FAQs: BlueAngel Community Health Grants

Many of your questions may be answered by reviewing our eligibility, funding priority, and application guidelines. The frequently asked questions below cover additional questions that you may have. Please review all of this information carefully before preparing your letter of intent.

If any of your questions are not answered through these resources, please contact us at blueangel_news@bcbsri.org.

Who is eligible to apply for a BlueAngel Community Health Grant (BACHG)?

Organizations are eligible for grants from Blue Cross if they have qualified for exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the IRS Code or are public instrumentalities (e.g., a government entity). Grants are not awarded to individuals. Private foundations [as defined by Section 509(a) of the Code] are not eligible for funding.

Does Blue Cross fund existing programs or just new or expanding programs?

Blue Cross provides funding for existing, new, and expanding programs. 

Does Blue Cross fund personnel expenses?

Yes, as they relate to a specific program. For instance, we would be unlikely to fund ABC nonprofit’s executive director position, but more likely to fund personnel costs associated with a program (such as a counselor to provide nutrition classes).

Can I apply for more than one grant during the year?

An organization may not apply for more than one BlueAngel Community Health grant during the year. Applicants who receive a grant may not submit another letter of intent or proposal for funding the same program within the same year. Applicants who are not approved for funding are welcome to reapply in the next grant cycle.

Do you provide multiyear grants?

Blue Cross is not currently making multiyear grant awards. However, applicants who receive funding may apply for second-year transitional funding.

Would Blue Cross consider a request from a faith-based organization?

Yes, as long as the proposed effort is not for religious purposes.

Are there deadlines for proposals?

Blue Cross does not have an open application process. We accept letters of inquiry only at designated times during the year. Key dates are noted in the letter of inquiry form. However, applicants are welcome to contact us with ideas to be considered during our grant cycles.

What other requirements should I consider when preparing the proposal?

Proposals are only accepted by invitation after the letter of intent review process. The proposal must include a coherent and valid discussion of how you intend to evaluate and measure the program's success. We cannot consider proposals that do not include evaluation information. A clear plan for communicating the partnership with Blue Cross also must be included. 

Would Blue Cross fund 100 percent of a program’s costs?

Yes. However, we prefer to be a funding partner along with other sources of revenue. We believe an application is strengthened by seeking multiple sources of support (as this is a key indicator of sustainability).

Does Blue Cross fund capital—either equipment or construction?

Blue Cross will fund acquisition of equipment as it relates to a specific program, but is unlikely to fund equipment alone. Please note that we typically do not fund construction (e.g., bricks and mortar).

I am not certain whether or not my organization or program is suitable for funding. What can I do?

You can always speak with a member of the Blue Cross Community Relations Department staff if you have questions about the eligibility requirements and funding priority. Please contact us at blueangel_news@bcbsri.org.

What other eligibility restrictions should I know about?

Blue Cross will not fund projects or programs of fraternal or religious organizations where the primary beneficiaries are members of these organizations. We also do not contribute to organizations seeking contributions for advertising space, tickets, or sponsorship of dinners, fundraising events, or promotional materials. Additionally, the BACHG program does not fund requests from hospitals.

If we are selected to submit a full proposal, when can we expect to receive notice of a final decision?

Final decisions will be communicated in December.

If we are not selected to develop a full proposal, may we reapply in a future grant cycle?

Yes, you may reapply. 

How much time will we have to develop a full proposal?

It takes some time for us to process and review the letters of intent. We will notify you as to whether or not your organization will advance to the full proposal stage within approximately 10 business days from the date your submission was received. At that time, we will email you the proposal guidelines, application materials, and the proposal due date.

May we meet with a Blue Cross representative prior to submission of our letter of inquiry or can we talk with someone by phone?

We do not ordinarily meet with applicants during the letter of inquiry stage. Please email any questions about the BlueAngel Community Health Grants program to blueangel_news@bcbsri.org.

Does Blue Cross fund individuals?

No, but we fund agencies that can help individuals. 

Does Blue Cross fund indirect costs?

While Blue Cross does not have a strict policy against indirect costs, we do not look favorably upon applications that request excessive costs in this area. Projects requesting funding for direct service or program-related costs (e.g., supplies, education materials, salaries) are viewed more favorably.

What is the range of grant amounts?

Historically, funding amounts have ranged from $8,000 per year to $30,000 per year.

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