Western New York Blue Fund FAQ

Find answers to questions about the Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Blue Fund eligibility, application process and more.

If you have additional questions about the program guidelines, funding priorities or eligibility, email the Community Affairs team for assistance.

Blue Fund Grants Overview

Blue Fund awards health-focused grants to non-profits in the Western New York area. Grants total approximately $1 million to $6 million annually and are given to organizations and initiatives that demonstrate a positive impact on key health areas.

Blue Fund supports funding for non-profits that can make a measurable difference in at least one or more of the following key focus areas:

  • Cardiovascular health
  • Health care workforce development
  • Maternal health
  • Healthy children
  • Mental and behavioral health

At this time, the fund does not accept donations.

Eligibility for Blue Fund Grants

The proposed work must serve or be located in one or more of the following eight counties of Western New York: Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Niagara, Orleans, and Wyoming. Your organization must be classified as a tax-exempt nonprofit under Section 501(c)(3) of the IRS code or an educational or government entity with tax-exempt status.

Any one organization may submit one letter of intent (LOI) maximum.

Organizations that have an active Blue Fund grant are not eligible to apply for funding during this cycle.

  • Annual events or festivals
  • Attendance at or sponsorship of fundraising events for organizations
  • Efforts that do not align with one or more key focus areas
  • Political campaigns or exclusively religious activities
  • The use of grant funds for purposes not preapproved by Blue Fund or not supported through required documentation

No, Blue Fund provides grants for non-profits that help individuals living in our community.

Apply for Blue Fund Grants

Blue Fund has a two-step grant application process. Applicants must submit a brief letter of intent (LOI) using Blue Fund’s online application system in accordance with the published timeline. Selected applicants will then be invited to submit a full proposal.

  • The maximum grant request is $300,000.
  • Applicants may request up to 15% of the grant amount for indirect costs.
  • Expenses incurred prior to submission of a Blue Fund application should not be included in Blue Fund project budgets; they are not eligible for payment or reimbursement.

Grants are typically awarded for a one-year period. Blue Fund will consider supporting projects for up to two years depending on project/program design, scale, and budget.

Applicants should demonstrate how the proposal aligns with one or more focus areas and how their project will address health equity. Projects should deepen and broaden current work, facilitate the expansion of an effective program, or create a new program based on the success of earlier work or evidence-based best practices. The proposed initiative should be evidence-based and demonstrate alignment with current trends and needs.

Blue Fund Reporting Requirements

Grantees must be able to track performance and report measurable outcome results, on a timely basis, as requested and agreed upon by Blue Fund. All grantees are required to provide a six-month progress report and a final report to close the grant and a brief project update one year from grant closeout. They must also release any grant funds for each subsequent year after the initial funds is disbursed. Blue Fund reserves the right to conduct an independent evaluation of grant expenditures for up to four years.

Learn about qualifications for Blue Fund grants

Learn about qualifications for Blue Fund grants

The Blue Fund will award major grants in Western New York to organizations and initiatives that have a positive impact on key health areas.

The Blue Fund will award major grants in Western New York to organizations and initiatives that have a positive impact on key health areas.