Synergy Initiative

The Healthcare and Health Promotion Synergy Initiative (“Synergy Initiative”) provides funding for partnership-based projects that target significant health issues, especially inequities and disparities, in Central Massachusetts with integrated, comprehensive strategies with an end goal of systems or policy change. The Foundation seeks to support projects that aim to positively impact the most vulnerable residents of Central Massachusetts.

The Synergy Initiative typically opens every four to five years, and historically, four projects have been selected per round.  Projects generally progress from planning to pilot to full implementation over the course of three to five years, with grants awarded on an annual basis.  Project budgets vary for each phase, and total investment amounts average approximately $2 million per project over the grant period.  For a list of projects selected for funding in Rounds 1-5, please click here.


The Health Foundation’s Synergy Initiative embraces a philosophy of partnership between the applicant/grantee, the evaluator, and the Foundation in a shared aim of achieving success. This approach is operationalized through a planning and evaluation system called Results-Oriented Grantmaking and Grant-Implementation (ROGG, Copyright © by Dr. Janice B. Yost and Dr. Abraham H. Wandersman).

ROGG applies an empowerment evaluation approach to maximize a project’s chances of success whereby grantees are provided with documents containing ten guiding accountability questions that provide the structure for an effective problem-solving process and support the facilitation of program planning and monitoring, the documentation of outcomes, and the sustainability of interventions.  Program, evaluator, and funder partners work as a collaborative team throughout the process.


The Foundation will consider requests for Round 6 Synergy Initiative projects in 2023.  Please download and carefully review the
2023 Synergy Initiative Grantmaking Guidelines and FAQs, which detail key factors that influence the Foundation’s decision-making for Synergy Initiative projects, the application process, and answers to Frequently Asked Questions.


The deadline for receipt of materials required to be considered for a 2023 Synergy Initiative grant is
Wednesday, July 12, 2023 at 5:00 p.m. 

February-June:   Info sessions/consultations 
July 12:    Letters of Intent and required attachments due
Mid-September: Applicants notified of the Board’s decisions to invite full proposals
September 26: “Speed Dating” event with project teams and evaluators
October 27: Round 6 planning applications due (for those invited to submit)
Mid- December: Applicants notified of the Board’s funding decisions

Steps to Apply
After attending an information session, interested organizations are strongly encouraged to arrange a consultation with Dr. Amie Shei, President & CEO ( to discuss alignment of proposed project ideas with the Foundation’s funding approach prior to application submission.  Consultations may be scheduled by appointment.

The Synergy Initiative has a two-step application process.  At each phase, the required materials should be sent via email to by the posted deadlines.

Step I:  Interested applicants are asked to submit a Cover Sheet and a Letter of Intent outlining the proposed project and anticipated outcomes. Additional required attachments include a project budget, financial statements (audited if available) or IRS Form 990, summary of relevant qualifications and capacity of project leaders, and a current Board list. The Cover Sheet may be downloaded here:
SI LOI Cover Sheet
SI Target Project Budget Guidance

Step II:  If invited to submit a full application, project teams will participate in a “speed dating” event with a pool of evaluators, recruited by the Foundation, who are familiar with the empowerment evaluation approach. Through this event, applicants and evaluators indicate their respective interest in potential partnerships.  Matched evaluators will then work with applicants in preparing the planning grant application materials, which may be downloaded here:
SI Planning Grant Cover Sheet  (this form was revised 7/21/23)
SI Planning Grant Application Form (this form was revised 7/21/23)
SI Project Budget Form

Assessment Process
All Letters of Intent are reviewed by the Distribution Committee and the Board of the Foundation.  Those invited by the Board to submit an application are strongly encouraged to work with Foundation staff in completing their grant application.  Previews of required grant report forms (for funded applicants) may be downloaded here:

SI Process Evaluation Form
SI Project Summary Report Form

Questions about the Synergy Initiative:
Dr. Amie Shei, President & CEO
Phone: (508) 438-0009 x 1