It’s about more than just giving grants.

Our goal is to invest in the collective vision of what healthy communities within our region can and should be. We work to collaborate with our communities to make that vision a reality. With health equity as a driving force, we fund organizations that focus on helping our communities improve health outcomes and allow for its residents to live full, healthy and happy lives.

By being community-embedded and community-informed, we aim to be both responsive and strategic to the needs we hear and learn about. As part of our Strategic Plan , our grantmaking strategy drives our investment approaches: General Operating, Strategic Health Initiatives and Capacity Building.

For our 2018 grant cycle, HCF considered proposals for general operating support but we will expand to strategic initiatives and capacity building support by 2020.

General Operating Support

We want our grantee partners to fulfill their missions and be effective in delivering the critical programs and services that address the health needs of our communities. Therefore, we recognize how general operating support can help sustain these organizations and address their day-to-day operational needs.

HCF will allocate the majority of its funds to general operating support. “Legacy and Equity” zip codes will receive the majority of available funds through long-term grants (of up to 5 years). We will issue an RFP annually for general operating support.

Strategic Health Initiatives

We are committed to being grounded in the community experience. Therefore, we aim to be fluid in our response to emerging strategies and crises that require immediate and targeted resources. By invitation only, HCF will fund strategic health initiatives that explore or expand new opportunities and/or address crises or emergencies.

Capacity Building

Stronger organizations make for more effective outcomes. Just as our goal is to help build healthy and strong communities, our vision is to help our grantee partners in the same way. Our funding helps organizations address organizational and skills-based needs that can set the foundation for a healthy, strong and effective organization. HCF supports learning communities, trainings, conferences and other programs aimed at strengthening the nonprofit sector and our grantee partners who help achieve our mission within our region.

Health is a human right.

Our community- and data-informed strategic plan guides our grantmaking philosophy. We recognize the significant health disparities and deep-rooted health barriers that exist in adjacent communities. Having a healthy life should not be dictated by geography, race, ethnicity or socioeconomic factors. Unfortunately, our communities live in that reality but our vision for them is a bright one.

We see health equity as the fair opportunity for individuals within our service area, especially our Legacy and Equity Zones, to have access to quality health care and resources that address non-medical factors (or social determinants of health) that influence health outcomes. With about 900,000 residents in our service area, which is roughly a third of the City of Chicago, we are committed to support efforts that work towards removing obstacles to health and address their direct and indirect impacts.



Given that HCF’s endowment is funded from the proceeds of the MacNeal Hospital sale to a private company in 1999, HCF will make grants in the MacNeal Hospital service area.


To achieve health equity, HCF will allocate the majority of funds to zip codes that rank lowest in our social determinants of health study.

For more information about our Legacy and Equity Zones, please refer to the HCF Strategic Plan.