Independence Blue Cross Foundation

OVERVIEW: The Independence Blue Cross Foundation is a health insurance funder that supports a wide variety of health issues in Southeastern Pennsylvania, including the healthcare safety net, healthcare workforce, healthy communities, the opioid epidemic, heart health, and the obesity epidemic.

FUNDING AREAS: Healthcare access, health workforce, opioid epidemic, cardiovascular disease, health education, fitness, health technology, healthy food, childhood obesity

IP TAKE: This is a specialized and accessible health foundation with a very local focus. It releases new initiative based on current local needs, however, access to healthcare is a top issue.

PROFILE: Established in October 2011, the Independence Blue Cross Foundation is a private charitable foundation affiliated with the health insurance company of the same name. Its geographic focus is Philadelphia and Southeastern Pennsylvania. This foundation “funds programs and initiatives that advance caring for our region’s most vulnerable, enhance health care delivery, and build healthy communities.” Grantmaking areas of interest are healthcare access, health workforce, opioid epidemic, cardiovascular disease, health education, fitness, health technology, healthy food, and childhood obesity.

The IBC Foundation has a few different grant programs: Blue Safety Net, Building Healthier Communities, Bolstering the Healthcare Workforce via Nurses for Tomorrow, and Addressing Health Priorities. The Safety Net program awards grants to nonprofit, private community health centers that provide access to healthcare in medically underserved areas. Its application period is typically between in June and July. The Workforce program is largely focused on nurses and provides grants to strengthen career education, development, and research. Through its healthy communities program, the IBC Foundation typically funds health education, fitness, technology, and research projects. The open application period for this program is often in the summer. The funder's Addressing Health Priorities program initiative addresses current pressing issues. The opioid epidemic, cardiac disease, and childhood obesity are top priorities.

In a recent year, the foundation awarded over $4.8 million in grants. Over $1.5 million of this went to area nursing schools, approximately $2.6 million to the Blue Safety Net Program, and around $300,000 to the Addressing Health Priorities program.  Grantseekers can review past grant information in the funder’s news section of its website. To be eligible for a grant, nonprofits must be part of a nonprofit or institute of higher learning in Southeast Pennsylvania. Nonprofits must also serve the five counties of this region: Philadelphia, Chester, Bucks, Delaware, and Montgomery. This funder does not support capital construction, conferences, political or religious causes, sports teams, or fundraising events.

This foundation accepts unsolicited grant requests from local nonprofits. As a general rule, grant applications must be submitted electronically. Grantseekers should direct general questions to the Philadelphia-based staff at 855-422-3386 or via online form.

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