Anthem Foundation: Grants for Disease

OVERVIEW: The Anthem Foundation's (formerly known as the WellPoint Foundation) Healthy Generations Program has five areas of focus. Its disease grantmaking focuses on cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. 

IP TAKE: Anthem supports programs that offer measurable results, so it comes as no surprise that its biggest grants tend to go to large national organizations like the American Heart Association. But this is a funder that also likes to invest in the local communities in which the company operates. Small community-based outfits have a good chance at gaining Anthem funding as well.

PROFILE: The Anthem Foundation is the charitable arm of the health benefits company Anthem Inc. The foundation awards grants in areas where it does business, which is currently 24 states across the country.

Central to the efforts of the Anthem Foundation is the Healthy Generations program, "a multigenerational initiative to improve public health." These days, Anthem focuses on five areas through its Healthy Generations program: cardiac mortality; cancer prevention and smoking cessation; maternal and newborn health; diabetes prevention and management; and childhood and elderly obesity.

Anthem's Healthy Hearts program invests in heart disease prevention efforts in order to “minimize controllable cardiovascular diseases and strokes.” Areas of interest here include preventative programs associated with smoking, obesity, hypertension, stress, and sedentary lifestyles.

Anthem's Healthy Cancer Prevention focus area partners with organizations that implement cancer-prevention and early-detection programs. Again, the foundation’s focus is on preventative measures such as maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle as well as not smoking.

Another focus for Anthem is diabetes. The foundation gives to programs that emphasize healthy lifestyle changes and physical activity. One recent partner is the National Alliance for Hispanic Health.

The foundation does accept unsolicited proposals, which is great for first-time fundseekers. However, it does not accept unsolicited proposals for "...capital projects, initiatives and campaigns." Most Anthem grants range from $25,000 to $150,000 though it isn’t unusual for the foundation to make a handful of larger grants, with a couple amounts upwards of $1 million.

Anthem does fund such activities, but only with organizations with which it has an established relationship, such as the American Lung Association. Anthem does award research and policy grants, however, those are made by invitation only.

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