Highmark Foundation Grant

Highmark Foundation

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Grant amount: Up to US $225,000

Deadline: Rolling

Applicant type: Nonprofit Government Entity Indigenous Group

Funding uses: Project / Program

Location of project: West Virginia, Counties in Pennsylvania: Adams County, Allegheny County, Armstrong County, Beaver County Show all

Location of residency: West Virginia, Counties in Pennsylvania: Adams County, Allegheny County, Armstrong County, Beaver County Show all

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About this funder:



NOTE: The Foundation’s board of directors meets three times per year (spring, summer, and fall) to review and approve proposals.


The Highmark Foundation is a private, charitable, organization of Highmark Inc. that supports initiatives and programs aimed at improving community health. The Highmark Foundation's mission is to improve the health, well-being and quality of life for individuals who reside in communities served by Highmark Inc. and its subsidiaries and affiliates. We fulfill our mission by awarding high impact grants.

Ideally, the Foundation seeks evidence-based programs that impact multiple counties, that achieve replicable long-term models, and that attract collaborative funding by community partners.

Foundation grants have been awarded to hospitals, community health centers, health service organizations, local community groups and government agencies committed to improving community health.

Our focus is health. The Foundation awards health-related programmatic grants to charitable organizations to implement evidence-based programs aimed at improving community health within Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Grant funding is used to support projects that:

  • Are consistent with the Foundation’s goals, strategies and focus
  • Demonstrate new and sustainable ways to solve health problems
  • Illustrate the effectiveness of early intervention and preventive health

Funding Priority Areas

The Foundation awards grants in the area of health, defining health broadly to include social, behavioral and other dimensions beyond illness or disease. The Foundation focuses its grantmaking on four areas:

Chronic Disease

For more than a decade, the Foundation has funded chronic disease intervention and prevention programs for the most vulnerable populations in the region. By analyzing data from global, national, and statewide resources, the Foundation determines where it can make significant impact among populations by reducing the burden on both patients and health care providers.

One major example of the Foundation's leadership is its funding of community-based programs and services that have been created to reduce the effects of diabetes among minority populations. Through comprehensive, multilevel strategies, the Foundation has provided millions of dollars which grant these individuals easier access to diabetes prevention programs.

The Foundation has also supported national efforts—locally. For example, the Foundation was one of the first in the nation to fund an initiative known as Mission Lifeline. This is an initiative of the American Heart Association which advances the systems of care for patients who have experienced the most severe form of heart attack.

Data analysis of other chronic diseases, such as osteoporosis, certain types of cancer, asthma, and many others, are constantly being reviewed by the Foundation staff to determine significant impact opportunities with outcomes that are both measurable and achievable.

Funding Programs and Interventions that Address:

  • Diabetes
  • Heart Disease
  • Cancer
  • Obesity

Family Health

Family health initiatives have been at the heart of many programs funded by the Highmark Foundation.

For five years, the Foundation's Highmark Healthy High 5 initiative focused on five areas that ultimately impacted family health: physical activity, nutrition, bullying, self-esteem and grieving. Many of the programs funded were not just aimed at children, but incorporated the entire family unit.

Childhood obesity and bullying remain major public health concerns for the nation and the region, and will remain critical issues for the Foundation. To that end, the Foundation is continuing to fund school and community-based programs that directly impact these issues and bring about positive change for children's physical and mental well-being.

The Foundation also funds programs in the area of maternal health, such as the doula pregnancy programs, walk-in clinics for uninsured and underinsured women, and parenting education classes. For the region's senior population, the Foundation funds programs that provide senior access to home health or palliative care, as well as routine health screenings and interventions.

Funding Programs and Interventions that Address:

  • Nutrition and Physical Activity
  • Adolescent Health
  • Maternal Health
  • Senior Care
  • Mental Health

Service Delivery Systems

Serving a diverse geographic area that encompasses urban and rural populations presents a unique set of challenges. However, despite the differences in these settings, gaining access to quality health care is a challenge for many individuals in both. In urban settings, there is a lack of health care providers, but the underinsured or uninsured often lack the resources to gain access. In rural settings, the situation is even worse. There are very few health care providers available, and those that are available may not have the capacity to serve the underinsured or uninsured populations.

During the past decade, the Foundation has funded many programs across the region to help underserved and uninsured populations gain access to quality and, in some cases, free health care. This is most evident in the area of dental care and oral health, in which the Foundation, through a series of grants, allowed more patients to gain access to quality dental care.

The Foundation has also provided grants to help organizations hire and recruit health care professionals. It has funded millions of dollars in grants to address the nursing shortage in Pennsylvania. In fact, approximately 5,000 nursing students, nurses, medical students, residents, first responders and nursing faculty have benefited from Foundation funding.

Finally, the Foundation has provided grants to organizations planning to invest in new capital and technologies that will better serve their local population. By providing funding for capital expenditures at locations such as Federally Qualified Health Clinics (FQHC), nonprofit organizations, and community hospitals, the Foundation allows these facilities the ability to serve more patients.

Funding Programs that Address:

  • Access to Care
  • Recruitment of Healthcare Professionals
  • Community Health Clinics
  • Screenings

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


  • To be eligible for a grant, an organization must meet the following criteria:
    • Be a nonprofit defined as tax exempt under section 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and as a public charity under section 509 (a) of that code. 
    • Be located in one of 62 counties in Pennsylvania (with the exception of Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties) or the state of West Virginia.
    • Have not received a grant in the same year.
    • The Foundation will award only one grant per organization each year.
      • If your organization has more than one project, please make sure you determine which program is a priority.
  • The Highmark Foundation awards high-impact grants to nonprofit organizations to spearhead programs aimed at improving community health in the communities served by Highmark, Inc, its subsidiaries and affiliates.
  • Programs at various stages of development are eligible for Foundation support, including demonstrations, pilot projects, model programs, expansion plans and well-established initiatives.


  • The Foundation does not support third-party or fiduciary arrangements.
  • The Foundation will not support:
    • Galas
    • Dinners
    • Golf tournaments
    • Capital campaigns
    • Capital costs, including construction or renovation
    • Purchase, rental or maintenance of vehicles
    • Annual fundraising campaigns
    • Deficit funding
    • Endowments
    • Clinical research
    • Scholarships
    • Overhead costs
    • Direct financial subsidy of health services to individuals or groups
    • Individual needs or other forms of financial aid
    • Lobbying or political campaigns