5 Funding strategies

  • High-quality, comprehensive, and coordinated health services are necessary to improve the health status of uninsured, underinsured, and medically underserved residents of northern Lake County.

    Clinical Care includes medical, dental, vision, mental health, and case management service programs with the following typical characteristics:

    • Services are provided in clinical settings;
    • Clients/patients have treatment or service plans and clinical diagnoses, if applicable;
    • Clients/patients have medical or health records;
    • Services include access to specialists, diagnostic testing, medications, and equipment needed for comprehensive care, as well as case management that coordinates care or improves patients’ participation in treatment;
    • Improvements in clients/patients’ health status are measureable; and
    • Services are provided by licensed staff, if applicable.

    Programs funded through this strategy monitor improvements in the clients’ health status, such as improved cholesterol levels, decreased depression episodes, or improved oral health.

  • Communitybased outreach and education help improve residents’ access to healthcare by improving their health literacy and their ability to make informed decisions about where and when to access healthcare, reduce unhealthy behaviors, and improve their health outcomes.

    Linkage to Care provides education about prevalent health conditions, disease screenings, and connects community members to medical homes. The programs we fund typically

    • Provide services in community (non-clinical) settings;
    • Offer individual or group education and disease screenings for prevalent health conditions; and
    • Offer one-on-one navigation assistance to access necessary health services.

    Programs funded through this strategy monitor improvements in the clients’ health knowledge or behavior as well as linkage to care (e.g., an established medical home).

  • Sufficient numbers of qualified healthcare professionals, in various fields, are needed to meet the growing demand for health services in northern Lake County.

    Scholarships are awarded to post-secondary educational institutions, not directly to individuals. We seek to fund scholarship programs that include the following elements:

    • Are offered by postsecondary educational institutions and prepare local residents for careers in highdemand areas of healthcare;
    • Require recipients to demonstrate financial need and meet the requirement of being a resident of northern Lake County;
    • Require that recipients secure licensing to practice in their field; and
    • Require recipients to return to the community to work or practice for two years in an underserved area of northern Lake County.

    Programs funded through this strategy monitor student’s successful completion of their education and mandatory employment requirements.

  • Organizations need resources and effective leaders with vision, skills, and tools to help them thrive.

    Existing Foundation grantees (i.e., those that receive funding through our clinical care, linkage to care, or scholarship programs) may apply for organizational capacity building grants.

    These grants help grantees address organizational needs such as board development, revenue diversification (including building endowments), strategic planning, evaluation, or information technology. We seek to fund projects that

    • Address a well-defined organizational capacity need, one corroborated by internal assessments and literature on best practices or research;
    • Partner with outside experts to (1) develop plans to addresses the capacity need and/or (2) facilitate the implementation of an existing plan to address the capacity need;
    • Demonstrate that board members and senior staff are supportive and will remain committed both during the initiative and after; and
    • Provide (1) a timeline for the work to be done and (2) realistic outcomes.

    Projects funded through this strategy monitor indicators of progress and sustainability.

    Improving revenue diversification by establishing or building organization endowment funds are awarded as matching grants. To be eligible, organizations must establish a new endowment or build upon an existing endowment of $100,000 or less. Organizations are only eligible to receive these grants once.

    Please note that organizational capacity grants are by invitation only. Those interested in seeking funding should contact the Foundation program officer.

  • Organizations that collaborate and innovate are more likely to arrive at solutions that address persistent limitations in northern Lake County’s health services. System innovations based on best practices lead to increased effectiveness and efficiency of health services in northern Lake County.

    System capacity building grants are available for individual organizations or organizational partnerships that provide services in northern Lake County. Initiatives must address community or population needs within northern Lake County. We seek to fund initiatives that have considered the following:

    • Relevant and current research that indicates a well-defined system capacity need;
    • Engagement of the key stakeholders necessary to address the system capacity need;
    • Leveraging available resources such as technology, knowledge and expertise, and money;
    • Clearly defined goals for the system, benchmarks to measure progress, and anticipated outcomes; and
    • A plan to collect data and an evaluation that informs the project while it progresses and ultimately demonstrates the desired healthcare delivery system improvements.

    Initiatives funded through this strategy monitor indicators of access to services, coordination with other organizations, and effective and comprehensive service systems.

    Please note that system capacity grants are by invitation only. Those interested in seeking funding should contact the Foundation program officer.

Funding priorities and restrictions
A few priorities guide our grantmaking when considering similar proposals that fall within our funding guidelines.

We give priority to organizations that serve residents of Antioch, Fox Lake, Grayslake—Third Lake, Great Lakes, Gurnee, and Lake Villa—Lindenhurst, North Chicago, Round Lake, Wadsworth, Waukegan, and Zion. We give priority to specific initiatives rather than to general operating support. Finally, we give priority to high-quality programs that

  • Demonstrate effectiveness at improving access to health services and health outcomes
  • Include strategic partnerships between health systems, colleges and universities, public entities, such as schools and health departments, and community-based organizations
  • Provide linguistically and culturally competent services for non-English speaking residents

The Healthcare Foundation of Northern Lake County makes grants only to tax-exempt nonprofit organizations and rarely funds organizations outside Lake County. Grants typically range from $25,000 to $100,000.

The Foundation does not fund the following:

  • Biomedical research
  • Patient financial aid
  • Religious activities
  • Services provided by unqualified persons

A final word on guidelines
We realize that not every request for funding will meet all of the guidelines discussed above. We believe, however, that an organization that has thought deeply about these guidelines and addressed them will be more likely to succeed in improving access to healthcare in northern Lake County. We encourage you to contact the HFNLC program officer with any questions and to discuss how your program fits our funding strategies and goals.