The Nurse-Family Partnership: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 1978

Center for Strategic Philanthropy and Civil Society (Duke)



Case Study Sector


Children born to low-income, first-time mothers are at increased risk for a number of problems, including low birth weight, abuse, neglect, and juvenile crime.765 With this in mind, the Nurse Home Visitation program was conceived by Dr. David Olds, who, in 1978, approached the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for help in funding a study to determine whether the risks associated with low-income, first-time pregnancies could be mitigated by partnering nurses with at-risk pregnant women.
For over twenty-five years, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has provided ongoing support to the Nurse Home Visitation program (later renamed the Nurse-Family Partnership). The Foundation has supported research—especially controlled, randomized trials—in order to measure specifically the effectiveness of nurse home visitation. RWJF has also funded the program’s replication at sites across the United States.



  • Evaluation
  • Partnership
  • Strategy


  • Northern America

Blog Posts

More on time, value, and time limits

February 19, 2018

A new report applies a theory of time and value in philanthropy to three real cases, to see how a foundation could decide whether to operate with a limited life, based on the amount and kind of value it hopes to create.


Oct 05

Rip Rapson
President and CEO
The Kresge Foundation