Grantmaking FAQs


Who can apply for a grant from The Health Foundation?

The Health Foundation accepts applications from IRS designated tax-exempt non-profit organizations or government entities (e.g. municipalities, school districts, etc.).

The project must also fall within our service area, which consists of Worcester County and some surrounding towns. You can find a map here.

If only a portion of the project falls within our service area, applicants should seek co-funding that will support the portion of the project outside our service area.

Does The Health Foundation have funding exclusions?

In general, The Health Foundation will 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.

What health issues does The Health Foundation fund?

The Health Foundation does not identify specific health issues. The Health Foundation strives to be flexible and responsive to community needs. The Health Foundation applies a broad definition of health, and many previous grants focus on social determinants of health.
Is my organization eligible to apply for a grant this year if it received one last year?

Yes. There are no restrictions on applying for or receiving grants in consecutive years.

Activation Fund Letters of Intent (LOI) and Application

Can my organization submit two different Activation Fund LOIs?

While there are no restrictions prohibiting an organization from submitting more than one LOI,
we strongly encourage applicants to coordinate internally and prioritize.
How do I apply for funding?

Please go to the Activation Fund’s page.
What does The Health Foundation mean by sustainability of a proposed project?

The Activation Fund is intended to support discrete projects in Central Massachusetts that are able to continue without further grant funding after the grant period is over. Examples of Successful Activation Fund projects.
Are program officers willing to discuss my eligibility, LOI, or proposal prior to submission?

Yes. We encourage applicants to consult with The Health Foundation staff at least 30 days before the LOI deadline. Questions about the LOI and application process should be sent to The Health Foundation staff at
info (at)
How do I submit my LOI or grant proposal to The Health Foundation?

LOIs and all accompanying materials must be submitted in one email to info (at) by the deadline. Those invited by the Board to submit a full application will be notified by The Health Foundation staff and provided with the application materials.
Is there a set format for the LOI?

There is no set format. Detailed requirements can be found on the Activation Fund cover sheet. 
Can I exceed the page limit for the LOI?

No. Please follow all requirements as laid out in the cover sheet, which are: maximum of 3 pages, 11-point font, and 1” margins.
Should I include letters of support with my LOI?

No. Letters of support are not needed at the LOI phase. They can be included in the full application phase.
What are the chances of my LOI being funded?

The chance of an Activation Fund LOI being funded is roughly one in five.
What is The Health Foundation's average grant size?
For the Activation Fund, previous grants made have ranged from $10,000 to $100,000 with the average grant just under $60,000.


What should I include in my project budget?
Tell a clear financial story. Include the target budget of the proposed project highlighting the amount requested. An Excel budget template will be provided by The Health Foundation for those invited to submit an application. Please include other funding sources, if relevant, and note whether they are pending or secured.
Does The Health Foundation allow for part of an award to pay for indirect costs?

It is the policy of The Health Foundation to encourage applicants to detail, as direct costs, realistic projections of overhead costs.

Alternatively, The Health Foundation will allow up to 10% of the total direct costs for the reimbursement of indirect costs. The calculation of indirect costs should NOT include subcontracting arrangements, capital improvements (including renovation and purchase), and equipment purchases.

Final Tips

♦ Do not miss the deadline.

♦ Follow all requirements listed in the Activation Fund LOI Cover Sheet.

♦ Proofread all documents submitted. All materials will be shared as is with The Health Foundation Directors.