Grant FAQs


Who can apply for a grant from the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation?

The Foundation is specifically focused on supporting health care organizations and community based organizations that serve the uninsured and low-income people of Massachusetts. Applicants must be based in Massachusetts.  Proposals for the Catalyst Fund, Connecting Consumers to Coverage, Advancing Community-Driven Mental Health, Racial Justice in Health, and Strengthening the Voice for Access grant areas will be accepted from organizations that are tax exempt under section 501c3 of the IRS code.  If an organization does not have its own tax exempt designation following the above specifications, it must provide proof of tax exempt designation for a fiscal agent.  If you have questions about your eligibility, contact us.  

Who should not apply for a grant from the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation?

The Foundation does not accept applications from religious institutions, for-profit institutions, or individuals.  Also, the Foundation does not fund proposals to support direct clinical care, specific demographic segments (e.g. only children, only women, etc.), long-term care, hospice and palliative care, and initiatives focused solely on the care of a particular disease or medical condition.  

Does the Foundation provide sponsorships for events?

No, we do not fund events or sponsorships of any kind.

How do I apply for funding?

With the exception of the Catalyst Fund and Policy and Research grants, the Foundation has a two-stage process for applying to its grant programs. The first stage requires the submission of a brief Letter of Inquiry (LOI). Those LOIs must be received in accordance with the published deadlines for the program area in which you wish to apply. The Foundation staff reviews the LOIs and then selected applicants are invited to submit a full proposal. We do not accept out-of-cycle LOIs or uninvited proposals.  We encourage all interested applicants to view our webpage detailing available grant programs, and whether they are currently accepting proposals.  For grant areas that are accepting proposals, the grant guidelines will outline the application process.  

Can my organization submit more than one LOI?

Organizations can submit more than one LOI if they have multiple projects related to the guidelines. If your application is not accepted, you may re-apply to a different grant program area that is open. However, it is rare that the Foundation will fund multiple projects within one organization simultaneously.  A current grantee can apply for new funding in a different grant program area or at the end of their current grant cycle for the same grant program.  If a grantee is seeking renewal for the same grant program at the end of their current cycle, then an LOI is not required and the grantee may submit a full proposal when the grant program is open.  Submission of the appropriate reports is required of current grantees for funding renewal consideration in lieu of an LOI.

How do I submit my LOI or grant proposal to the Foundation?

All LOIs and proposals must be submitted through our online grantmaking portal.  In order to submit an application, you will be asked to create a profile.  Please always review the What We Fund section of our website to determine whether a grant area is accepting applications or not.  If you have any technical difficulty with the portal, please contact Evelyn Monteiro at [email protected] or 617-246-4850.  

Are program officers willing to discuss my eligibility, LOI, or Proposal prior to submission?

Yes. The Foundation staff is always available to answer questions. Below is a list of current grant program areas and their respective program officers.

What is the Foundation’s average grant size?

Grant size is different for each grant program. Please see grant guidelines for details. 

What is the Foundation’s indirect cost policy?

In keeping with the Foundation’s mission to expand access to health care through grants and policy initiatives, the Foundation keeps costs it incurs for grantees and consultants focused on obtaining the services to support its mission.  While the Foundation understands that grantees and consultants have indirect costs, sometimes called “overhead” that are part of what they need to support their work, the Foundation needs to limit its payment for these costs.  Such indirect costs typically include administrative expenses related to overall operations and are shared among projects and/or functions, such as executive oversight, accounting, legal services, utilities and facility maintenance.  It is the Foundation’s policy to pay no more than 15% of an overall budget for such indirect costs. 

To whom do I address my support letters?

Audrey Shelto, President
BCBSMA Foundation
101 Huntington Ave, Suite 1300
Boston, MA 02199-7611