Innovation funding

Solutions rely on people

The individuals and families who contribute to PATH are a very real part of our work—transforming ideas into solutions through their gifts. Individual donors are one of our most important sources of innovation funding, the flexible support that allows us to pursue groundbreaking ideas and respond to emerging needs.

Last year, gifts from individual donors brought nearly $2.8 million in innovation funding, including $2,064,133 for PATH’s Catalyst Fund and $725,100 for our Fund for Health Technologies. These contributions provide our base of innovation funding.

Use of innovation funds

Innovation funding icon The “innovation funding” icon used throughout this report highlights the impact that flexible funds have had on PATH’s ability to advance many of our most significant achievements. In 2008, innovation funding supported 54 activities with the potential to improve health around the world.

Supporting new initiatives

PATH uses innovation funding to support new initiatives and push early successes forward. These promising ideas are too early in their development to attract foundation grants but have the potential to significantly contribute to our global health objectives.

In 2008, innovation funding made possible 42 activities in support of new initiatives. Among many other activities, we used these funds to support information resources for health workers on maternal health, neonatal technologies, and infant feeding; new models for vaccine delivery; and training for health workers in Vietnam. Projects reached across the spectrum of PATH’s work: emerging and epidemic diseases, health technologies, maternal and child health, reproductive health, and vaccines and immunization.

Leveraging major grants

We also use innovation funding to leverage foundation and government grants that can take successful projects to global scale, exponentially increasing the impact of individual gifts.

Last year, we used innovation funding to leverage five major grants. For example, we applied $10,000 to improve children’s health through better nutrition and feeding practices in the critical first years of life. This commitment from our donors was matched by $100,000 from the United Nations Children’s Fund, allowing us to set up a program in Kenya through which health workers and hospitals become the first line of defense for child health, counseling new mothers on how to properly feed and care for their babies. Similarly, we used innovation funding to support grants focused on child immunization, HIV/AIDS, and the role of pharmacies in improving access to health services.

Meeting strategic priorities

Innovation funding allows us to be pioneers in the effort to improve health around the world. With these funds, we hire world-class experts ahead of the curve, set strategies for maximum impact, and keep effective programs going between funding opportunities. In 2008, these resources allowed us to focus on training for new staff and for our organization’s leaders, increasing our ability to make a difference in the lives of the people they serve.

Our commitment to sound financial stewardship

We are committed to maintaining the highest stewardship of donor funds. PATH has received the highest possible rating for sound fiscal management from Charity Navigator for five years running, an honor accorded to fewer than 4 percent of rated charities. Last year, more than 86 percent of donor dollars went directly to our programs in the field.

The confidence and trust of our donors are extremely important to us—now more than ever, as the global economic crisis puts pressure on nonprofit groups and the people who support them. We pledge to continue searching for ways to achieve even greater impact in return for this support.

Photo: Philippe Blanc.

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Mother and newborn laying together, resting, in Vietnam
Innovation funding—the flexible support primarily provided by individuals—allows us to transform good ideas into global change.

Our sincere thanks go out to all of our supporters who helped make these and many other solutions possible.