Foundations devote time and resources to considering how to improve the effectiveness of their work, and they might welcome a dialogue with the federal government designed to inform such considerations. Much work has been done to improve how foundations might partner effectively with one another. Opportunities for partnerships with government have received less attention. Yet foundations often undertake efforts to involve stakeholders from many sectors, including government, in defining and addressing problems. For example, in 1999, grants from RWJF, the California HealthCare Foundation, and the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation helped to found the National Quality Forum, a public-private partnership aimed at strengthening health care in the U.S. The Forums National Priorities Partnership includes the CDC, the National Institutes of Health, and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
Foundations may be interested in joining with USG to consider specific issues and opportunities for interaction and partnership between the two sectors. Options for dialogue could include holding panel sessions at conferences featuring representatives of each sector, convening meetings or seminars to discuss partnership experiences, or inviting foundation representatives to review and comment on federal initiatives or programs that might include a role for foundations or other philanthropies.