Special Hope Foundation: Grants for Public Health

OVERVIEW: The Special Hope Foundation provides grants to groups that work to close the access to quality healthcare gap for adults with developmental disabilities.

IP TAKE: While the foundation generally offers project-specific grants, it will consider general operating support grants for previous grantees, making the foundation a good resource for those working in this relatively underfunded field.

PROFILE: The Special Hope Foundation’s vision is simple: a healthcare system that provides comprehensive healthcare for adults with developmental disabilities that meets their needs. According to the foundation’s website, “the current healthcare system provides inadequate consideration for the needs of adults with developmental disabilities.” Changing the status quo is an important area of grantmaking interest for Special Hope.

The foundation is interested in backing groups working to improve health practitioner competency, address the current reimbursement system and conduct social policy research. You can see the full list of the foundation’s areas of funding interest here.  

Grant amounts generally range from $10,000 up to $40,000, but sometimes go as high as $300,000. Special Hope’s grants are typically limited to one year, though longer-term grants are awarded on occasion, should the foundation find the project particularly compelling. Most awards go to specific projects rather than general operating support. To learn more about Special Hope’s grantees, explore the Previous Grant Recipients page on its website.

Note that the foundation prefers to fund groups working in San Francisco, but this is not a hard and fast rule. They've made plenty of grants to organizations in other cities and states around the country.

The Special Hope Foundation accepts unsolicited grant applications beginning with a pre-application process. Grantseekers may submit pre-applications during one of the foundation’s three annual grants cycles, starting in November, March and July of each hear. The foundation notes on its website that the July grant cycle is typically reserved for RFPs made by invitation only.

PEOPLE: 

  • Lynne O’Hara, Executive Director
  • John O’Hara, Vice President 

LINKS: