California Health Care Foundation

OVERVIEW: This Oakland-based funder supports access to health care, quality healthcare, policy, and research in California. Unsolicited grant requests are accepted, and it releases competitive requests for proposals too.

FUNDING AREAS: Access to health insurance, high-value health care, health policy, health research

IP TAKE: This funder isn’t exclusive to the Bay Area, but since it’s based in Oakland, many low-income health care grants stay in the region.

PROFILE: The California Health Care Foundation (CHCF) is a nonprofit and independent statewide funder headquartered in Oakland, California. It also has a State Health Policy Office in Sacramento. Founded in 1996, it focuses its efforts on the health care delivery system and providing care to low-income people in California.

CHCF’s goal is to create a more patient-centered health care system by informing policymakers and industry leaders and by investing in ideas. This can include funds for research and media campaigns. Interests include behavioral health, cancer care, care coordination, community paramedicine, safety net providers, workforce building, opioid safety, maternity care, and many others.   

In a recent year, the foundation’s assets were around $740 million. It awarded $29 million in grants that year. Current financial data can be viewed here.

The foundation accepts unsolicited requests, however, most grants are either solicited or given through competitive requests for proposals. Letters of inquiry are accepted from groups in the Bay Area and throughout the state on a rolling basis. You’ll usually hear back within six to eight weeks whether a full proposal is requested. Keep in mind that CHCF does not typically fund direct clinical care, general operations, equipment purchases, capital campaigns, construction or renovations, fundraisers, basic biomedical research, or insurance subsidies. Past grants can be searched here.

The CHCF staff considers requests for less than $250,000 on a rolling basis with no submission deadlines. However, requests over $250,000 are recommended to the board of directors, which meets each year in March/April, June, September, and December.

Grants are not restricted to organizations based in California, but all grants must relate to the delivery of health care in California. Check out the funder’s FAQ page to learn more about its grantmaking approach.

The foundation also makes program-related investments (PRIs) for medical and health care technologies and services. Rather than grants, these take the form of low-cost loans, equity, or loan guarantees. Both nonprofits and companies can receive these PRIs. Find the application for PRIs on their website.

The Oakland-based staff can be reached at 510-238-1040, and the address is 1438 Webster Street, Suite 400, Oakland, California 94612. General questions can be submitted via online form. Questions about submitting a LOI should be sent to News about grants can be found here.


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