collaborative efforts and eager to learn and get started. Maybe your organization is more seasoned and experienced in collaborating with other organizations, or collaborative funding, and ready to dive a little deeper. Perhaps you’re somewhere in between! We can all learn much from each other’s experiences, no matter where we are in our journeys.

So, let’s chat! Tell us below…what has your experience been with collaborating with other organizations? Have you experienced any barriers to collaborating? Would trying a new approach to collaborating help address a barrier? What experiences have you had with collaborative grants? What was that like for your organization? What lessons did you learn?


Learn more about what Methodist Healthcare Ministries’ Capacity Building team is doing to assist organizations in improving operations and performance through its Capacity Building blog series on If you have any questions, please email us at

To read previous entries in the Capacity Building blog series, see below:

Capacity Building Series: Relationship Building with Funders (Part I)

Capacity Building Series – Part II: Why Relationships Matter

Capacity Building Series: Building Collaborative Relationships author pics

About the author: Chloé Laurence (she/her)

With a professional background working in education, mental health counseling spaces, and the nonprofit sector, Chloé serves her community through education, advocacy, and capacity building. She utilizes her love of learning and connecting with people in her work as a Capacity Building Specialist at Methodist Healthcare Ministries to support and empower our funded partners. Her mission is to strengthen our partners’ organizations so they can continue their incredible work building health equity and serving underserved individuals.

Capacity Building Series: Building Collaborative Relationships

Building Collaborative Relationships: Relationship building with peers and other nonprofit organizations

We’re back with our third blog post in this Capacity Building Series! Let’s explore the practice of building collaborative relationships with peers and nonprofit organizations. So, what is collaboration? According to the Cambridge Dictionary, collaboration is the act of working together with other people or organizations to create or achieve something. In short, to collaborate is to create, produce, or achieve together.

You might be asking yourself, why do nonprofits collaborate anyway? How might working with another nonprofit benefit my organization? You might wish to collaborate for three main reasons:

  • to boost organizational efficiency, so your organization can accomplish its work more quickly and with fewer resources. For example,­­­­­­­­­­­­­ nonprofits can work together to create a community resources directory/website. This guide of shared resources helps organizations more efficiently navigate Social Determinants of Health needs for their clients.
  • to increase organizational effectiveness, so your organization can advance its stated mission more successfully. For example, organizations working together to bring new resources to another organization to better meet their mission. This could look like collaborating with organizations that have community counselors who can work with food banks and then food banks bringing services to community mental and behavioral health clinics to care more holistically for clients.
  • to drive broader social and systems change, so when executed successfully, collaborating organizations can collectively strategize to identify solutions that address a social issue in efforts to change systems. For example, a mental health provider, law enforcement, and jail system may collaborate to meet the needs of a person’s crisis mental health needs, diverting them from jails and hospital emergency rooms who are commonly under-resourced to effectively address such needs.

How might nonprofits collaborate with each other? Each partnership between nonprofits will look different depending on the end goal. Nonprofits can work together through cooperation, coordination, and/or collaboration. Let’s look at the 3C Model below that demonstrates the distinguishment between these levels.



For a great example of a local group demonstrating collaboration principles, BUILD Health Challenge® (BUILD) 4.0 awardee, Bridges to Care San Antonio (BTCSA), is a collaborative made up of NAMI Greater San Antonio, City of San Antonio Human Services Department, H. E. Butt Foundation, and WestCare Foundation, that is working to bridge the gap in mental health issues for underserved and predominantly Black and Hispanic/Latino communities and create more welcoming, inclusive, supportive, engaged, and resilient communities by collaborating with faith and community-based organizations.

