RHI Legacy Foundation

OVERVIEW: This funder supports programs for chronic disease, healthy eating, and active living in Rutherford County, North Carolina.

FUNDING AREAS: Chronic disease, healthy eating, active living, cancer

IP TAKE: The best opportunities with this highly local funder are in community health fairs, local camps, disadvantaged seniors, and physical activities for both kids and adults.

PROFILE: The RHI Legacy Foundation is one of the newer health legacy foundations, created because of a joint venture of Rutherford Hospital and Duke LifePoint Healthcare in June 2014. It seeks to “to impact health and wellness in Rutherford County by making grants to support organizations and initiatives aligned with the Foundation’s grant focus areas.” The funding areas and geographic focus of this foundation are narrow: limited to health and wellness in Rutherford County, North Carolina. In May 2016, the RHI Legacy Foundation and RHI Legacy Inc. merged their boards to collectively address local needs and streamline leadership.

Today, the foundation has three funding areas for grantmaking: chronic disease, healthy eating, and active living. Past grant partners include the Rutherford Outdoor Coalition, Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina, the Community Health Council of Rutherford County, and the Rutherford County Schools Backpack Program. This is a foundation that regularly supports both existing and new health and wellness services in the community.

Links to featured partners’ programs can be found here; a more complete list of past grantees is here. In a recent year, the funder made over $745,000 in grants, most between $5,000 and $100,000. The bulk of these grants supported active living programs. Types of programs this funder typically supports include:

  • Camps for children with asthma and diabetes

  • Services and assistance for local cancer patients

  • The Backpack program to provide weekend food for school children

  • Lifeline services for disadvantaged seniors who live alone

  • Sponsorships for health-related events

Cancer prevention, early diagnosis, and support for cancer patients are also priorities for this funder. RHI Legacy created a cancer services program in 2014 to support services like mammograms for women without health insurance, education about skin and scalp care during chemotherapy, and funding for patients who have financial difficulties because of their cancer treatments. The foundation accepts and welcomes donations for its cancer patient services, community wellness fund, and its school backpack program.

It accepts grant applications for all focus areas between May and June, and makes grants in early October. It only considers groups that benefit the residents of Rutherford County. Capital, general operating support, capacity building, and program funding are all provided. Grant seekers can find the application on the funder’s website.

General questions can be directed to the staff via online form or by calling 828-202-4630. Jill Miracle, the foundation’s executive director, is a good point of contact and can be reached at jill.miracle@rhilegacy.com. You can learn more about the members of the foundation board here and keep up with the funder on its news page.


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