All organizations interested in a 2020 Activation Fund Grant must submit a Letter of Intent by 5:00 pm on April 30, 2020. The Health Foundation strongly suggests that interested organizations email info (at) to discuss proposed project ideas with The Health Foundation staff by April 17, 2020.

Information Sessions

Potential applicants are strongly encouraged to attend one of the following in-person or online information sessions (advance registration required). 

Please note: Each session will cover the same material so there is no need to attend more than one.

Please email your registration request to dgermain (at)

Online Webinar January 23, 2020
10:00-11:00 am
Registration Closed
In-Person Session at
the Foundation
February 11, 2020
10:00-11:00 am
Registration Closed
Online Webinar March 11, 2020
2:00-3:00 pm
Registration Closed

Click to view the 2020 Activation Fund Info Session Slides


Approximately 20% of the The Health Foundation’s grantmaking portfolio has been invested through the Activation Fund. The Activation Fund is designed to attract applicant-initiated proposals which fit The Health Foundation’s mission and complement its Synergy Initiative grant projects, while generating action beyond the routine. Envisioned somewhat as a venture capital fund, this funding avenue is intended to support discrete projects in Central Massachusetts that activate:

  • Creative and innovative approaches to alleviating community health concerns;
  • A community organization’s movement to the next level of capacity and effectiveness, which the organization can sustain (The Health Foundation does not consider a project to be sustainable if ongoing fundraising efforts are required);
  • Partnerships to address health issues with new strategies;
  • And/or the exploration of emerging health challenges and opportunities.

In general, grants are one year in duration. Previous grants made have ranged from $10,000 to $100,000, with an average grant size of just under $60,000. The chance of an Activation Fund Letter of Intent being funded is roughly one in five. 

The Health Foundation does not support:

  • Projects outside of Central Massachusetts;
  • Endowments;
  • Capital campaigns;
  • Fund drives or sponsorship of events;
  • Scholarships; or
  • The retirement of operating deficits.

In addition, by law, The Health Foundation is not permitted to provide direct support to individuals for projects, scholarships or health care, nor may it fund electoral activities or candidates for public office.

For other questions, please see our Grantmaking FAQ’s.

Letter of Intent
  1. 2020 Activation Fund LOI Cover Sheet(For a Word version, please send a request to info (at)
  2. Letter of Intent (Max 3 pages)
  3. Target Project Budget – The overall target budget of the proposed project highlighting the amount requested (an Excel spreadsheet is preferred, but a Word document is fine). Please include other funding sources, if relevant.
  4. Summary of Relevant Qualifications and Capacity – The relevant qualifications of those who would direct the proposed project and the capacity of the applicant organization to successfully manage the proposed project.
  5. Letter of Tax Exempt Status – A copy of the applicant organization’s IRS letter indicating current tax exempt status. For a governmental unit or political subdivision thereof, a governmental information letter from the IRS is required.
  6. Audit – A copy of an accountant’s most recent report or audit with an Opinion Letter and a Management Letter. If your agency is not audited, you may submit the agency’s most recent tax return (Form 990).
  7. Internal Financial Report – A copy of the applicant organization’s most recent internal financial report (e.g. current quarterly financial statement/income statement/balance sheet).
  8. List of Board of Directors/Officers – A list of current officers and members of the applicant organization’s board of directors.

Application materials, including any attachments, should be included in one email and sent to info (at) by 5:00 pm EST on Thursday, April 30, 2020. Late or incomplete submissions will not be accepted.

All submissions will be acknowledged within one business day with an electronic receipt. If you do not receive an email confirming your submission, please contact Daniel Germain at dgermain (at) or (508) 438-0009, ext. four to verify your submission.

Overview of the Process

All Letters of Intent are reviewed by the Distribution Committee and the Board of The Health Foundation. Those invited by the Board to submit an application will be notified by The Health Foundation staff and are strongly encouraged to work with The Health Foundation staff in completing their grant application.

The entire Activation Fund grant application process takes approximately six months from the initial contact with staff prior to submission of a Letter of Intent through the Board’s final funding decision.

Grants are typically one year and begin on October 1st.

Letters of Intent Due April 30, 2020
Applications Invited June 19, 2020
Applications Due August 3, 2020
Grants Awarded Late September 2020