The BUILD Health Challenge® (BUILD) invests in multi-sector, community-centered partnerships and champions the national movement for health equity by moving attention, resources, and action upstream to support health and well-being across the United States. Since 2019, Methodist Healthcare Ministries has been a philanthropic partner of the BUILD Health Challenge. Learn more about Bridges to Care San Antonio (BTCSA) and their work as a BUILD Health Challenge awardee at

Check out more resources on collaboration from BUILD Health Challenge® (BUILD):

There are many types of collaboration in the nonprofit space, and it can be difficult to differentiate between them. However, it is important to identify the best type of partnership for your organization and situation, which requires reflection, dialogue, relationship building, and communication. Collaborative efforts can look different for various end goals, can ebb and flow between collaboration types, and can also incorporate multiple types of collaboration all at once.

Let’s take a look at these common types of collaboration, from least formal to most formal:

  • Networks: People connected by relationships, which can take on a variety of forms, both formal and informal.
  • Coalitions: Organizations whose members commit to an agreed-on purpose and shared decision making to influence an external institution or target, while each member organization maintains its own autonomy.
  • Movements: Collective action with a common frame and long-term vision for social change, characterized by grassroots mobilization that works to address a power imbalance.
  • Strategic Alliances: Partnership among organizations working in pursuit of a common goal while maintaining organizational independence. This could mean aligning programs or administrative functions or adopting complementary strategies.
  • Strategic CoFunding: Partnership among organizations that work in pursuit of a common goal. This could mean aligning programs or administrative functions or adopting complementary strategies.
  • PublicPrivate Partnerships: Partnerships formed between government and private sector organizations to deliver specific services or benefits.
  • Collective Impact Initiatives: Long-term commitments by a group of important actors from different sectors to a common agenda for solving a specific social problem.

So, what has collaboration looked like in your organization (with or without a grant)? We’d love to hear about your experiences with collaboration and what you’ve gained or learned about collaborating with other organizations. author pics

About the author: Chloé Laurence (she/her)

With a professional background working in education, mental health counseling spaces, and the nonprofit sector, Chloé serves her community through education, advocacy, and capacity building. She utilizes her love of learning and connecting with people in her work as a Capacity Building Specialist at Methodist Healthcare Ministries to support and empower our funded partners. Her mission is to strengthen our partners’ organizations so they can continue their incredible work building health equity and serving underserved individuals.

Capacity Building Series – Part II: Why Relationships Matter

In the first part of this blog, we learned why it is important to build relationships with funders and explored some ideas to help create genuine relationship connections. Now, let’s focus on the many ways an organization can approach funders and initiate engagement.

Approaching a funder in a personalized way to strengthen or establish a relationship can make a big impact and there are many ways you can do so. Consider the following:

  • Call a funder. For example, is a program officer available at the foundation for a call? Have a phone script ready with some sample questions to ask. They can answer any questions you have about the foundation’s giving and/or current grant cycle.
  • Write a letter of introduction/inquiry/interest. A letter to a foundation might be the first impression you make with a funder about your organization. Since these types of letters are often a page or two, the key is to be concise and compelling. Convert your elevator pitch (see below) into written format, telling the funder what your organization does and the outcomes of your organization’s work, sharing an impact story, and how you align with the funder’s aims.
  • Network (Board of Directors, professional associations, foundations). Once you’ve made a list of contacts with whom you want to establish a relationship, look for ways to interact with them. Friend them on LinkedIn and “like” their posts. This will keep you on their minds. Foundation leaders often attend and speak at conferences and seminars. If there is a foundation representative there, try to seek them out or attend their session. Introduce yourself and ask to exchange business cards (yes, business cards are still a thing!). Make sure to follow-up after the event saying it was nice to meet them.
  • Connect on social media. Sharing news on social media – impact stories, client testimonials, upcoming events, etc. – can attract the interest of funders. Also, be sure to follow the social media platforms of current and potential funders. Funders often post about upcoming grant opportunities, share stories about grantees (helpful to determine if you are a funding fit), and highlight issues they care about so you can learn about their funding priorities.
  • Ask for an introduction. When cultivating a relationship, having an introduction can go a long way. Create a list of trustees and staff from the “invitation only” funders you have identified. Share these lists with your organization’s own staff and board members to determine who they might know. Would they make an introduction?
  • Send invitations. Invite a funder for a site visit of your facility with opportunities to see your mission in action, or an upcoming event along with complimentary tickets if you can spare one or two. Review your organization’s programs, events, and offerings at least quarterly to determine which are the most powerful platforms for “friendraising.” Consider your list of foundation contacts and send an invitation to an activity or event you think might be of interest to them—it’s particularly effective coming from someone they know! Ask a board or staff member the funder knows to send the invite with a personal note.

