Two Trends in Episcopal Health Foundation’s Latest Support

The Episcopal Health Foundation typically awards four rounds of grants per year, and its 2015 total topped out at $16.5 million. This is a key funder for East Texas nonprofits to know. Although EHF is a supporting organization of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas, grant applications don’t need to be affiliated with the Episcopal Church (or any faith community, for that matter) to be considered for funding.

Related: $1.2 billion and Growing: Why East Texas Nonprofits Should Know the Episcopal Health Foundation 

The foundation announced $19 million in new grants in December. Here are two trends we noticed in EHF’s recent support.

Capacity Building

Program and project support is always a big part of EHF’s funding, but there’s another strategy at play here too. Funding for capacity building gained popularity among funders around the country in 2015, as it’s become clearer that nonprofits can’t pull off effective programs with ineffective management and staff.

In fact, EHF gave more to capacity building efforts in the most recent grant cycle than anything else. Capacity building efforts got $1.1 million this round, compared to $100,100 for programs to increase access to health services, $425,200 for community-based primary care, and $317,289 for mental health. EHF capacity building grants go toward strengthening nonprofits’ operations, staff and leaders so they will be sustainable in the long term. 

Recent capacity building grants include $100,000 to the Northeast Texas Public Health District in Tyler and $1 million to the Dell Medical School at the University of Texas at Austin. The Health District grant funded a joint project coordinator for a behavioral health and indigent care community initiative. Meanwhile, the University grant is going toward educating medical students and resident and practicing physicians about value-based health care and developing value-based, patient-centered care models.

In addition to capacity building, which is one of EHF’s seven strategies to build healthy communities, keep in mind the other six funding areas:

  • Comprehensive Community-Based Primary Care
  • Increased Access to Health Services
  • Mental Health and Wellness
  • Enhanced Early Childhood Development
  • Facilitating Healthy Planning
  • Strengthening Collective Impact


Collaboration is what EHF has been looking for in new grantees, which is another big trend we’re seeing among funders these days.

“Many of these new grant partners demonstrate the importance of collaboration in making important changes needed to advance community health,” said Elena Marks, EHF’s president and CEO. “It’s the kind of thinking necessary for communities to connect and then drive change needed to make a difference.”

That Northeast Texas Public Health District capacity building grant also featured a collaborative approach, pretty much making it an ideal new grantee. This grant involves EHF community-based research, and it originated through a volunteer health committee serving at Christ Church Episcopal Church in Tyler.

Another example of a recent collaborative partnership grant is the $125,200 just awarded to Vecino Health Centers in Harris County. This money will bring together four health centers in Houston to enhance patient care and cut overhead costs.

According to an EHF press release, "Too often clinics work in isolation, duplicate services and incur significant costs because of working alone. These clinics are teaming up to coordinate care, promote best practices, and reduce overall costs to each clinic."

To keep in mind for future reference, the foundation is scheduled to consider grants at these upcoming meeting dates:

  • Wednesday, February 3, 2016
  • Wednesday, June 8, 2016
  • Thursday, September 8, 2016
  • Friday, December 16, 2016

Make sure to get your application in two or three months in advance of one of these board meetings to be considered for that round of funding. You can learn more about this funder in IP’s full profile, Episcopal Health Foundation: Texas Grants.