Aetna Foundation: Cultivating Healthy Communities
The Aetna Foundation is the independent charitable and philanthropic arm of Aetna, Inc. Its mission is to promote wellness, health, and high-quality health care for everyone, while supporting the communities it serves. The Cultivating Healthy Communities (CHC) grant program is geared specifically to local nonprofit organizations that work with underserved, low-income, and minority populations in the continental U.S. The Foundation is committed to building the evaluation capacity of CHC grantees, raising the visibility of their good work, and being a thought partner in sustainability planning.
The CHC seeks to support communities’ efforts to become healthier places to live, work, learn, play, and pray. It invites proposals that address the social determinants of health and participants’ physical, mental, social, and emotional well-being. This lens for understanding community health shaped the Foundation’s selection of the following five domains:
- Built Environment: Indicators are 1) increased access to healthy foods through development of new or enhanced retail spaces; and 2) improved walkability, bikeability, and public space in a community
- Community Safety: Indicators are decreased incidences of bullying, harassment, and/or intimidation in schools
- Environmental Exposures: Indicators are 1) decreased exposure to air and water contaminants; and 2) increased understanding, monitoring, and reporting of local environmental hazards by community residents
- Healthy Behaviors: Indicators are 1) increased consumption of fruits and vegetables; 2) increased (at home) healthy meal preparation; 3) increased physical activity and fitness; and 4) increased practice of stress reduction and self-care activities
- Social/Economic Factors: Indicators are 1) increased job readiness and entrepreneurship skills in the fields of urban agriculture and clean energy; and 2) increased skills in financial literacy and planning (this must be proposed in combination with at least one Healthy Behaviors indicator)
Grantees should focus on activities that align to one or two of the above domains. Applicants also must use at least one indicator in their selected domain(s) to measure their program’s impact. The Foundation is especially interested in projects that advance resident- or youth-led initiatives and approaches that foster participants’ social engagement and reduce isolation.
Amount: $2,000,000 is available for grants, ranging from $50,000-$100,000 each for the entire project period. A funding request may not exceed 20 percent of an organization’s annual operating budget. Projects can last between 18-24 months, and must start between August 15, 2017 and October 15, 2017.
Eligibility: Nonprofit organizations with 501(c)(3) status, and state and local government agencies. Organizations must have operating budgets of at least $250,000.
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