Irvin Stern Foundation: Grants for Global Health

OVERVIEW: The Irvin Stern Foundation directs its global health grants toward projects in social services, physical health and mental health.

IP TAKE: Stern does not award many global health-related grants each year, so there is much competition for funding. Grantseekers should highlight how their projects are innovative and demonstrate measurable impact in vulnerable and underserved populations.

PROFILE: The Irvin Stern Foundation is small charitable trust located in Chicago, Illinois. The foundation names three top main grantmaking programs: Human Services, Civic Affairs and Jewish Life.

Although some of its international grants are awarded through its Jewish Life program, grants for global health projects are awarded through its Human Services program. Stern’s Human Services program supports organizations “aiding the underserved, poor, and disadvantaged.” The foundation supports groups working in the fields of social services, physical health, mental health and education.

Stern awards the majority of its grants to organizations that work in the United States. As a result, its grantmaking to groups working internationally is comparatively low. However, Stern still appears to fund smaller and grassroots organizations through global health giving.

Stern’s grants typically fall between $5,000 to $25,000; a few grants surpass $25,000. While the foundation has distinct areas of grantmaking, it also supports organizations working beyond the scope of social services, physical health, mental health and education. For example, it has provided multi-year support to Seeds of Peace, an organization that cultivates the next generation of leaders in global peacebuilding.

While the Irvin Stern Foundation does not award many global health grants each year, it is an approachable funder that accepts unsolicited grant applications and requests for funding. The foundation’s board meets twice per year, in the spring and fall.

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