Press Releases

Thursday, February 22, 2024

Highmark Blue Shield 'Blue Fund' Open for 2024 Grant Requests

  • Health Plan Accepting Proposals for $100k-$300k to Support Initiatives that Support Community’s Greatest Health Needs

Latham, N.Y. (February 22, 2024) — Through Highmark Bright Blue Futures charitable giving and community involvement program, Highmark Blue Shield is accepting Blue Fund grant requests for 2024 funding through March 18, 2024.

Today’s announcement mark’s the seventh annual Blue Fund funding cycle for Highmark Blue Shield. Selected organizations will join 19 others that received a total of $2.5 million since Blue Fund launched in 2018.

For 2024, the local health plan will award grants ranging from $100,000 to $300,000 to nonprofit organizations and initiatives that align with at least one of Blue Fund’s key health areas. These include behavioral health, cardiovascular health, health care workforce development, healthy children, and maternal health.

“Through Blue Fund, we uplift organizations and the incredible work they are doing to make meaningful and lasting impacts in our community,” said Michael Ball, vice president, community affairs for Highmark Blue Shield. “A key component of what we look for in grant proposals is how Highmark’s funding will further amplify efforts to address racial and health inequities throughout the Capital Region.”

Last year, Highmark Blue Shield awarded $550,000 in Blue Fund grants to support five major health-based projects, led by local nonprofits. This was part of the health plan’s total $8.2 million statewide community investment in 2023.

2023 Blue Fund Grant Recipient, South End Children’s Café Director of Development, Erin Donahue shared, “With support from Highmark Blue Shield, the South End Children's Cafe has been able to expand capacity to serve more Albany children and families. This includes providing over 120 nutritious balanced dinners every school night, 1:1 homework help and partnered reading and plus lots of activity, and fun for the children we serve. Blue fund has helped put Love In Action at the South End Children's Cafe.”

Representatives from the health plan shared that initiatives must be ready to implement and demonstrate measurable community outcomes.  

Submitting a brief letter of intent (LOI) using Blue Fund’s online application system is the required first step in the grant-making process. Selected applicants will then be invited to submit a full application, with funding decisions announced in the fall of 2024.

Organizations interested in applying are encouraged to visit Highmark Blue Shield Blue Fund website.  

About Highmark Blue Shield of Northeastern New York
Highmark Blue Shield of Northeastern New York is a trade name of Highmark Western and Northeastern New York Inc., an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. Since 1946, Highmark Blue Shield of Northeastern New York has helped millions of people lead healthier lives. Blue Shield offers a full range of insured, self-insured, and government programs and services covering businesses, families, and individuals, as well as dental and vision plans and stop-loss coverage. As a community-based, not-for-profit health plan, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield contributes significantly to organizations that strengthen and enrich the health of the community.

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About Blue Fund
Blue Fund, funded solely by Highmark Blue Shield of Northeastern New York, awards major grants in the Capital Region to organizations and initiatives that have a positive impact on key health areas and will demonstrate enhanced measurable outcomes for community health metrics. These include behavioral health, cardiovascular health, health care workforce development, healthy children and maternal health.  

For more information, contact

Amber Hartmann