Big Questions


What area do you want to impact?
  • Where does your patient population come from? Where do your patient populations with the greatest health needs reside?
  • What populations do you want to reach?
  • What areas do current or potential partners and intermediaries already work in?
  • Are there any high-poverty zip codes in your service area? Are there any zip codes with significant health disparities?
  • Are there areas you serve that lack significant health-producing determinants, like access to healthy food, primary care, arts and education, or affordable housing?
  • Have specific areas of need been identified in your strategic plan or community health needs assessment?
  • Which areas do local banks and credit unions most actively serve? Which areas most lack access to capital?


What does “community” mean to your institution?
  • How is “community” defined in your mission statement? Your strategic plan? Your community health needs assessment?
  • Are there any particular populations identified in your community health needs assessment as underserved or with health disparities?
  • Are there specific chronic health conditions that most merit attention? What are upstream interventions that might be effective means of addressing these health conditions?
  • What are the demographics of your surrounding area? Are there immigrant populations? Are immigrants able to access health services in their native language?
  • Which populations struggle the most with unemployment or underemployment?
  • Which populations lack access to economic and environmental conditions that produce good health, like access to healthy and affordable food, affordable housing, and a clean environment?
  • What is the state of the local economy?
  • What is the state of community infrastructure (schools, health clinics, parks, etc.)?
  • Do you have a large reentry (or formerly incarcerated) population?


Mission alignment? Long-term business impact? Both?
  • What are community and economic development needs in the areas that you serve? How do these needs impact people’s health?
  • How does community investment support the financial sustainability of your institution?
  • Is diversity identified as a priority for your institution? How could place-based investment benefit diverse populations?
  • Is sustainability identified as a priority for your institution? How could place-based investment support sustainability, both inside and outside of your institution?
  • How does place-based investment increase the impact of your community benefit or grant-supported activities?
  • Does your institution participate in any collaborative economic revitalization efforts? How could collective place-based investment address community health needs that no individual partner could do alone?