Steele-Reese Foundation: Grants for Public Health

OVERVIEW: The Steele-Reese Foundation focuses its public health related grantmaking on rural healthcare and human and social services.

IP TAKE: This is a fairly approachable funder that seeks organizations undertaking projects with measurable and sustainable benefits to the populations they serve.

PROFILE: The Steele-Reese Foundation was founded in 1955 by Eleanor Steele Reese, daughter of JP Morgan associated Charles Steele. The foundation was established to reflect the Steele-Reese family’s “lasting commitment to their rural values,” and continues to do so in its current grantmaking. Steele-Reese supports a range of programs: rural education, health, human/social services, arts and humanities, conservation (land, water, and wildlife), and historic preservation. Its public health related grants are largely supported through its Rural Human/Social Services and Health programs.

Its Rural Human/Social Services program funds organizations that offer related service to low-income and underserved communities. The program is interested in funding projects that support survivors of domestic violence, homeless individuals, disadvantaged and disconnected youth, and people living with disabilities, among other concerns.

Steele-Reese’s Health program awards grants to a wide-range of programs and organizations. It funds preventative health programs, clinics, small hospitals, emergency services, and hospice programs. 

The minimum grant amount is $5,000, and the foundation rarely awards grants that exceed $50,000. Most grants range between $10,000 and $30,000. The foundation restricts grants to organizations that work in Idaho, Montana, and Appalachian Kentucky.

The foundation accepts unsolicited grant applications and a letter of inquiry is not required. The submission deadline for those applying to the Kentucky program is March 1 and the deadline for the Idaho and Montana programs is December 1.


  • Linda Tracy, Western Director
  • Judy Owens, Appalachian Director