Elevator Pitches

Imagine having only a few precious minutes – or even one minute – with a funder you have been trying to meet.  How do you make a connection with that funder? What do you say? The ability to deliver a strong elevator pitch can be a gamechanger. It’s an opportunity to share your organization’s story in a compelling way. Share your passion. Write a script. An elevator pitch can be used for so many occasions–your letter of interest to a funder, grant applications, fundraising campaigns, phone calls, meetings, etc.

Here are some tips:

  • Utilize storytelling skills to share the impact of your organization – aim for 60 seconds or less.
  • Start with the hook – 10 seconds or less – who you serve, how you help, and what impact you make.
  • The pitch – 30 seconds
  • What differentiates your nonprofit from others in the same space?
  • How effective are your current programs?
  • Do you have a compelling story?
  • How can a prospective funder get involved right now?
  • What do you plan to accomplish in the near and distant future?
  • The wrap up – 20 seconds – “the ask”/what outcome are you seeking?

Remember, this is just a general guide – consider adapting your elevator pitch to meet the moment. It should sound natural so be sure to practice! Start by practicing with friends first, get their feedback, and practice as often as you can. Practice will help build your confidence and improve your flow and pace, allowing you to sound more natural and compelling.

Maintaining the Relationship

Now let’s keep that momentum going. Once you’ve approached the funder, the relationship building has only just begun! Cultivating, building, and maintaining your relationship with a funder can not only increase your chances of getting the grant, but also help the funder feel appreciated and valued as you stay connected after receiving the grant.

Remember, relationship building with a funder often begins when seeking a grant but doesn’t end there. It should continue throughout the inquiry and application process and even after being awarded a grant or not.

After Being Awarded the Grant:

  • Most importantly, express your gratitude! Send funders thank you emails, handwritten notes or cards, or even give them a call just to say thank you.
  • Be transparent. Maintain honest and open communication with your funder. Share your organization’s needs and challenges—being vulnerable and sharing wins as well as pain points will allow the funder to get a better sense of what your organization needs from their support.
  • Connect with funder staff and board—remember, they’re passionate about the work, too!
    • Ask if they’d like to be added to your email list to stay updated on big developments.  
    • Get more personalized and offer information and updates on your organization’s programs and projects during one-on-one time via phone, mail, email, etc.
    • Utilize social media networks to continue to engage and stay connected. You can use LinkedIn to see if anyone in your network is connected with key foundation program officers. If so, ask if they can give you an introduction.
  • Get creative! Try some of the following approaches:
    • Share stories of lives changed and impacts made—storytelling is a strong way to connect, show appreciation, and strengthen a relationship. 
    • Invite them for a site visit tour and/or to events.
    • Call to ask for advice.

If You Did Not Get a Grant Award:

  • First of all, don’t be discouraged. Most funders receive far more proposals than they can support.
  • Thank the funder. Express your gratitude for the funder reviewing your proposal.
  • Seek feedback about your proposal. It can be extremely helpful to see what strengths and weaknesses the funder noted in your application. Important to note: some funders/foundations will let you know in their application guidelines if they are able to provide any feedback.
  • If you remain interested in the funder, keep in touch, and follow their social media platforms.
  • Try again. Yes, reapply when eligible. If you were able to obtain feedback about your previous proposal, incorporate that feedback into your proposal.

