Health: Community Action Grants

Community Catalyst Fund - Health

The application period is closed.
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Contribute to SVCF’s Health Fund

The United States spends more on healthcare (hospitals, insurance companies and government programs such as Medicare and Medicaid) than any other country, but we have not been able to achieve equitable health outcomes for all members of our communities.1 It is estimated that just 20 percent of a person’s health is related to healthcare. The remaining 80 percent stems from Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) – behavioral, environmental and social factors that deeply influence health outcomes, such as food insecurity, housing, income, education, civic participation and physical environment.i Moreover, health data show a strong correlation between disease and life expectancy and factors such as race, income and zip code. The COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated these longstanding health disparities.2

Grassroots, community-driven programs delivering both health and social care significantly contribute to improved health outcomes in communities of color and low-income communities. As highly impactful and trusted resources, individuals and organizations rooted in communities with deep and wide health and economic disparities are uniquely positioned to identify and execute strategies that improve the health and well-being of the people they serve. These organizations often focus on the SDOH such as support networks, physical environment, and safety. Many use advocacy as a tool to influence public health policy and shift power back to the communities that are experiencing pain. 

Silicon Valley Community Foundation believes that all communities should have an equal role in deciding our region's future. We are committed to helping correct the power imbalance of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, people of color) and undocumented communities towards self-determination in Silicon Valley.

Under SVCF’s new strategic direction, we are opening the Health: Community Action Grants RFP to address these disparities and build a strong and engaged community.

This RFP is presented in partnership with The Health Trust. The Health Trust was formed in 1996 from the sale of three nonprofit hospitals, establishing an endowment designated to fund external community partners addressing medically related community needs. The Health Trust invests in nonprofit and public agencies that support the health and well-being of residents in Santa Clara and Northern San Benito counties. The Health Trust also provides direct services and advocates for policies and initiatives that help achieve its mission to build health equity in Silicon Valley.

Through this grant program, SVCF supports BIPOC-led and allied organizations that prioritize community-based solutions to improve access to care, strengthen primary care, address upstream health factors and offer mental health services.

The work that this program funds is part of a long-term strategy to achieve systemic change in Silicon Valley. Organizations seeking to apply should have a clear focus on racial justice and a plan to center the community they are serving in leadership, design and implementation of programs. Priority will be given to BIPOC-led and allied oranizations and those with annual budgets under $1 million. Organizations can apply for general operating support or program support grants.

Grantmaking Process for Competitive Grants


  • Organizations must serve San Mateo and/or Santa Clara counties. Organizations headquartered outside the two-county region may apply but should demonstrate significant service to these areas or partner with a local organization that does.
  • Organizations must have a 501(c)(3) designation or have a fiscal sponsor with a 501(c)(3) designation.
  • Organizations must not discriminate based on race, color, national origin, citizenship status, creed, religion, religious affiliation, age, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, veteran status or any other protected status.
  • Organizations with religious affiliations will be considered for funding only if the project for which they seek support addresses the needs of the wider community without regard to religious beliefs.

Additional Details

Funding will not be provided for:

  • Capital improvements
  • Budget shortfalls or fundraising events
  • Previously planned or long-term campaigns
  • Funding gaps due to internal organizational emergencies (such as office vandalism, resignation of an executive director or sudden loss of funding)

The maximum grant amount will be $30,000. The application is streamlined to reduce time spent on applying and processing. The grant review process will be expedited and only one application may be submitted per organization.