Highmark Foundation: Grants for Disease

OVERVIEW: The Highmark Foundation awards grants supporting all-too-familiar and pervasive chronic conditions in the U.S., mainly heart disease and diabetes.

IP TAKE: Highmark seeks out projects that have the strong potential to be replicable and sustainable. It also expects its grantee organizations to have a significant impact on the health outcomes of the local communities they serve.

PROFILE: The Highmark Foundation focuses its grantmaking on supporting intervention and prevention programs related to some of the most pervasive chronic diseases in the U.S. More specifically, the foundation backs local organizations serving vulnerable and economically disadvantaged populations. On rare occasions, Highmark will award grants to large national organizations such as the American Heart Association.

If you’re looking for a grant outside heart disease, diabetes and cancer research, however, Highmark is pretty open minded to reviewing organizations working with chronic conditions such as asthma and osteoporosis. If you're looking for a grant outside their main scope, though, know that Highmark will be looking for programs that have a significant impact and outcomes that are not only achievable, but measurable as well. No doubt they will ask you to explain how your project's goals are to be achieved and how you will measure your program’s success. 

Highmark's grants range between $5,000 and $150,000, with just a few going above that mark. To get an idea of the types of organizations the foundation funds, where they are located, and specific grant amounts, take a look at its recent grants awarded page. In general, its grant for disease go to other organizations that support research and treatment, not to individual researchers or institutes.

The foundation does accept unsolicited proposals, but it’s a rarity. Highmark awards grants through RFPs or by invitation. That being said, grants are spread pretty evenly between institutions of all sizes, meaning smaller organizations don't necessarily have to compete against organizations that are out of their league. 

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