SEQUOIA HEALTHCARE DISTRICT GRANTS
PROGRAM DRAWS 61 APPLICANTS
REDWOOD CITY, CA/Jan. 3, 2013 — Sixty-one potential nonprofit grant recipients — a new record for the district — have filed letters of intent to apply for Caring Community funding, handing Sequoia Healthcare District’s Grants Committee a hefty work load as it begins to evaluate how to distribute $1.34 million set aside in the 2013–14 fiscal year for its community health priorities.
The priorities are: Health Literacy — Food Security — Preventive Health Care — Behavioral Health (e.g., family violence, mental health, substance use) — Chronic Disease Management.
This is Sequoia Healthcare District’s twelfth annual grant-making cycle, which to date has returned more than $25.5 million to the community in health-related programs operated by 501(c) 3 charitable nonprofits.
Last year 50 agencies applied for the $1.35 million available, with 29 reaching the final grant-making stage.
In the nine years prior to 2011 the Caring Community grants program was managed by an outside consulting agency that helped set the parameters, briefed potential applicants, coordinated the application process and assisted the Grants Committee.
Three years ago the district brought the program in-house. District Chief Operating Officer Lee Michelson now manages all aspects of the application process at considerable cost savings. Michelson credits an aggressive communications and community outreach effort with the greater penetration of the grants program.
It had been growing steadily until last year, when the number of applications jumped to 50 from the mid-30s.
The new high of 61 applicants is no surprise, Michelson said.
“The district has recognized for some time that there is tremendous unmet need in the community for all its priority funding areas,” he said. “District directors are doing their best to fill in the blanks in coordination with a number of community and governmental health agencies, but it’s a big bill to fill.”
Grantees must pass muster in a process that requires a letter of intent, a complete and detailed application, review by a Grants Committee drawn from the district Board of Directors and community leaders, a signed contract, six-month incremental funding and six-month and 12-month evaluations reviewed by the district.
A summary of requests for the letters filed thus far shows the 61 agencies in sum have requested $3.355 million in program amounts, with an average grant request of $55,000. Grant amounts range from a low of $5,100 to the maximum allowed of $100,000.
Twenty-five requests come from previous successful applicant agencies; 31 are new to the program.
Sequoia Healthcare District funding directly assists more 40,000 women, children and seniors in the district, which includes the cities of Atherton, Belmont, Menlo Park, Portola Valley, Redwood City, San Carlos, Woodside, and portions of San Mateo and Foster City from Skyline Boulevard to the Bay.