Applicant Defined Grants

Applicant defined grants are based upon an applicant’s determination of need and should be consistent with Health Forward’s mission, target population, and service area.

Applications are reviewed on a regular basis throughout the year, with funding decisions made usually within 4-8 weeks after receipt of proposal.

2021 COVID-19 Update

In 2020, Health Forward changed our applicant defined grant process to support current and future health and economic needs created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Here is an update on how those changes will effect 2021 applications.

Shifting priorities

In 2020, Health Forward prioritized applicant defined grant funding in the following areas:

  • Access to safety net clinical services (mental health, physical health, etc.)
  • Food assistance
  • Medication assistance

For 2021, we will revert to the original purpose of these grants, which is applicants’ determination of current funding needs. Grants will continue to support our four funding categories: core operating support, capacity building, program support, and innovation.

Health Forward anticipates that pandemic response will continue to be an area of critical need. We encourage our partners to seek core operating support if they anticipate the need for flexibility and working capital to achieve organizational effectiveness.

Reduced award amounts

In order to equitably fund a range of organizations, Health Forward anticipates most awards will be $50,000 or less.

Eligibility to reapply

In 2020, organizations that were declined an applicant defined grant between January 2020 – April 2020 were able to reapply.

For 2021, organizations will be allowed to submit only one applicant defined grant application for the calendar year.

Revised narrative template

In 2020, Health Forward abbreviated applicant defined grant application forms.

We are carrying this change forward into 2021, with minor revisions to the templates. Be sure you are using the most current application templates.


These changes may not be the full answer for you, and there may be other steps we can take that would be equally helpful. We encourage you to be in touch in either case. Please contact your program officer to discuss how we can be of best service to you.

Grant Information

Application Process
Reporting Requirements
Funded Grants

Health Forward Foundation
2300 Main Street, Suite 304
Kansas City, MO 64108
(816) 241-7006