Northwest Health Foundation

OVERVIEW: This funder supports preventative health topics in Oregon and Southwest Washington. There are several grant programs here, each with their own guidelines and opportunities.

FUNDING AREAS: Preventative health, childhood health, disability justice

IP TAKE:  Youth health is a big interest, here. Steer clear of direct service requests as NWHF is more about preventative strategies.

PROFILE: The Northwest Health Foundation (NWHF) is based in Portland, Oregon, and focuses on health in Oregon and Southwest Washington. It provides grants for initiatives, partners with community leaders, and advocates for health policy change. 

The foundation dates back to 1938, when the Physicians Association of Clackamas County emerged and became the first prepaid health plan in the country. Later known as PACC, it was sold in 1997 to a for-profit health insurance corporation, and the proceeds of the sale were set aside to benefit the people of Oregon and Southwest Washington. The Washington counties in focus are Clark, Cowlitz, Pacific, Skamania and Wahkiakum.

Originally, this foundation funded immediate needs such as direct service delivery, equipment purchases, and organizational capacity. Today, it's focused on prevention. The funder gave over $39 million to more than 1,000 projects in its first 10 years as a grantmaker. It's committed to equity and aims to promote equity through its grants. Lately, about three out of every five grants and three out of every four grant dollars fund assistance for people and communities of color.

In a recent year, this funder gave out 258 grants totaling $3,232,200. As part of the President's Fund, it awarded 31 grants with an average grant size of $1,932 that year.

Foundation programs include Oregon Active Schools, which supports student physical education, and the Disability Justice Leaders Collaborative. It gives about 10 percent of its grants to disability causes, lately. Healthy Beginnings + Healthy Communities was launched in 2014 to improve children's health through such means as healthy birth, kindergarten readiness and high school readiness. This program funded 10 grants, averaging about $85,000 each in a recent year. A Kaiser Permanente Community Fund housed at NWHF made about 10 grants averaging $170,660 the same year.

Each of these programs has its own guidelines and application instructions. Past areas of support can be viewed here.

The website lists open opportunities for grantseekers. Sign up for the funder’s newsletter to keep up with opportunities.

NWHF makes non-grantmaking efforts to bring together local grantmakers, health insurers, health providers, businesses, faith communities and underserved populations to reach common health goals. The funder provides sponsorships for upcoming events, with amounts up to $3,000.

Individual staff members’ email addresses and phone numbers are on the contact page. General questions can be called into 503-220-1955. Or, you can visit the foundation office in Portland’s Old Town/Chinatown neighborhood at 221 NW Second Avenue, Suite 300.

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