Eusebio Diaz, Vice President of Program
Baptist Health Foundation of San Antonio
Over the years, I’ve learned that many issues cannot be addressed by a single foundation. Multiple funders need to align their mutual interests and work together to address complex, intractable challenges, and to make a greater impact. Still, some foundations tend to shy away from things that are not their own initiative. And this is where Philanthropy Southwest is so valuable. They have their ear to the ground and know when to help bring people together, and they’re extremely skilled at facilitating productive conversations – it’s a root part of their culture. They model the type of cordiality that strengthens relationships. In Texas, for example, we have had a big gap in mental health services. Philanthropy Southwest was instrumental in bringing funders together to talk about how we might collectively address this need. The initial multi-funder dialogue they convened served as a springboard, and has grown into an informal, but regular commitment by a group of Texas funders to work together on mental health issues. And these meetings, together with a feasibility study by another funder, led to six foundations pooling resources and working together to address the gaps in autism care and services.