2019 Behavioral Health & Health Equity Initiative 

The Behavioral Health & Health Equity grant cycle is now closed.  we aRE no longer accepting applications.  Thank You to everyone who applied.

Thanks to a generous grant from Premera Blue Cross, the Community Foundation has an additional $90,000 to award in 2019 to support small and medium sized nonprofits doing work in the fields of behavioral health and health equity.

Grant Details

  • Award amounts will range from $5,000 to $15,000
  • Total awards through this program in 2019 will be approximately $90,000
  • If your organization is already a grantee of Premera Blue Cross, you are not eligible for this grant opportunity

Download Health Initiative Guidelines

Program Guidelines

The Behavioral Health & Health Equity Initiative focuses on addressing behavioral health issues, with an emphasis on funding programs that help historically underserved communities, including people of color and low-income populations.

Behavioral health refers to health conditions such as depression, anxiety, mood disorder, and substance abuse. (Definition adapted from Premera Social Impact).

Health equity means that everyone has a fair and just opportunity to be as healthy as possible. This requires removing obstacles to health such as poverty, discrimination, and their consequences, including powerlessness and lack of access to good jobs with fair pay, quality education and housing, safe environments, and health care. (Definition from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s “What is Health Equity” Report).

Community health data consistently shows disparities among underserved populations resulting in lower quality and access of healthcare services, worse health outcomes, and increased healthcare costs.

Grant activities could include programs or organizations that work to:

  • Increase access or affordability of behavioral health services, especially for people from underserved populations
  • Remove obstacles to health such as poverty or discrimination including, but not limited to: case management and assisting with access to services, safe and affordable housing, and other supports and strategies that help people exit poverty
  • Prevent or address the behavioral health needs of children who have experienced adverse childhood experiences
  • Equip staff with behavioral health training such as trauma informed care

Priority will be given to proposals that serve underserved communities including people of color, low-income populations, rural populations, and children who have experienced adverse childhood experiences. By promoting approaches and preventions that include resilience and trauma-informed practice, these grants aim to foster healing for individuals, families, and communities.


In reviewing grant proposals, the Community Foundation will consider the following evaluation criteria:

  • Works toward a healthier community by addressing issues of behavioral health and/or health equity
  • Meets an important community need in Thurston, Mason, and/or Lewis County
  • Collaborates and shares, carrying out their work in coordination with partners or in cohorts
  • Addresses disparities and increases opportunities for historically underserved people and communities
  • Meaningfully engages the voices, perspectives, and expertise of the people and communities that represent their program participants
  • Are positioned to impact the need or opportunity they are addressing (strong leadership-board, volunteer and staff, well-crafted policies and procedures, broad funding base)
  • Are well-planned and likely to succeed (realistic budget – both income and expenses, operating or business plan in place, evaluation or outcomes targeted and measures in place)

Applicants should be prepared for an interview at the mutual convenience of the applicant and the Community Foundation’s Grants Committees. Grants Committees will review applications and make recommendations to the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors is responsible for final grant decisions.

Download Health Initiative Guidelines

Application Now Closed