Frequently Asked Questions

A: Organizations that apply to the foundation for funding must be 501(c)(3) organizations as determined by the IRS. However, one exception is that school districts are eligible to apply for Spark Grants (previously known as mini-grants). Spark grants are requests of up to $5,000. All grants must benefit residents of the Partnership’s defined geographic area. The scope of the Partnership’s service region includes: all of Perry County, Western and Central Cumberland County, Northern Adams County and the Greater Shippensburg area.

geographic area

A: Aligned with our values of Equity, Advocacy, Collaboration, Stewardship and Innovation, the Partnership for Better Health supports projects that improve the health of individuals and communities by focusing on social determinants of health and health equity. The foundation seeks nonprofit partners with the capacity to address these crucial issues through their work.

A: The Partnership hosts three funding opportunities throughout the year for all grant requests. The application deadlines and decision-making dates are as follows:

  • Apply August 1 – Decision made by October 15
  • Apply December 1 – Decision made by February 15
  • Apply March 1 – Decision made by June 15

A: The Partnership does not fund the following items:

  • Endowment drives
  • Annual fund drives or loans
  • Advertising in yearbooks or programs
  • Electoral activities
  • Individual scholarships, internships or awards
  • Retroactive expenses or projects
  • “Athons” or other similar sponsorships
  • Athletic, recreational or alumni activities
  • Operating deficits
  • Individual medical bills
  • Capital expenditures in excess of $50,000 for program-related needs
  • Any portion of fees to a national or state association

A: All applications to the Partnership are received through our online grants management system. If you are a new applicant and have questions, feel free to contact our grants staff before starting your application process. You may also proceed to the “Apply Now” link on our web page.

A: The Partnership gives highest priority to grants that meaningfully address health equity and social determinants of health, using systems change strategies. For every grant application, the Partnership for Better Health will evaluate:
  • Strong alignment with the foundation's priorities:
    • Addressing one or more of the social determinants of health.
    • Advancing health equity by addressing systems and conditions that create inequities.
    • Using effective and/or innovative strategies in creating positive health outcomes.
    • Fostering collaboration focused on health justice.
    • Advancing systems change solutions (systemic strategies that are designed to improve all aspects of how a set of organizations, institutions or systems work).
    • Centering people with lived experience in the planning, leadership and implementation of the work—these are people with firsthand experience of the health challenges and inequities being addressed.
    • Utilizing policy advocacy strategies that build the power of marginalized communities toward systems change.
  • Significance of the need being addressed
  • Capacity of the applicant to accomplish its goals and objectives and its closeness to the issue being addressed; and
  • Appropriate budget.

A: Program eligibility is determined on a case-by-case basis. Some grants may last one year, while others may be renewed for two to three years. Because the Partnership is committed to continually making funds available to support new projects, priority is given to funding projects that can become sustainable over time. It is rare that a project ever receives more than three or four years of total funding.

A: The Partnership assesses the ratio of overhead expenses to program/service expenses on a case by case basis, seeking a balance of efficiency and effectiveness.