What are Community Health Grants?

Mary McMahon

Community health grants are grants which are used to provide funding for community health services. These grants may originate with government agencies, charitable foundations, private companies, and organizations such as hospitals and clinics. The goal of such grants is to improve the overall health of a community by providing residents with more access to health services. Information about how to apply is usually available from the organization providing the grant, and sometimes it is possible to access a listing of available community health grants which pulls together grant information from numerous sources.


These grants can be used in a number of different ways. Often, they are used to fund specific programs. For example, a medical clinic might use a community health grant to pay for outreach and education, or a community health grant could be used to fund preventative screening such as hearing tests, vision exams, or screening for conditions which are common in a particular community. Community health grants can also be used to fund new clinics and medical facilities, to buy medical equipment, or to provide free care to needy members of the community.

To qualify for a grant, an organization usually needs to demonstrate how the grant will be used, sometimes in exhaustive detail. It may also need to provide financial information and other data to back up its claim to need the funds, and to support claims that it will be able to use the funds responsibly and efficiently. The granting agency or organization may also have specific restrictions and requirements; for example, a group may insist that its funds be used in some aspect of HIV/AIDS prevention, diagnosis, and treatment.

Community health grants are used to provide intervention and support on the ground in needy communities, and they are usually designed to be supplemented by other forms of support. For example, while providing preventative screening is beneficial, it may not address structural inequalities which put members of a community at risk for the condition being screened for. Thus, the community health grant should ideally be accompanied with measures which are designed to improve conditions for citizens in other ways, such as programs to keep students in school, or grants to members of the community who want to go to college.

Organizations may obtain community health grants from several sources, combining funds to do the work they wish to accomplish. They may also obtain funds through charitable donations, fees paid by people who use the services of the organization, and so forth.

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