What the Paso del Norte Health Foundation is Up To in Texas and New Mexico

Situated along the U.S.-Mexico border, the Paso del Norte Health Foundation is a large private foundation that was founded in 1995 to support the health and wellness of people in West Texas, Southern New Mexico, and Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. The foundation recently announced a changed in leadership, with a few new board chairs and board members, which brought this specialized Southwest funder onto our philanthropy radar.

So if your nonprofit operates in El Paso and Hudspeth Counties in West Texas or in Doña Ana, Luna, and Otero Counties in Southern New Mexico, here’s what you need to know about Paso del Norte grantmaking.

There are 5 Priority Areas

This foundation got its start from the sale of El Paso's Providence Memorial Hospital to Tenet Healthcare Corporation for a price of $130 million. So it should come as no surprise that all the priority areas are related to health and wellness. Just keep in mind that the foundation does not fund direct payments for acute care, brick and mortar causes, disease-related charities, or scholarships.

Here’s a little a little bit about those priorities.

  • Healthy Eating & Active Living – grantmaking for nutrition and physical activity programs and related policy, research and evaluation studies
  • Tobacco Control & Alcohol Prevention – grantmaking for reducing binge drinking and tobacco use among youth
  • Mental & Emotional Well-being – grantmaking for training mental health providers and improving behavioral health treatment systems
  • Healthy Relationships – grantmaking for protecting youth through families, schools and community groups  
  • Health Leadership – grantmaking for regional health leaders

Grantmaking is Very Regional

Although some grants find their way to Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, most grants are made in West Texas and Southern New Mexico. This foundation does not consider grants outside of these regions, and it’s made over $113 million in regional grants since it was established.

The bulk of this money comes from investment income, and although the foundation does accept donations and bequests, it doesn’t make a big deal about fundraising. At the end of 2013, the foundation reported nearly $228 in assets and just shy of $6.3 million in total giving.

Respond to a Specific RFP

Although the foundation does not accept unsolicited grant proposals, it does post current funding opportunities on its website, which you can respond to. You must apply to a specific RFP to be considered for a grant, and each RFP has its own set of deadlines. Keep in mind that there aren’t always opportunities available, and actually none were posted at the time this was written.

Paso del Norte is run by a staff of 15, with Myrna Deckert as the CEO, Michael Kelly as the VP of Programs, and several program officers. To get on the foundation’s RFP mailing list, sign up on the foundation website or contact the foundation’s program officers at 915-544-7636 or health@pdnhf.org

To learn more about this funder, read IP's Profile of the Paso del Norte Health Foundation