Group Health Foundation is accepting sponsorship requests to support community and culturally specific gatherings, meetings, conferences, and fundraisers. We have a special interest in sponsoring events that have short-term benefits for host organizations and the people they serve, while making progress toward health equity in Washington State.
Group Health Foundation recognizes that many organizations’ event and fundraising plans are changing because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Please know that we will continue our open call for sponsorships and are working to be flexible and accommodating. This means we are now supporting online and virtual gatherings that fit our application criteria (see below), as well as technology to better connect your staff and/or the communities you serve, and limited-time programmatic events, such as workshops that would have traditionally been funded through galas and other types of fundraisers.
Types of events
Group Health Foundation’s ambitious goals require organizations, leaders, and advocates to come together to learn and act with one another. We are excited to review requests to support the following kinds of events:
- Culturally specific and community events that bring people together based on their geography and/or their personal identities with the goal of fostering greater community connection and collective action.
- Meetings and conferences with agendas that show the organizers’ commitment to learning and action toward systems change and advancing health equity.
- Fundraisers for community-led, advocacy, culturally specific, leadership development, and other mission-driven organizations that rely on events to support and strengthen long-term agendas.
Group Health Foundation’s work is focused in communities around Washington State. Generally, we limit our sponsorship funding to events taking place in Washington. We welcome applications from organizations based in communities along the Washington border, provided that the host organization and the event serve Washington communities. We do not consider applications outside of our service area.
Most sponsorships are $5,000 or less, but in some exceptional cases, we may consider sponsorships up to $25,000.
How to apply
We accept sponsorship requests throughout the year. For a sponsorship to be considered, we must receive a completed application at least 60 days before the date of the event, and no more than one year in advance. We encourage you to contact the Foundation as early as possible with your request.
- Review the Application Guidelines below.
- Download the Event Sponsorship Request and Community Learning Survey (either a PDF fillable form or Word document), complete the application, and email it to email@example.com.
- Expect to hear from Group Health Foundation within five weeks about the status of your application.
Group Health Foundation strives to make this process widely available to people with disabilities, people who communicate in languages other than English, and organizations that are new to working with funders like us. We have been working with groups around Washington to understand different types of needs that may come up. Based on that learning, we are working to provide:
- Interpretation and translation services to ensure access to our guidelines, applications, and supplemental information in languages other than English (including ASL and/or CART).
- Large-print formats of materials and instructions.
- Alternative application methods, including over the phone, by video or voice recording, and on paper (as opposed to digital submission).
- Support from professional grant writers.
We strive to provide these services to the organizations who will benefit most from that access. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 866.389.5532 to tell us what you need and how we can improve. We know it takes time, trust, and effort to make these requests of the Foundation. Thank you for your willingness to share how we can make this process work for you.
What types of organizations can apply for sponsorship?
Because Group Health Foundation is a 501(c)(4) organization, we can support many types of organizations and their events. Tribes, 501(c)(3)s, and 501(c)(4)s, and other nonprofit corporations are welcome to apply; however, note our restrictions below. Your organization must provide documentation of your tax-exempt status or be sponsored by a fiscal agent who has a documented tax-exempt status.
What factors does the Foundation consider in the sponsorship process?
We fund organizations that engage in advocacy and action, prioritize mutual learning, and show a commitment to changing systems that affect health and well-being in Washington. We believe people and communities most impacted by racial and social inequities should be at the center of solutions. We are most likely to support organizations whose leadership reflects the communities they serve. We support culturally specific, cross-racial, disability-led, immigrant and refugee, people of color, queer, Indigenous and other organizations throughout our work. We consider the following in evaluating sponsorship opportunities.
- Race/Ethnicity: We evaluate how events reflect the people in the communities they serve—including within leadership, event design, and more—with a particular emphasis on culturally specific, multiracial and cross-racial organizations and events.
- Disability/Ability: We prioritize disability-led organizations and disability-justice organizing, recognizing that a host of apparent and non-apparent abilities and disabilities significantly affect health outcomes. We ask all organizations to share how they would make sponsored events accessible to people with many different abilities.
- Socioeconomic: We prioritize sponsorships of events hosted by organizations based in communities experiencing poverty that are led by individuals and families living with low incomes.
- Organization size: We encourage small and mid-size nonprofits to apply. Smaller annual budget size should not discourage sponsorship requests. In fact, we prioritize support for events where our support might be best leveraged.
- Geography: We prioritize areas where institutional funding is less common and where our support can go furthest. We believe in geographic equity and will give priority to communities outside of the I-5 corridor, though we are open to sponsorship requests for events serving under-resourced urban and suburban communities as well. The Foundation also welcomes requests from organizations serving communities along both sides of our state’s borders, as well as tribes for whom Washington is part of their traditional territory.
What types of events or gatherings are not typically supported?
We do not sponsor the following types of gatherings:
- Events hosted by or for the benefit of for-profit entities
- Partisan political events, dinners, and fundraisers (including those marketed as “bi-partisan”)
- Events and fundraisers hosted by large institutions or their affiliate associations and friends-of groups (e.g., museums, hospitals and health systems, universities, and grantmaking foundations)
- Scholarships, including traditional educational scholarships or requests to sponsor “diverse” attendees at conferences and events
- Fundraisers supporting national associations, including their local chapters
- Sports teams, leagues, and associated booster or fan groups
- Schools and organizations specific to schools, such as booster clubs and parent-teacher associations. (We will consider organizations for education equity–especially those that are driven and led by community.)
- Runs, walks, races, bike rides, etc.
- Research and data-gathering projects, including focus groups, town halls, or similarly designed forums that solicit one-way feedback
- Scientific and medical conferences and meetings
- Capital campaigns, furniture and equipment, or naming opportunities
Are there any exceptions to which types of gatherings receive funding?
There are rare exceptions to the guidelines above. If you think your request might be one of those exceptions, please get in touch with us early at email@example.com or 1-866-389-5532 with an outline of the event and the case for an exception. We recommend that you contact us at least 90 days before your event. If your exception is approved, we will invite a full application that will be subject to the deadlines and review outlined here.
Does the Foundation have expectations about event participation?
In some cases, organizations may choose to invite Foundation representatives, our philanthropic partners, and other members of Group Health Foundation’s community to participate in sponsored events. In the application materials, please indicate whether and how you would like the Foundation to participate, in addition to a sponsorship contribution.
Indicating that you do or do not want Foundation participation has no bearing on the likelihood of a financial contribution—we only ask you share all the relevant information up front so we can be the best supporters of your work.
How often can my organization apply for sponsorship funding?
Organizations are invited to submit one sponsorship application at a time. Organizations may only receive sponsorship funds for one event per calendar year.