Synergy Initiative FAQ’s

Is my organization eligible to apply for a Synergy Initiative grant if it applied for and/or received one previously?
Yes. There are no restrictions on applying for or receiving grants.


Can my organization submit two different Synergy Initiative LOIs?
We strongly encourage applicants to coordinate internally and prioritize, submitting only one LOI.


Are Foundation staff 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


Are organizations with pending 501 (c) 3 tax status eligible to apply?
No, only organizations that are verified with a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) designation, as determined by the Internal Revenue Service, and/or those operating under a fiscal sponsor with verified tax-exempt status, are eligible to apply.


What health issues does The Health Foundation fund?
The Health Foundation does not identify specific health issues/priority areas for funding and strives to be flexible and responsive to community needs. The Foundation applies a broad definition of health, and many previous grants focus on social determinants of health.


What if only a portion of my project falls within the Foundation’s geographic service area?
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.


How do I apply for a Synergy Initiative grant?
Grant guidelines and application instructions will be posted on the Foundation’s website when the Synergy Initiative is open.  LOIs and all accompanying materials must be submitted in one email to; 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?
The letter should be a maximum of 3 pages, 11-point font, and 1” margins, inclusive of a target project budget.  A Synergy Initiative cover sheet is provided to collect basic organizational and project-related information and demographic information.


Should I include letters of support with my LOI?
No.  Letters of support are not needed at the LOI phase. They can be submitted as attachments with the full application if invited to apply.


How are Synergy Initiative requests evaluated and how long is the review process?
Both LOI’s and full applications are reviewed by staff and a Distribution Committee comprised of members of THFCM  Board and funding decisions are made by the THFCM Board at quarterly meetings.  Applicants should anticipate that the application review process may take 4 – 6 weeks.


What are the chances of my project being funded?
The chance of a Synergy Initiative LOI being funded is roughly one in four.


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 from the Foundation.  Please note that the project budget should include all related expenses, not just the amount requested from the Foundation.  An Excel budget template will be provided by The Health Foundation if 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.