BlueAngel Community Health Grants
At Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island, our vision is to passionately lead a state of health and well-being across Rhode Island. The BlueAngel Community Health Grant program – an annual, competitive grant program – allows us to further our vision by addressing critical health issues in Rhode Island. We achieve this by partnering with community–based agencies that are trying to improve the health of Rhode Islanders. This funding program is the cornerstone of our community investment activities at BCBSRI, and we are proud of the organizations we have worked with and the results achieved since it began 17 years ago.
Our BlueAngel Community Health Grant program for 2020 seeks to fund initiatives that support access to safe and affordable housing. By investing in this area, we hope to improve health outcomes for Rhode Islanders and improve quality of life, particularly for low–income and underserved populations.
- Rhode Island nonprofit agencies invited to submit a Letter of Intent (LOI)
- LOIs reviewed by BCBSRI LOI Review Subcommittee to determine which programs best fit the criteria of the BACHG program
- Selected agencies invited to submit full proposals for funding
- Site visits to be conducted by Community Relations staff with each of the finalist organizations and all information from those visits is provided to the Grant Review Committee to assist in the review process
BCBSRI’s strategy is rooted in the premise that health is so much more than what happens within the confines of the healthcare system and it looks further at the impacts of housing, safety, and transportation, as examples. To align with this strategy, our BlueAngel Community Health Grant program will shift its focus in 2020 to invest in the places where health and housing intersect. Housing is one of the best-researched social determinants of health, and selected housing interventions, particularly for low-income people, have been found to improve health outcomes.
We know health outcomes do not rest solely upon medical interventions, but also depend on basic needs being met, and safe and affordable housing chief among them. There is strong evidence characterizing housing’s relationship to health. Housing stability, quality, safety, and affordability all affect health outcomes, as do physical and social characteristics of neighborhoods.
Our BlueAngel Community Health Grant program for 2020 seeks to fund initiatives that support access to safe and affordable housing. The impact of housing on health is now being widely recognized by policy makers at all levels. BCBSRI is interested in the innovative ways that health and human service providers, and other community-based organizations, are responding to emerging needs. By investing in access to safe and affordable housing, we hope to improve health outcomes for all Rhode Islanders.
Through our BlueAngel Community Health Grant program, we aim to:
- Fund organizations and programs that will result in more Rhode Islanders being able to afford safe, healthy and stable housing.
- Increase awareness about safe, affordable housing as a shared public concern, underscoring why housing matters and its connection to overall health.
- Highlight solutions and amplify effective models to support access to safe and affordable housing by funding proven and replicable local– and state–level initiatives, with an emphasis on collaborations across different sectors
- October 24 – Call for Letters of Intent (LOI) to Apply
- November 14 – LOI due
- Week of February 24 – Grantees notified/announced
How to apply
If you meet the eligibility requirements and believe your request is aligned with our areas of focus, please submit your LOI here. You’ll be notified of a decision by email.
If you have any questions, please email 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 agencies 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 we provide multiyear grants?
Blue Cross is not currently making multiyear grant awards. However, applicants who receive funding may apply for second-year transitional funding.
Does Blue Cross consider requests from faith-based organizations?
Yes, as long as the proposed effort is not for religious purposes.
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).
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.
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?
There is no maximum or minimum grant amount. Historically, funding amounts have ranged from $25,000 per year to $75,000 per year.