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What We're Learning

Evaluation: Executive Summary of Findings and Lessons from the HCAN Campaign

Grassroots Solutions and M+R Strategic Services

21 September 2010

This overview provides the methodology and 12 major qualitative findings of the Health Care for America Now (HCAN) campaign evaluation. The campaign had the goal of winning affordable and comprehensive health care for all Americans. Prior to passage of the health care bill in 2010, The Atlantic Philanthropies, the lead funder of HCAN, commissioned an independent evaluation of the campaign by Dan Cramer of Grassroots Solutions and Tom Novick of M+R Strategic Services. 


Introduction

The 2008 elections presented an historic opportunity. The balance of political power in Washington seemed poised to shift decisively as prevailing popular sentiment called for change. For the first time in more than a decade, the goal of enacting meaningful health care reform appeared within reach. In order to seize the moment, AFL-CIO, AFSCME, SEIU, Americans United, Campaign for America’s Future, Campaign for Community Change, Move On, and USAction joined together in early 2008 to build a national coalition whose top priority was health care reform. With unusually early and sizable funding from The Atlantic Philanthropies, the Health Care for America Now (HCAN) campaign was launched with the goal of winning affordable and comprehensive health care for all Americans.

Prior to the passage of the health care bill, The Atlantic Philanthropies (Atlantic) contracted with Dan Cramer of Grassroots Solutions and Tom Novick of M+R Strategic Services (M+R) to conduct an independent evaluation of the HCAN campaign. This Executive Summary provides an outline of the methodology used and a brief overview of the 12 major qualitative findings. The Executive Summary represents a redacted version of the full Evaluation report.

 

Methodology

This evaluation was designed with two purposes in mind:

  • to inform future grant-making for Atlantic and other funders, and 
  • to spark ongoing strategic conversations within the broader advocacy field. 

The evaluators relied on the following methods to conduct the evaluation:

  • initial framing interviews with Atlantic staff on the history of the campaign and Atlantic’s involvement; 
  • a thorough document