Frequently Asked Questions
Who is eligible for a Health Fund grant?
The Health Fund makes grants to nonprofit organizations, local units of government, and the State of Michigan. Non-government applicants must be recognized by the IRS as a nonprofit organization, have a current certified financial audit or independently reviewed financial statements, and have at least one full-time employee. Organizations do not need to be based in Michigan, but all project activities must occur in Michigan. Always refer to specific RFPs for further requirements and guidelines.
What is excluded from funding?
The following are excluded from funding consideration:
- Health-related emergencies (though in some situations, the Health Fund might consider support to address longer-term rebuilding or other needs following emergency situations)
- Clinical research
- Tuition costs and related fees. You may include salaries or wages for students who will contribute to the project.
- Capital projects
- Lobbying activities
- Organizations that discriminate based on age, race, ethnic origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability, or gender
Please refer to specific RFPs for additional information on allowable costs.
Can I be notified when a grant opportunity comes up?
Do we need to submit a concept paper?
While not required, we strongly encourage you to submit a brief concept paper at any point during the year or during the designated time frame prior to your grant submission. Concept papers should be a maximum of two pages, including a draft budget. Refer to specific RFPs for deadlines and the appropriate contact person for your concept paper. While we do not require you to adhere to a specific template or formatting requirements for the concept paper, each RFP will provide a list of information you must include.
Health Fund staff are available to meet before RFPs are released. We often hold virtual hours during each grant cycle – check specific RFPs or grantmaking pages for more information.
Is there a limit on the size of an organization’s budget?
No, there is not a limit on the size of an organization’s budget. However, an organization may not apply for a grant that is larger than 20% of its annual operating budget.
Can an organization submit several applications for different projects?
Yes! There is no limit on the number of applications an organization may submit. However, it’s unlikely that the Health Fund will make more than one grant per organization in a single grant cycle. The program team at the Health Fund is happy to provide feedback on multiple ideas through the concept paper submission process to identify which project(s) would be most competitive.
If requesting funding for a two-year project, can we write a two-year work plan?
In the budget section under “Other Sources of Funding, should we indicate the fundraising and general funds that may be contributed by our organization?
Yes. If your organization will put any in-kind funds toward the project budget, please enter that information in the “Applicant In-Kind Contributions” field. Please enter the amount from external supporters (like other grants specific to the project) in the “Revenue from Other Sources” field. Matching funds are not required but are viewed favorably especially when the applicant is a health system, university, or a nonprofit with a significant operating budget.
What percentage of the project budget may be allocated toward indirect or administrative costs?
Beginning with the 2023 grant cycles, applicants with annual operating budgets under $10 million may request indirect costs of up to 30% of the total project budget. Applicants with annual operating budgets at or above $10 million may request indirect costs of up to 20% of the total project budget. Grants awarded prior to 2023 are subject to the indirect cost limits in the RFP for that grant round. If your subcontractor(s) or consultant(s) charge indirect costs, those costs count toward the indirect cost limit.
We consider overhead or indirect costs to include costs associated with a project that are not in direct service of the project, such as administrative support, general business expenses, rent and occupancy expenses, and utilities. Some examples:
- Administrative office functions: finance and accounting support, human resources, general IT services, and fundraising
- General business expenses: hardware, software, or equipment necessary for normal business operations; bank and credit card fees; and corporate insurance policies
- Subcontractor or consultant management fees, outside of the necessary costs to directly oversee or guide the subcontractor or consultant’s work on the project
If we submit the grant early and you have questions about content, are you permitted to tell us so that we can submit additional information that clarifies the answers to any questions you may have?
The RFP states that we must keep the total narrative section of the application within a specific number of pages. Does this include the supplemental attachments that are requested in the “Attachments” section of the application?
No. The page limit does not include the supplemental attachments such as the detailed budget, budget narrative, workplan, or any other required materials. Note: While the grantee portal does not limit the number of words, we request that applicants keep the total narrative within the page limit identified in the RFP. Generally, one page is equivalent to 500 words, assuming standard formatting such as 12-point font and one-inch margins.
Will you provide more information on fiduciary organizations?
The Health Fund allows nonprofit organizations to serve as a fiscal sponsor, or fiduciary, for other nonprofit organizations whose annual operating budgets limit the proposed project budget or who do not have the bandwidth or resources to administer a grant. Fiduciary organizations must submit the application, and if the grant is awarded, the Health Fund will issue the grant to the fiduciary organization. However, the organization using a fiduciary must provide a letter of commitment from an authorized signer, documentation of the organization’s tax exempt status, an organizational chart, and a list of its Board of Directors with affiliations. Fiduciary organizations may apply for another grant in the same program.
Regarding the required attachments for universities, can the letter come from the dean rather than the president? What are the requirements for the financial statement, annual report, and organizational chart?
Letters can be signed by either the dean or the university president. The financial statements and annual reports can also be from either from the university or the school. Organizational charts should demonstrate how the proposed staff or program aligns within the organizational structure of the university.
If we've received grant funding from the Health Fund, do we need to resubmit the administrative documents, including confirmation of tax-exempt status, current operating budget, etc.?
Each year brings a fresh reminder that as funders, our success is not separate from that of our partners and ultimately the communities they serve.