Our Approach to Philanthropy
The Tara Health Foundation builds our work upon the following guiding principles:
We believe in transparency and collaboration. We are committed to continuous learning alongside our partners and peers, as well as to prioritizing co-grantmaking and co-investing opportunities that amplify our collective impact. Tara Health invests with an emphasis on collaborative spirit and opportunity in projects, organizations and people with whom we work. We value finding ways for Tara Health Foundation and our extended network to support, amplify and enhance the work of our grantees and investments. Our hope is to bring supportive alignment and help uncover shared synergies among organizations and partners who are working towards similar aims.
The foundation is proud to have facilitated the partnership between the large asset manager BlackRock with Tara Health grantee Equileap, which provides data on gender equity in the workplace. Both have a shared purpose to promote high-quality metrics for investors to evaluate corporations and hold them accountable for how they treat women in the workplace, and teamed up on an impactful event revealing in-depth research and data on corporate performance on healthcare for female employees at major U.S. employers.
100% for Mission
Philanthropy has been constrained for too long by the notion that grantmaking is the only tool at our disposal. Endowments, which typically comprise 95 percent of a foundation’s total assets, are often overlooked as a vehicle for change. We believe that foundations can, and should, broaden the definition of philanthropic capital beyond grantmaking. As a result, we have taken on the ambitious goal of aligning 100 percent of our assets with our mission.
Leveraging All of Our Assets
Our impact is most effective when we deploy financial and human capital together. We tailor our hands-on support to the unique needs of each partner, whether through mentorship, taking a board seat or connecting partners to resources and funding opportunities. We invest in the change we want to see.
Additionally, Tara Health supports Whole Woman’s Health (WWH), which provides cutting-edge, high-quality health care, including abortion services, to women around the United States. Due to predatory legislation targeting abortion providers in Texas, WWH has been forced to repeatedly open and close clinics since 2013. Tara Health provided WWH the means to refinance the organization’s debt, reducing interest rates from as much as 25 percent to as low as 3 percent. We also gave an unrestricted grant to their nonprofit sister organization, Whole Woman’s Health Alliance, so they could reopen their flagship clinic in Austin, Texas. Tara Health’s investment approach enabled WWH to redeploy capital that would otherwise be spent on high-interest debt financing. Instead, after winning its U.S. Supreme Court case, Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstadt in 2016, WWH was able to use the capital we provided to keep their existing clinics open and finally reopen their Austin clinic.
Tara Health is proud to have invested in an effort to make the pill available over the counter in the U.S. via Cadence Health, a healthcare startup with a mission to make birth control pills affordable and accessible to all women who need them, regardless of barriers such as insurance status. An estimated 30 million users would benefit if the pills were available without a prescription, including women without insurance or with limited insurance. Cadence is now working to seek federal approval for a combined oral contraceptive pill that is both safe and popular. Tara Health purchased a convertible note and acquired equity in Cadence, allowing us to support a for-profit business model with a social mission to improve contraceptive access in the US. We believe the company has the potential to dramatically disrupt the U.S. contraceptives market by finally making the Pill affordable and accessible for all.