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Revitalizing Communities Across America:

Philanthropic and Federal Investments

May 2018
Foundation Leaders
Foundation Leader and Federal Lawmakers
Dr. John Baron and Dr. Wilson Compton
Dr. John Roman & Dr. Diana Fishbein
Dr. Patrick McCarthy

On May 30, 2018, the National Prevention Science Coalition convened a forum for Foundation Leaders and Federal Lawmakers to explore opportunities to jointly leverage philanthropic and governmental resources in the service of improving conditions in our communities. Our goal is to find new and collaborative ways to reduce poverty, adversity and health disparities, and address the underpinnings of national problems such as the opioid epidemic. 


National philanthropic foundations have devoted significant private resources to improving the lives of our most vulnerable children, youth and families.  Their overarching goal is to reduce the roadblocks and increase opportunities for all children to reach their developmental milestones, succeed in academic and social settings, and enter the workforce equipped with the skills needed to be effective and productive.


Presidents of William T. Grant (WTGF) and Annie E. Casey (AECF) and the VP of the Laura and John Arnold (LJAF) Foundations—three philanthropic powerhouses— presented innovative strategies that have been particularly impactful in the educational, civic, child welfare, mental health, drug addiction and juvenile justice domains.  We envision this session will lead to greater awareness of the progress both private and public sectors are making in our communities, with the potential to identify opportunities for leveraging respective resources.


A conversation about respective portfolios within this framework will help to identify areas of complementary innovation, current under-investment and possible avenues for collaboration.  A Congressional-Philanthropy alignment could leverage effective foundation innovation and may lead to a national initiative for implementing integrated systems of evidence-based practices that prevent educational, mental, behavioral and community level problems.  Together, there is potential for greater uptake and sustainability of these approaches to benefit a greater number of our citizens.

Below you will find video presentations for each speaker, PowerPoint presentations, and additional resources.



Representative Bobby Scott, Ranking Member on the Committee on Education and the Workforce

Dr. John Roman, Senior Fellow & Co-Chair

NORC, University of Chicago &

National Prevention Science Coalition 

Opening Remarks

Dr. Patrick McCarthy, President and CEO

The Annie E. Casey Foundation (AECF)

Briefing Presentation: What Works for Kids and Families

Jon Baron, J.D., Vice President of EB Policy

Laura and John Arnold Foundation (LJAF)

Briefing Presentation: Increasing the Effectiveness of Government in Improving People’s Lives

Dr. Adam Gamoran, President and CEO

William T. Grant Foundation (WTGF)

Briefing Presentation: Out of the Ivory Tower: How Philanthropy Can Support Rigorous Research to Revitalize Communities Across America

Dr. Wilson Compton, Deputy Director

National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) of the National Institutes of Health

Dr. Joan McLaughlin, Commissioner

National Center for Special Education Research, Institute of Education Sciences

Question & Answer Session

Additional Resources

Straight Talk on Evidence:

They seek to distinguish credible findings of program effectiveness from the many others that claim to be, through an easy-to-read, no-spin digest of recent program evaluation findings.


Social Programs that Work:

Administered by the Laura and John Arnold Foundation’s (LJAF) Evidence-Based Policy team, this site seeks to identify those social programs shown in rigorous studies to produce sizable, sustained benefits to participants and/or society, so that they can be deployed to help solve social problems. The specific purpose is to enable policy officials and other readers to distinguish credible findings of program effectiveness from the many others that claim to be. Although many types of research have value in the evidence-building process, this site focuses on the results of well-conducted randomized controlled trials (RCTs), which are widely regarded as the strongest method of evaluating program effectiveness. The site also focuses on whether such studies show sizable, sustained effects on outcomes of clear policy importance (e.g., high school graduation, workforce earnings, teen pregnancies) and not just intermediate outcomes (e.g., children’s ability to recognize letters or numbers, positive parenting practices, take-up of services) that may or may not lead to important outcomes. Their focus on important, sustained effects distinguishes this site from many other clearinghouses of evidence-based programs.


LJAF REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS (No Application Deadline):

  1. Randomized Controlled Trials to Evaluate Social Programs Whose Delivery Will Be Funded by Government or Other Entities

  2. Demonstrating the Power of Evidence-Based Programs to “Move the Needle” on Major U.S. Social Problems

Webinar series on evidence-based practices with The Annie E. Casey & William T. Grant Foundations:

First session recording

Registration info for the second session


Annie E. Casey Foundation:

  1. Series of briefs on using integrated data systems to improve child and family outcomes

  2. Case study on factoring in culture in the development of evidence-based programs

  3. Report we funded with recommendations on funding evidence-based policymaking at the federal level

  4. Brief on using evidence-based programs to support social-emotional learning

  5. Brief on implementing evidence-based programs in child welfare

  6. Report on the Casey Foundation’s implementation of its Evidence2Success initiative in Providence (their first site).



National Academy of Medicine:

  1. Rotheram-Borus, M. J., K. Hoagwood, N. Counts, and M. A. McCabe. 2018. Investing in children to promote America’s prosperity. NAM Perspectives. Commentary, National Academy of Medicine, Washington, DC. (publication link)

  2. Hoagwood, K. E., M. J. Rotheram-Borus, M. A. McCabe, N. Counts, H. M. E. Belcher, D. K. Walker, and K. A. Johnson. 2018. The interdependence of families, communities, and children’s health: Public investments that strengthen families and communities, and promote children’s healthy development and societal prosperity. NAM Perspectives. Discussion Paper, National Academy of Medicine, Washington, DC. (publication link)

For more information about this briefing including additional literature, contact:

Dr. Diana Fishbein, President & Co-Director, National Prevention Science Coalition to Improve Lives

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