We support our operations at KFF from our endowment and from external funds, which mostly come from foundations and state and local health departments with whom we partner on Greater Than AIDS. We use external funds chiefly for the incremental costs of projects we could not otherwise undertake. Today external funding represents about thirty percent of our overall operating budget. Our role as an independent source of information on national health issues requires that we maintain full, independent control of everything we do in our funding relationships whether funders are supporting our policy analysis, our polling, or our journalism through KHN.
While we have a sizeable endowment for a national non-profit organization, we could not play the national role we play today without the external funding we receive. External funding has also led us to work with organizations we would not otherwise forge strong relationships with, making KFF – which as part policy, polling, and news media organization does not fall neatly into any community – not only a “grantee” but a fuller participant in the foundation and non-profit community. We greatly value these connections and the opportunities to expand our impact they bring.
Because our independence is central to our credibility and our role, our Board of Trustees has adopted guidelines which govern our relationships with all funders. In sum these guidelines require:
1. That any external funding advances our mission, program priorities and objectives;
2. That it will be used primarily for incremental project costs;
3. And that our external funding never compromises KFF’s credibility, independence, or reputation in any way, and hopefully will enhance them.
A current list of our funders follows: