MLK Community Healthcare (MLKCH) partnered with CCS Fundraising to conduct a multi-phase Leadership Awareness Study, which produced a roadmap for refining and advancing MLKCH’s philanthropic impact through project-based partnerships in service of its strategic vision.

Doctor at Martin Luther King Jr Community Health with a picture of Dr. King in the background

Based in: Los Angeles, CA, Western US, United States

Sector: Foundations, Health

Key Elements

  • Used strategic conversations to gather fresh outsider perspectives on the organization’s future ambitions
  • Forged non-traditional connections to influential regional and national philanthropic funders
  • Walked away with a roadmap to refine vision and maximize resources to achieve highest possible outcomes


Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Healthcare (MLKCH) is a private, nonprofit, safety-net community health organization serving 1.3 million residents in South Los Angeles. The organization’s anchor, a state-of-the-art 131-bed hospital, opened in 2015 through a unique public-private partnership with the County of Los Angeles, the University of California, and other healthcare providers. MLKCH has established excellence in its young history with a reputation built on a commitment to providing quality care that is equal to or better than care provided by hospitals in more affluent areas.

Always striving for innovative practices, MLKCH challenged itself to engage in conversations with major regional and national funders around how these outside leaders view the organization, a standalone entity with whom they had no existing relationship. These conversations centered on MLKCH’s vision for the community achieved through initiative-based partnerships and the organization’s ability to serve as a national model.


CCS led strategic interviews with 25 of the most influential regional and national funders to introduce MLKCH’s mission and future ambitions. These conversations produced detailed, individualized evaluations of the organization’s vision from the highest level of corporate and foundation philanthropy and uncovered pathways to new potential investments. CCS distilled the findings from these conversations into individual, detailed narrative summaries shared with MLKCH providing highlights of feedback and guidance for relationship development, as well as a final report of recommendations designed to secure major gift support from study participants.

CCS is the only agency I know with the courage and curiosity to partner with us on innovating a new kind of study. Our leadership awareness study prepared key donors, informed our board, and offered a road map for our strategy. It gave us the confidence to imagine a bigger circle of investors and insight into how to speak to them. We’ll be living the study’s outcome for years to come.

Dyan Sublett
President, MLK Community Health Foundation
Chief Communications Officer, MLK Community Healthcare


CCS’s study produced a roadmap for the refinement and advancement of MLKCH’s philanthropic impact through project-based partnerships in service of its strategic vision. MLKCH received detailed interview analysis, recommendations to strengthen fundraising strategies, and staffing plans to chart future growth. This guidance allowed all parties, from hospital to board leadership, to align under a singular understanding of the organization’s strengths, challenges, and opportunities for ever-higher levels of success.

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Featured Team Member

The leadership at MLK Community Healthcare are remarkable for their dedication to community by striving for ever-higher levels of excellence. This drive leads them to take bold risks that, in turn, lead to stark evaluation of their ambition, all in service of their vision to provide quality, equitable care. Partnering with these passionate changemakers to dream bigger was a one-of-a-kind experience.

Anne Thomas, CCS Alumna

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