For Two Regional Health Foundations Returns From The Kentucky Health Issues Poll Are Worth The Investments
Author: Sarah E. Walsh, Gail Myers, Jennifer Chubinski, Susan G. Zepeda
With finite resources to advance their missions, regional health foundations should critically evaluate the investments they make. This article reviews the costs and associated benefits of large-scale public opinion polling—specifically, the annual Kentucky Health Issues Poll, which is sponsored by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky and Interact for Health, formerly the Health Foundation of Greater Cincinnati. In addition to the information generated by the poll, the sponsoring foundations have benefited from increased name recognition and credibility with key stakeholders, including state policy makers and the media. Furthermore, jointly funding the poll has strengthened the relationship between the sponsoring foundations and has fostered other key collaborations. We find that the benefits from this poll more than justify its modest costs ($120,000 per year) and hope that this assessment may prove informative for other funders considering similar investments.