Many local wellness funds are built on contributions from multiple fiscal sources. There are generally three approaches to layering funds that are influenced by the source from which the money comes. Resources when provided to collaboratives and backbone organizations may come with rules and regulations not just about how the money is to be used but how it is managed either together or independently of other resources for which the local wellness fund has stewardship responsibilities.
Some wellness funds begin with a single source. Others may have multiple sources and, depending on the extent to which local wellness fund contributors are in agreement, the wellness fund might be composed of resources that are blended together (pooled) or braided. Braided resources usually require separate accounting by source and can be one of the more challenging and complex elements of a wellness fund, especially when government funds are involved. Funders may require that dollars be accounted for by funding stream and/or attributed to particular beneficiaries or groups of beneficiaries.
In a few instances, the wellness fund is also designed to use or direct multiple streams of resources to support aligned efforts in a way that allows for separate accounting and does not require linking of the resources.
Beyond the Grant, a Sustainable Financing Workbook
This workbook by ReThink Health offers modules with practical, user-friendly tools to answer common financing questions and help organizations develop action plans for moving beyond short-term sources of funding, namely grants. LWFs can utilize this workbook to learn about and consider funding types as they work towards attaining sustainability in their sources.
Blending & Braiding Toolkit
This resource is a toolkit created by Spark Insight which aims to support organizations in developing successful blending and braiding strategies. The tools contained on the website also aim to tie together the fiscal work with the vision and programmatic design, which local wellness funds can utilize to support their community initiatives through flexible funding streams.
Braiding and Blending Funds to Support Community Health Improvement: A Compendium of Resources and Examples
This resource is an issue brief from Trust for America’s Health that focuses specifically on two key mechanisms by which to bring funding streams together to support community health improvement – braiding and blending. By pulling together key resources and examples, this brief aims to help inform state and local endeavors to braid and blend funds to support community health improvement efforts. Local wellness funds can utilize this brief for guidance on blending or braiding funding mechanisms to support their community health improvement initiatives.
Braiding and blending funds to promote social determinants of health
This resource is a video recording of an event hosted by The Brookings Institution on how to establish more flexible funding strategies to improve community health and economic mobility. In the video recording, there are two panels that deep the conversations of braiding and blending funds and provide examples from organizations in the field. Local wellness funds can use this resource to explore flexible funding strategies and ways in which the policy environment can be modified to achieve better health and social outcomes.
Braiding, Blending, and Layering Funding Sources To Increase Access to Quality Preschool
A technical assistance report from AEM Corp specifically focused on the use of blending, braiding, and layering in a specific setting in supporting educational programs. The report overviews strategies of braiding, blending, and layering federal, state, and local funding streams to provide more comprehensive, inclusive early learning programs for young children and their families. Local wellness funds can use this resource to have more awareness of those strategies that add new funding streams to community initiatives, whether in a school environment or elsewhere.
Colorado Guide 1: Blending and Braiding
This resource is a How to Guide created by the Spark Policy Institute on behalf of the Blending and Braiding Your TANF Initiative. The guide is intended as a practical tool to help organizations and communities undertake a planning process that leads to a blended or braided funding model. The guide also contains detailed definitions on blending and braiding and actionable information on how to develop blended and braided models, which local wellness funds can use to learn about these types of funding streams and to implement them as potential sources.
- Cabello, M. (2018, September 17). Braiding and Blending: Managing Multiple Funds to Improve Health. Uniting Funding Streams for Health and Social Innovation Blog Series. Retrieved from https://pfs.urban.org/pay-success/pfs-perspectives/braiding-and-blending-managing-multiple-funds-improve-health.