The Bill Healy Foundation

OVERVIEW: This funder supports environmental and children-focused nonprofits in Oregon and Hawaii. Unsolicited grant applications are accepted once per year in each location.

FUNDING AREAS: Environmental conservation, well-being of children

IP TAKE: Definitely contact this funder if you’re in Oregon and pursuing environmental education or nature programs for kids. Past grantees are considered for larger future grants.

PROFILE: The Bill Healy Foundation was established in 1995 by Cameron Healy in his father’s memory. Bill Healy and fellow skiers in Bend, Oregon, came up with an idea for a ski resort on Mt. Bachelor. Healy loved the mountain and is remembered for his love of the land and its people. Today, Mt. Bachelor is a world-class ski resort that has been used for Olympic ski training. The foundation is based in the Jean Vollum Natural Capital Center in Portland, which is also known as the Ecotrust Building. It has been in this location since 2001.

This foundation has two specific, yet very different goals: the environment and children. It supports environmental conservation with grants for stewardship, education and sustainable solutions, especially those focused on the preservation and appreciation of nature. It promotes the broad wellbeing of children with grants for everything from education to informing kids about the world and helping them make positive choices.

Only nonprofits in Oregon and Hawaii are typically considered for Healy grants. You can download the grant application form from the funder’s website. Small grants in these two states are awarded for $1,000 to $25,000. This is where most first-time requests end up.

When the board has gained some experience working with your group, you may be eligible for the larger grants of between $26,000 and $75,000. For these, the board wants to see a financially stable plan and excellent leadership. For groups in Oregon, the deadline to submit an application is usually the second Friday in December; the foundation awards grants the following May.

The foundation gave the largest grant in its history for the acquisition of beach property in Hawaii to preserve its natural, cultural and historical significance. Recently, it's given a larger number of grants to Oregon groups than Hawaiian groups. In recent cycles, $600,810 went to Oregon grantees and $322,238 to Hawaii grantees. Oregon grantees include the Mt. Emily Safe Center, Family Access Network, Peace in Schools, the Oregon Food Bank, and the Black United Fund of Oregon.  

The foundation also supports the Barbara Leppe Scholarship Fund. Born and raised in Portland, Barbara was Bill’s wife and an avid volunteer in the community. The fund now supports young women from rural communities in Oregon.

General questions should be directed to the office administrator, Valerie Wilson, at vwilson@billhealyfoundation.org or 503-222-1899. There is also an executive director, Diane Hall, and a financial director, Marc Cramer, on staff.

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