Nationwide Insurance Foundation: Grants for Mental Health

OVERVIEW:  The Nationwide Insurance Foundation is a mostly local funder with moderately-sized mental health grantmaking. Most of its funding goes to treatment centers and mental health clinics that serve women, children and families, with the majority of those facilities located in Columbus, Des Moines, and Scottsdale.

IP TAKE:  Nationwide is not a huge mental health funder; more than 85 percent of its grants support organizations with whom it already has a relationship. Grantees often receive multi-year funding that grows substantially each year, making a relationship with Nationwide well worth the effort.

PROFILE: Created in 1959, the Nationwide Insurance Foundation is located in Columbus, Ohio, and the foundation demonstrates a clear bias for the city — more than 50 percent of Nationwide's money stays within Columbus. Since the foundation seeks to “improve the quality of life in communities in which a large number of Nationwide members, associates, partners and their families live and work,” location is important. Other favored locations include Des Moines, Iowa and Scottsdale, Arizona. Grant seekers can find a complete list of Nationwide's geographic funding priorities here.

The foundation typically grants a total of between $200,000 and $500,000 a year, spread among no more than a dozen organizations. Grants usually start small and rarely surpass $10,000. However, organizations that establish a relationship with Nationwide have a good chance to increase their year-over-year grant amounts.

Even organizations with well-established relationships with Nationwide rarely receive more than $100,000 at any one time. A little more than half of the foundation’s grants historically range between $10,000 and $75,000, and around a third are at or under $10,000.

Nationwide's chief funding concerns within the broader area of mental health are women, children, and family mental health. The foundation supports groups that provide mental health treatment for troubled and at-risk children, including programs that deal with violence, drug addiction, and sexual misconduct. It also provides funding for organizations prioritizing women and families; these include halfway houses, domestic violence shelters, and treatment centers for alcoholism or drug addiction. Many of these organizations provide residential treatment in addition to their outpatient programs.

Nationwide accepts unsolicited applications from around mid-May to September 1 each year.

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