Frequently Asked Questions

The Foundation

It is a charitable foundation established by Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield in 2001. The Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization. The Foundation is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association and serves the state of Arkansas.

The Foundation anticipates awarding approximately $2 million in grants annually to non-profit or governmental organizations and programs that positively affect the health of Arkansans. Particular emphasis will be given to projects affecting healthcare delivery, healthcare policy and healthcare economics.

The poor health status of Arkansans contributes to rising medical costs. By providing funding and working together with other organizations, the Foundation hopes to establish or expand a number of diverse healthcare projects that will benefit all Arkansans over the long term.

The Foundation expects that its funding will come solely from Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield, as authorized from time to time by the Board of Directors of Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield.

The Foundation does not anticipate soliciting or accepting donations or funding from sources other than Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield, unless authorized by the Board of Directors of the Foundation.

Eligibility

Programs or projects should positively affect the health of Arkansans. Particular emphasis will be given to projects affecting healthcare delivery, healthcare policy and healthcare economics. (List of Grants Awarded)

Projects must demonstrate strong community, regional or statewide support, such as co-funding by other community, regional, or statewide organizations or groups. Projects should also demonstrate operational and financial viability that will survive and continue after funding from the Foundation ends.

  • Must be an Arkansas-based organization or governmental agency (or if the applying organization is located outside of Arkansas, the project to be funded must specifically benefit Arkansans);
  • Any 501(c)(3) public charity, public school, governmental agency or nonprofit hospital in Arkansas is eligible to apply. Churches are eligible, but their health improvement program must reach beyond its own congregation. Grants are not made to individuals.
  • Cannot be a private foundation under IRC § 509(a)
  • Primary grantee cannot have a contractual relationship with Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield, its subsidiaries or affiliates.

A "contractual relationship" is defined as an arrangement whereby an organization has a contract to provide a service or product to the corporate entities of Arkansas Blue Cross, its subsidiaries or affiliates (in the nature of a "vendor" relationship). Such a relationship would make the organization ineligible for a foundation grant.

Organizations whose sole relationship is that of purchasing health insurance for its employees from Arkansas Blue Cross, its subsidiaries or affiliates (in the nature of a "customer" relationship), and do not provide a service or product to these corporate entities, are not considered to have a "contractual relationship" within this definition, and therefore are eligible for grants, if other eligibility criteria are met.

Also, an organization that has a contractual relationship to provide a service or product to individuals or groups that have health insurance through Arkansas Blue Cross, its subsidiaries or affiliates (in the nature of a "provider" relationship), are eligible to receive grants, if other eligibility criteria are met. For example, participating providers (physicians or hospitals) are not considered ineligible simply because they provide a service to individuals insured through Arkansas Blue Cross, its subsidiaries or affiliates.

An exception to the "provider" guideline above involves those several hospitals which have a joint venture contractual relationship with Arkansas Blue Cross, its subsidiaries or affiliates. A grant application from a joint venture hospital would be ineligible. However, a qualifying Foundation of such a joint venture hospital could be eligible to apply for a grant, if other eligibility criteria are met.

In summary, "vendors" are ineligible, but "customers" and "providers" as defined above are generally eligible for grants, if other eligibility criteria are met.

No, individuals are not eligible. Only nonprofit or governmental organizations are eligible to receive grants.

Grants will not be made to: individuals; fundraising events or celebrations; political or lobbying organizations; fraternal, athletic or social organizations; organizations that do not directly serve Arkansas; religious organizations for religious purposes; capital or endowment of organizations; proposals that are principally for construction of facilities or purchase of large equipment; or for attendance at conferences. In making grants, please note that the Foundation disfavors funding of “indirect costs.” Therefore, when applying, please omit “indirect costs” from your request and budget. Because of the availability of funding in Arkansas from the Tobacco Settlement, the Foundation will not fund proposals that are principally tobacco-related. Also, any organization that has received Foundation funding for a specific program for a total of two years is not eligible to reapply for subsequent funding for the same program.

Applying

Applications must be submitted electronically using the online application system, by midnight July 14, 2017. Paper applications will not be accepted. Specific grant application requirements are found in the Grant Guidelines section.

For calendar year 2017, the Blue & You Foundation will conduct a round of grant making which will be completed before December 31, 2017. The deadline for online submission of electronic applications in 2017 is midnight July 14, 2017.

Regular grants awarded will generally range from $5,000 to $150,000. Mini-grants for $1,000 are also available. The Foundation anticipates awarding approximately $2 million in grants annually.

The grant period for a regular Foundation grant is normally the calendar year, running from January 1 to December 31.

The Foundation anticipates that the 2018 grant-making cycle will be similar to 2017, with an application deadline in July 2018 and grant awards announced in December 2018.

Criteria

The Foundation Board of Directors will review grant applications and choose the grantees, based on evaluation criteria established by the Foundation.

Criteria used in evaluating grant applications include:

  • Relevance to Blue & You Foundation priorities
  • Project design and feasibility
  • Documentation of need
  • Evidence of broad-based community involvement
  • Innovativeness/learning opportunity
  • Portability (usefulness in other locales)
  • Leveraging potential

Awards

Applying organizations will be notified of 2017 regular grant decisions in November. Public announcement of 2017 grants will take place by December 31, 2017.

If you are selected to receive a regular grant, you will receive a Grant Agreement to sign and return prior to receiving your grant check. The agreement outlines the six-month and 12-month Reporting Requirements, as well as other guidelines for accounting for the grant budget. The Blue & You Foundation will also make a site visit to your location during the grant year to see your program in action and review your progress in implementing the program. Mini-grants require only a one-page report submitted within six months.