Steele-Reese Foundation: Grants for Public Health

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

IP TAKE: This is an approachable funder that seeks to fund 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 grantmaking. Steele-Reese programs support rural education, health, human/social services, arts and humanities, conservation (land, water, and wildlife), and historic preservation. Public health grants are largely funded through its Rural Human/Social Services and Health programs.

The Rural Human/Social Services program funds organizations serving low-income and underserved communities. The program is interested in projects that assist 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 diverse programs and organizations. It funds preventative health programs, clinics, small hospitals, emergency services, and hospice programs. 

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

The foundation accepts unsolicited grant applications. 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.


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