BCBSIL Community Partners Grant

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL)

Grant amount: US $20,000 - US $100,000

Next anticipated deadline: Feb 2, 2019 (Letter of inquiry)

Later anticipated deadlines: Apr 6, 2019 (Full proposal)

Applicant type: Nonprofit

Funding uses: Applied Project / Program, Education / Outreach

Location of project: Illinois

Location of residency: United States

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Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois

For more than 80 years, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL) has supported communities throughout Illinois by investing in non-profit organizations committed to improving the health and lives of people in Illinois. We know that the health and wellness of a community and its residents can be positively transformed when resources are directed to organizations with the expertise and community presence to increase access to care, address health disparities, and create innovative community-based coordinated care models.

Supporting the health and wellness of individuals, families, and communities is core to our business and philosophy. We do this by directing resources- people, time, and dollars- to areas where there is need and community partners on the ground creating meaningful change. 

Community Partners Grant Program

Community Partners Grants (CPG) support innovative programs dedicated to improving health system objectives in under-served communities in Illinois. Needs that emerge in communities are diverse; therefore, we are interested in how well local organizations understand the health needs of its constituents and develop and implement strategies to improve these conditions so as to:

  • Improve health condition and health insurance literacy
  • Increase access to health care
  • Enhance care coordination
  • Address behavioral and social determinants of health to reduce health disparities

Grant range

The award range for CPG grants is $20,000-100,000. Program requests should stay within this range to be considered for BCBSIL funding.

Program Quality

We look for high quality programs that align with our community investment strategy and have the potential for positive and sustainable impacts in their communities. For BCBSIL, high quality programming is demonstrated by the following characteristics:

  • Collaboration: No one organization can do everything on its own and the challenges facing underresourced communities demand partnerships across service providers. Providers respond to local needs by creating networks of expertise and support (e.g., referrals, service integration, advocacy, etc.). Roles within these partnerships are explained.
  • Data Collection and Continuous Quality Improvement: Programs have a consistent plan of evaluation that includes tools and methods to measure the efficacy of its services. Information is used to demonstrate effectiveness, improve services, and share learnings.
  • Outcome Performance and Reporting: Programs have the capacity to track performance and report measurable outcome results on a regular and timely basis.
  • Community Presence & Engagement: Organizations have experience with the population served and are recognized within the community as a credible partner. Organization engages community members and clients in identifying issues and ways to best meet those needs.
  • Evidence-based and Innovative Service Delivery: Programs offer services that are grounded in clinical expertise and promising practices. Programming is adjusted when indicated to improve care and/or respond to emerging needs or opportunities.
  • Strength-based Approach: Programs partner with and serve clients and communities from an asset-focused approach. The strengths of individuals and the local community are recognized and leveraged as valuable components to meeting goals.
  • Financial Fitness: Organizations must have sound financial standing and the capacity to deliver all services as proposed, retain necessary credentialing for service delivery, and meet BCBSIL reporting requirements. Programs should have a diverse portfolio of funding or present a plan for seeking funding from other sources.

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • In Illinois, grants are awarded to direct service health and human service organizations with 501(c)3 status. 
  • Grants in these areas are for 1 year only.
  • All organizations must meet the following criteria to be considered for a grant from BCBSIL:
    • Services provided in the state of Illinois
    • Incorporated as a not-for-profit organization and has been delivering services for at least 1 year at the time of application submission
    • Established as a 501(c)3 and in compliance with federal and state regulations and requirements
    • Operates under a non-discrimination policy
    • Governed by an all-volunteer Board of Directors in which Board members are not compensated for service


  • Under its granting process, BCBSIL does not provide grants to:
    • Organizations that do not meet basic eligibility criteria
    • Organizations that discriminate based on race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status
    • Grants to individuals
    • Programs that are exclusively arts and culture
    • Political campaigns or exclusively religious activities
    • Government agencies
    • Capital campaigns