Grant Funding for Programs that Advance Health Equity
Identifying and securing funding is essential to sustaining programs that advance health equity. The Funders of Rural Programs section in the Rural Community
Health Toolkit gives an overview of potential funding agencies, associations, and organizations. Our Online
Library also provides a list of active and inactive funding
opportunities related to health disparities.
Many rural programs rely on grant funding from federal agencies, regional commissions and agencies, and philanthropic organizations to sustain programs that advance health
equity. Some grant programs focus on a specific aspect of health equity, while others fund more general health
Examples of Federal Agencies that Fund Rural Health Equity Programs
Examples of Foundations and Nonprofit Organizations that Fund Rural Health Equity
Many foundations and nonprofit organizations provide funding or other resources to help sustain rural programs
that advance health equity. Some foundations focus on a specific aspect of health equity, while others broadly
fund rural health and well-being programs. The Rural Philanthropy Toolkit provides an overview of rural
philanthropy and strategies for establishing partnerships
Examples of how foundations and nonprofit organizations are assisting with sustainability efforts include:
Nonprofit hospitals are required to provide community benefits to address identified community needs, which
includes health equity. In rural communities, Critical
Access Hospitals may choose to fund community-building efforts to advance health equity as part of
their required community
Community foundations, which are
public organizations that provide funds to specific geographic communities, are major supporters of rural
health equity investments. Foundations such as the Maine Health Access
Foundation, Healthcare Georgia Foundation, Episcopal Health Foundation, the Black Belt Community Foundation, the Appalachian Community Fund, Northwest Health Foundation, Con
Alma Health Foundation, Vitalyst Health Foundation, the California Endowment, and the Colorado Trust have a special interest in health equity.
National and regional foundations and corporate philanthropies such as the Robert Wood Johnson
Foundation, the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust,
of America Charitable Foundation, the Cigna Foundation,
and the Ford Family
Foundation have a special interest in rural health equity.
Grant Funding and 501(c)(3) Status
Funders often require that applicants be a nonprofit organization with 501(c)(3)
status in order to be eligible for grants. However, funders may make exceptions for tribal,
governmental, or civic organizations. When considering grant funding, it is important to review application
requirements and determine eligibility to apply.
For more information on applying for grants, visit the Applying for Grants to
Support Rural Health Projects topic guide.
Resources to Learn More
Foundations' Efforts to Improve Rural
Provides examples of foundation-funded projects in rural communities addressing access to care, care delivery,
and quality of care. Discusses rural philanthropy and identifies relevant publications.
Author(s): Prina, L. L.
Organization(s): Health Affairs, 36(11)
How to Start a
Provides a collection of resources for nonprofits focused on starting and maintaining a nonprofit. Covers
fundraising, management, and accountability and includes links to each state association of nonprofits.
Organization(s): National Council of Nonprofits