Case Studies

< Back to Case Studies

Task Force Advisory Board

Identifying the Right Funding Recipients

The Challenge

A large private foundation wanted to expand its philanthropic work by distributing several million dollars annually to various groups working in the area of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, the foundation had only general knowledge of the PTSD community and recognized that it would need the assistance of an external group of experts who could understand the foundation's objectives, and guide them in identifying groups and projects that should be considered for funding.

The Solution

The foundation's challenge was treated as a "Mission" requiring the development of a solution that took on the form of a dedicated Task Force. 10 thought leaders were recruited to participate at 2 one-day Task Force meetings. Task Force members included 2 leading psychologists in PTSD, 2 leading psychiatrists in PTSD, 2 preeminent neurologists in PTSD, 2 directors of non-profit PTSD rehabilitation centers, and 2 PTSD experts from the U.S. Army.

After an opening presentation by the foundation's Director, the moderator proceeded to engage the participants in an in-depth discussion of PTSD and the areas most in need of financial support. This was facilitated through a series of 9 primary questions and 25 follow-up questions. The primary questions were:

  1. Where are the current greatest needs within PTSD research and treatment?
  2. What financial support for PTSD is currently provided by government and other non-profit organizations?
  3. Which groups represent the strongest national leadership in PTSD?
  4. What are the differences between military PTSD and civilian PTSD (pathology and needs)?
  5. Which centers are showing the most promising and innovative work?
  6. Where are the opportunities to create a 'matching funds' program?
  7. What are the unmet needs in family support, counseling and education?
  8. What are the unmet needs in raising PTSD awareness?
  9. What should the formal criteria and review process be for funding consideration?

The Outcome

From the Task Force's discussions and the written Report and Analysis of the two meetings, the foundation obtained a high level of understanding of the PTSD landscape. The Task Force created an expertly qualified list of candidate-organizations and projects for funding consideration. This enabled the foundation to make significant financial donations to different recipients striving to improve the lives of current and future PTSD patients.