01 Oct HCF Announces 2020 Grant RecipientsShare This Article
Healthy Communities Foundation Expects to Significantly Increase Total Giving for 2020 in Bold Response to Reimagine Health During Pandemic
The Foundation plans to award $8.8M towards general operating support for nonprofit organizations serving Chicago and Western Suburbs and initiatives that address the health and economic impact of COVID-19, and strengthen organizations, local health leadership through an equity lens.
Riverside, IL – October 1, 2020
Healthy Communities Foundation expects to significantly increase its total giving in 2020 (a 76% increase from 2019) across its three main giving areas – general operating support, strategic initiatives, and capacity building. The increase is a part of a bold, community-led approach to reimagine health in the Foundation’s service region during a turbulent year marked by a disproportionate impact of COVID-19, the economic recession, and the public health crises of racism and structural violence.
As part of the Foundation’s standing commitment to allocate the majority of its funding towards general operating support, Healthy Communities Foundation awarded $6.8M (a 56% increase in funding from 2019) in renewal grants to 68 nonprofit organizations who were 2019 grantee partners. These organizations are addressing social determinants of health and working to eliminate health inequities in parts of Chicago and western Cook County suburbs. The Foundation prioritized substantial increases to organizations serving zip codes among the hardest hit by COVID-19. These areas, primarily composed of Black, Latinx, Indigenous, and immigrant communities, had experienced long-standing health inequities pre-pandemic.
The Foundation streamlined the grant application and reporting requirements for this year’s grant cycle. It also accelerated grant awards to these organizations, so their focus could be on residents’ health and well-being during this challenging time.
“In the last six months, we have witnessed our partners transform themselves to address the inequitable impact of COVID-19 for Black, Latinx, Indigenous, and immigrant communities. We, too, have transformed our processes to be more responsive,” said Nora Garcia, Director of Programs. “The Healthy Communities Foundation is committed to leading with the values encompassed in our strategic plan and will continue to engage with, listen to, and center community in our grantmaking approach.”
The Healthy Communities Foundation Board of Directors approved the significant increase in total grantmaking this year to strengthen the region’s health ecosystems and pursue long-term structural solutions through a health equity lens. Healthy Communities Foundation is drawing from its total assets as a signal of its responsibility to steward community resources during this challenging and urgent time.
“Driven by the values of the Healthy Communities Foundation, our Board supported and encouraged us to act boldly,” said Maria S. Pesqueira, President. “The dual pandemics of systemic racism and COVID-19 and the current economic crisis requires of us, as philanthropic organizations, to do more to strengthen our Black, Latinx, Indigenous and immigrant communities.”
Beyond general operating support, Healthy Communities Foundation plans to award more than $1M towards strategic initiatives that mitigate the economic impact of COVID-19 on immigrant and undocumented communities and increase health access for uninsured/underinsured communities. More than half a million dollars will go towards capacity building grants that invest in local health leadership and build sustainable organizations that support health and well-being. The Foundation awarded $400,000 in rapid response grants to address urgent basic needs in the region early in the pandemic, namely through the Foundation’s COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund and the Chicago COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund. It also maximized its funding impact through local city and county-wide fund collaboratives.
A list of Healthy Communities Foundation’s 2020 grant recipients can be found here.
About Healthy Communities Foundation
Healthy Communities Foundation (HCF) is a health conversion foundation that seeks to measurably improve the health and well-being of individuals, families, and communities in its 27-zip-code service area located in the City of Chicago and the western suburbs of Cook County, Illinois. Using health equity as an overarching principle and lens, HCF funds organizations that serve its legacy service area and zip codes with the greatest health disparities.
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