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Grantmaking Process

Initial inquiry

The earliest stage of the Health Fund grantmaking process involves an inquiry by a potential applicant to a member of our program staff. Whether the potential applicant is responding to a request for proposals (RFP) or is presenting an original project related to the Health Fund's strategic focus, the first step is to communicate with a program officer unless otherwise directed by the specific RFP.

The program officer will consider the proposed project and how it may fit with our current funding strategies. If the proposed project, in the program officer's judgment, may fit our strategic focus and has the potential to be funded, a preliminary proposal will be invited. A declination by the program officer should not be considered a judgment of the merits of the proposed project. To achieve the greatest effectiveness with its available resources, the Health Fund is concentrating its efforts in three focus areas.

Preliminary proposal and sample forms

If the program officer invites a proposal, application instructions will be provided. In most cases, applicants will receive authorization to use our online preliminary proposal system.

Sample Grant Documents (general - may not apply to specific grants):

If a special form or different method of application is required, the program officer will provide instructions on how to proceed.

In-person presentations before the Programming and Evaluation Committee or Board are not allowed. Directors should not be contacted about proposals on an individual basis by applicants.

Application deadlines and funding cycles

Please refer to the specific RFP or instructions from a program officer for application deadlines, funding decision dates, and funding start dates. These deadlines override our normal deadlines in the event of a conflict.

Programming and Evaluation Committee action

In considering a preliminary proposal, the Committee may take any of several possible actions, including:

  • recommending to the full Board for funding
  • approving the grant (within the Committee's designated authority)
  • deferring the proposal and requesting additional information
  • declining the proposal

Board of Directors action

Most Health Fund grants rely on acceptance by the Board of Directors for final approval and funding. Programming and Evaluation Committee recommendations are presented to the full Board, which then makes the final funding determination in most cases.

Final steps

If the grant project receives final funding approval, a contract referred to as "Conditions of Grant" will be drawn up by Health Fund staff. This is the legal document defining the grant, including any special conditions or evaluation requirements. The Conditions of Grant will be sent to the project director or primary responsible party to be signed and returned to the Health Fund.

Once the Health Fund has received the signed Conditions of Grant and any required attachments, funding will proceed according to the schedule outlined in that document.

Exceptions to general case

The above is an overview of the normal Health Fund grantmaking process. However, conditions specific to particular RFPs may override the general grantmaking process where those conditions have been outlined in the Board action establishing the RFP.

In certain cases, grants within the strategic fields of work may be processed on an invitational basis. The grantmaking process in each invitational case will be determined based on the source of authorization to invite the proposal (Board, P&E Committee, etc.)

Provision of denial reasons

The Health Fund will provide reasons for denial of all proposals generated through the inquiry or invitational process. RFPs are considered competitive in nature and reasons for denial are not generally given, but may be provided in the judgment of program staff.