What We Fund

The Foundation supports community-based organizations that serve those in Massachusetts who are economically, racially, culturally, or socially marginalized. Below is a list of the different grant program areas that support the Foundation’s mission by addressing issues of equitable health care access. During the appropriate grant cycles, proposals for the Catalyst Fund, Connecting Consumers with Care, Racial Justice and 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, as described above, the Foundation will accept the appropriate tax exempt designation for a fiscal agent. Additionally, the Foundation does not accept applications from religious institutions, direct clinical care programs, for-profit institutions, or individuals.

The Foundation recognizes that many important and effective health care organizations serve the needs of those in the Commonwealth who are economically, racially, culturally, or socially marginalized. However, for the major grant program areas – aside from the Catalyst Fund – 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.

Advancing Community-Driven Mental Health

The Advancing Community-Driven Mental Health grant program will fund community-based organizations to improve access to community-based mental health services for adults experiencing mild to moderate mental health distress and practical problems of daily living.  The grant program will equip staff members of community-based organizations to deliver mental health support in the community focusing on teaching basic concepts and skills that enable individuals to address and deal with issues of immediate concern to them.  This grant program will utilize a community-based low-intensity psychological intervention known as Problem Management Plus (PM+).  The intervention was developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) to address mental health treatment gaps in low- and middle-income countries. In addition to grant funding, the program will provide training, technical assistance, coaching, implementation and evaluation support to organizations that are interested in developing and implementing Problem Management Plus (PM+) services within their organizations.


Catalyst Fund

The Catalyst Fund provides one-year, non-renewable grants to help community-based and grassroots organizations strengthen their capacity to expand access to health and health care in Massachusetts. 



Connecting Consumers to Coverage

The Connecting Consumers to Coverage grant program will support both health insurance enrollment (initial and re-enrollment support) and community-centered outreach efforts to connect individuals to health insurance, with a focus on communities with a higher rate of uninsurance, a higher number of individuals that lack insurance, or that are more likely to experience gaps in coverage.


Policy and Research Grants

This grant program makes awards on a periodic basis to support the policy and research agenda of the Foundation.  We fund qualitative projects that support and/or complement our strategic priorities by bring the voice of the community to the Foundation’s policy and research work related to health care and coverage, behavioral health, and structural racism and racial inequities in health.  In addition, we fund research projects that result in the development of materials that can provide further information and education related to these focus areas.  These awards are made at the discretion of the Foundation and unsolicited applications are not accepted.



Racial Justice in Health

Racial Justice in Health is a three year program that provides funding for people of color-led, grassroots organizations to strengthen their capacity and expertise in health and health care advocacy. In addition to grant funding, the program will provide technical assistance and peer learning for organizations interested in dismantling institutional and structural racism in health and health care delivery through community engagement, building grassroots power, and developing campaigns, strategic partnerships, and policy advocacy to improve the health care experience in Massachusetts for communities of color.


Special Initiatives

The Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (BCBSMA) Foundation’s Special Initiatives grant program provides organizations with a one-time grant of up to $50,000 to pilot or launch a new project over a one-year period. Special Initiative grants are intended to fund projects which empower communities to advance health equity at the community level. Projects should positively impact the health or health care related needs of those Massachusetts residents who have been economically, socially, culturally, or racially marginalized. If successful, it is hoped that these projects can be sustained, scaled, and potentially, replicated.



Supporting Health Coverage Enrollment Efforts

The Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (BCBSMA) Foundation will provide a limited number of grants in the amount of up to $60,000 a year for each of two years through its Supporting Health Coverage Enrollment Efforts grant program. The Supporting Health Coverage Enrollment Efforts grant program is focused on expanding Certified Application Counselor (CAC) capacity in the Commonwealth to support MassHealth members who will need to re-determine their health coverage as the state unwinds the pandemic-era continuous coverage requirements and to assist those who are uninsured secure health insurance coverage.