As we’ve discussed in this two-part blog, successful grant seeking can include much more than submitting a proposal or application. Building a relationship with funders is foundational and key to helping your organization secure funding and support your mission.

Now you can apply some of these relationship building principles and practices to your grant seeking efforts. We hope these strategies and tips help you and your organization.

Discussion (You can leave a comment below to continue the conversastion.)

  • Which types of funders has your organization connected with and how? Are there types of funders you want to reach out to, and which ones? Has networking been on your radar and how has that been for your organization?
  • What approaches have you used to reach prospective funders?
  • What were some challenges you have faced when trying to connect or maintain a relationship with a funder? How did you overcome them? Has anyone had similar experiences with these challenges/methods and have other solutions in mind?
  • How does your organization maintain relationships with funders?
  • For those organizations working in rural areas, what are your experiences/approaches? Frustrations?

*In Part 3 of this blog series, we will explore the practice of building collaborative relationships with peers and nonprofit organizations.

Click here to read Part 1 of this blog series, Building Realtionships with Funders. author pics

About the author: Chloé Laurence (she/her)

With a professional background working in education, mental health counseling spaces, and the nonprofit sector, Chloé serves her community through education, advocacy, and capacity building. She utilizes her love of learning and connecting with people in her work as a Capacity Building Specialist at Methodist Healthcare Ministries to support and empower our funded partners. Her mission is to strengthen our partners’ organizations so they can continue their incredible work building health equity and serving underserved individuals.

Capacity Building Series: Relationship Building with Funders (Part I)

Why do relationships with funders matter? Consider these facts:

  • Charitable giving reached a record high in 2020 with $471 billion donated to nonprofits. Foundations contributed $88.5 billion (Giving USA).
  • More than 1.6 million nonprofits are registered in U.S. (Urban Institute, National Center for Charitable Statistics 2000).
  • There are an estimated 115,000 foundations in the U.S. (Candid 2018).

So, what can a nonprofit do to stand out while also getting to know funders? In short, having a genuine connection with a funder can break through the competition. The goal is to build authentic relationships. At Methodist Healthcare Ministries, we know through experience that relationships built on false narratives, or projections of how you want others to perceive you instead of who you really are, won’t last. However, making connections by focusing on and prioritizing relationships and trust can help a funder get to know you. Remember, growing relationships is like any other organic process—they need tending on a regular basis.

Creating a Return on Relationship: Importance and Benefits of Relationship Building with Funders

You’re probably familiar with the term “Return on Investment” or ROI. What about ROR (Return on Relationship)? Ted Rubin, a social marketing strategist, trademarked the concept of Return on Relationship. Think about relationship building in terms of a Return on Relationship—there is value accrued due to nurturing a relationship. Relationships inherently are not financial assets; relationships are priceless.

Here are some ideas for increasing your Return on Relationship with funders:

Move beyond only being in a transactional mode with funders. Transactional actions can include questions about grant applications, grant guidelines, grant reports, etc. Instead, think of funders as allies. Funders want their current and prospective partners to succeed. So, find funder allies and then listen carefully to their suggestions regarding your partnership to get the most out of the financial support provided and, perhaps, support beyond the check such as capacity building services. Funders often have expertise, insight, and social capital you can use to be more successful. Many nonprofits and grantees miss out on useful opportunities because they are solely focused on just getting the money versus building a relationship.

Be transformative. Strive to interact in a transformative mode with funders. Being transformative is dynamic. It’s your organization engaging outside of the grant cycle time period. It’s storytelling – your organization’s current events, future plans, and outcomes; sharing ideas or ways to be more strategic. It’s important to set realistic expectations of how much time funders can spend with a partner or prospective partner, so keep balance in mind.

