Making the Case: Leveraging Resources Toward Public Health System Improvement in Turning Point States

Leveraging funds to sustain the efforts of a grant-funded initiative is often an explicit, or implicit, expectation in philanthropy. However, the magnitude of funds leveraged and the factors that facilitate success in leveraging are rarely researched. An example of one of these grant-funded initiatives is the National Turning Point Initiative. Twenty-one states received funding from The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation as part of this initiative to establish and implement strategic goals for achieving significant statewide public health system improvement through diverse, cross-sector partnerships. Leaders from 17 of these 21 states participated in a two-phased study regarding the leveraging of additional funds for their public health infrastructure improvement activities. This article reports on the second phase of the study. In this phase, key informant interviews were conducted to examine how leveraging of resources occurred as part of this large national initiative. Findings indicate that the combination of a comprehensive planning process and a broad-based partnership was crucial in securing resources to expand their efforts. The ability to strategically respond to unexpected events and opportunities also helped states use their plans and partnerships to make the case for additional resources to improve their public health infrastructure.