Initiate engagement. Be proactive and seek out funders. This is especially important when it comes to rural grant seeking & philanthropic deserts; funders likely won’t find you. You have to find them!  Some resources to help with rural grantseeking:

Seek peer advice. Don’t forget your peer organizations in your relationship building strategy with funders. Search a foundation’s list of recent grant recipients. If a peer organization has recently received funding, reach out to ask how they established the connection. While grant seeking is competitive, your peer organizations will understand that foundations often have diverse funding interests and will trust you to build a relationship based on your organization’s unique programs and services. Incorporate the tips and feedback you receive from your peers into your cultivation strategy.

Understanding the “Foundation” of Foundations

Understanding Foundations

What is a community foundation?

⇢ What is a private foundation?

What is a corporate foundation?


Once you know the different types of foundations–Community,
Private, Operating, and Corporate–you can then research how foundations operate and discover their “why” and/or purpose. Knowing this information can help you vet foundations and grant opportunities more appropriately. In your vetting process, look for alignment with organization type, programs, and services that have been funded. Research the typical grant award; grant periods (one year or multi-year); criteria for funding; funding restrictions; timelines; grant guidelines and application process, etc.

A community foundation is a grantmaker that serves a specific community or region. Distinct from a private foundation, which is usually funded by a single individual, family or corporation, a community foundation is a public charity that is funded by many donors and governed by a board that reflects the community it serves. Examples: San Antonio Area Foundation, Coastal Bend Community Foundation, and Community Foundation of the Texas Hill Country.

A private foundation is a non-governmental agency who might be an individual or family that establishes a private foundation to give money (and sometimes other resources) to nonprofits engaged in charitable activities. Examples: Meadows Foundation, Nancy Smith Hurd Foundation, and Anderson Charitable Foundation.

A corporate foundation is a private foundation whose money is contributed by a for-profit business. Think Home Depot or State Farm.

An operating foundation is a private foundation that provides public programming and services and charitable funding. Examples: St. David’s Foundation and Episcopal Health Foundation.

Be curiousFunders who don’t accept unsolicited proposals? Consider and approach funders who don’t accept unsolicited applications if they are a good funding fit for your organization’s work and mission. Many of these foundations are willing to consider new applicants but are using other methods to learn about potential partners to limit the number of proposals they have to review. Your organization deserves to be considered. Don’t dismiss a prospect just because you have read that they do not accept unsolicited proposals, especially if it fits your organization’s work and mission. It doesn’t hurt to ask. Don’t tell yourself no by assuming they’ll tell you no. If it’s a no, then let them tell you no. 


Look at the funder’s grant awards from the last several years to see its giving trends. The funder could be a good prospect if the funder awards grants to different organizations from year to year, has a similar funding priority to your organization’s mission, and makes grants in your geographic region. However, if a funder makes grants to the same organizations year after year, you might consider looking at other funders instead.


*In Part 2 of this blog, we will focus on a multitude of ways your organization can approach funders, initiate engagement, and maintain relationships with funders. author pics

About the author: Chloé Laurence (she/her)

With a professional background working in education, mental health counseling spaces, and the nonprofit sector, Chloé serves her community through education, advocacy, and capacity building. She utilizes her love of learning and connecting with people in her work as a Capacity Building Specialist at Methodist Healthcare Ministries to support and empower our funded partners. Her mission is to strengthen our partners’ organizations so they can continue their incredible work building health equity and serving underserved individuals.

Texas House Bill 13, guiding funded partners with state mental health grants

It is widely known that Texas ranks near the bottom of the list nationally when it comes to mental health spending per capita. During the 85th Texas Legislative Session, however, a momentous move was made to correct this negative trend when House Bill 13 (HB 13) — a bill Methodist Healthcare Ministries supported throughout the session — was passed into law.

As a result of HB 13, the state of Texas will funnel $27.5 million into select mental health programs — over the course of two years — through a matching grant program to support community mental health programs providing services and treatment to individuals experiencing mental illness. A couple key aspects of the bill include greater organizational collaboration and the fact that, at a minimum, 50 percent of those funds will benefit rural communities with populations under 250,000. HB 13 is significant to Methodist Healthcare Ministries given its promise to increase access to mental health, promote organizational collaboration, and potentially aid our own funded partners and the communities we serve.

Because we are a not-for-profit organization with experience as both a grantor and grantee, we understand the challenges nonprofits might face when searching for funding opportunities like HB 13. Whenever possible, we offer funded partners unique insight and guidance on how to secure grant awards from other funders in order to create diverse revenue streams and additional sustainability. (Diversified revenue streams establish credibility and create the potential to attract even more funders because funders see that multiple entities believe in the organization’s cause and efforts.) With HB 13, we didn’t want common constraints — lack of development staff, time, state grant experience, etc.— to keep partners from benefiting from these grant funds to advance mental health care. So, as soon as the bill passed into law, Methodist Healthcare Ministries sprang into action.

To start, one of our advocacy partners, the Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute, hosted a conference call to provide information about HB 13 to our funded partners. Next, we sought to support those partners in their efforts to apply for HB 13 funding by hosting informational meetings, offering letters of support, maintaining open lines of communication and providing technical assistance to interested organizations to ensure they had the opportunity to apply for funding. Finally, we are continuing to support our funded partners in applying for grants similar to HB 13, because we know that when partners obtain funding outside of Methodist Healthcare Ministries, they open doors to more opportunities and organizational growth. By earning diverse sources of revenue and grants, a funded partner is positioned to expand services to a larger capacity in the communities they serve. This, in turn, contributes to our goal of creating more access to care.

The Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) implemented HB 13 through two procurements: a competitive Needs and Capacity Assessment distributed to Local Mental Health Authorities (LMHAs) and Local Behavioral Health Authorities (LBHAs), and a competitive Request for Applications (RFA) to be distributed more broadly to solicit applications from both nonprofit organizations and governmental entities. The recipients of the first round of funding were announced Jan. 23. Of the 39 LMHAs in Texas, 25 were selected to receive HB 13 funding — four of which are Methodist Healthcare Ministries partners (Border Region Behavioral Health Center, The Center for Health Care Services, Gulf Bend Center, and MHMR Services for the Concho Valley). Those four, as well as all other organizations selected by the state, will soon enter the negotiation stage to solidify their contracts for their proposed projects. Proposals for the second round of funding were due Jan. 31, and awards will be announced later this year. All projects, independent of which round, will begin in 2018.

Longevity of HB 13 is unknown; it may or may not become a project that Texas elects to continue funding for years to come. However, even if Texas decides to stop HB 13 funding, a benefit that selected partners have is that they can now establish a track record for properly managing a state grant. This proves to the state that the organization is a good investment for additional state grants for which the organization may wish to apply. Additionally, just by helping funded partners apply for the first time, we were able to help them obtain procedural experience on how to navigate a sometimes complicated and lengthy RFA — crafting the best application, and helping them find necessary attachments for application submission, along with other requirements.

It was validating to see a multitude of organizations support mental health funding since it is essential to the health of Texas communities. We appreciate that funded partners were open to this new opportunity, despite its challenges, and we’re proud that all our funded partners strive for excellence, improvement and innovation. These qualities are essential for improving South Texas’ capacity to provide top of the line health care services to individuals who otherwise might not have access to health care.

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Jaime Wesoloski

President & Chief Executive Officer

Jaime Wesolowski is the President and Chief Executive Officer at Methodist Healthcare Ministries. A healthcare executive with three decades of leadership experience, Jaime is responsible for the overall governance and direction of Methodist Healthcare Ministries. Jaime earned his Master’s Degree in Healthcare Administration from Xavier University, and his Bachelor’s of Science from Indiana University in Healthcare Administration. As a cancer survivor, Jaime is a staunch supporter of the American Cancer Society. He serves as Chair of the American Cancer Society’s South Texas Area board of directors and he was appointed as Chair to the recently created South Region Advisory Cabinet, covering eight states from Arizona through Alabama. Jaime believes his personal experience as a cancer survivor has given him more defined insight and compassion to the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of patients and their families.