While large for-profit hospitals tend to get the most press and public recognition, small nonprofit community hospitals also play an important role in providing access to health care, particularly for residents who live far from large urban hospitals. Nonprofit community hospitals rely on a number of different sources for funding, including patients, private donations, fundraisers and grants.
Finding Grant Providers
Grants for nonprofit community hospitals come from a variety of different sources, including businesses and corporations. Several major health insurance companies run foundations that award grant money to nonprofit hospitals. Other sources of grant money for nonprofit hospitals include private foundations and federal, state and local governments. The amount of the grant awarded will differ from provider to provider, with individual grants ranging from $1,000 to $100,000 and more.
Meeting Eligibility Requirements
A nonprofit community hospital must meet certain eligibility requirements before starting the grant application process. The exact qualifications vary depending on the provider. However, common requirements include being a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit through the federal government and providing free or low-cost health care to uninsured patients. Many grant programs are regional and only open to nonprofit hospitals in that state, county or region. Other requirements include providing high quality health care, working to increase access to health care in the community and holding values and ideals that line up with the grant provider.
Navigating the Application Process
A nonprofit hospital will typically have to go through an application process to receive a grant. Many grant providers offer online applications for ease-of-use and convenience. The provider reviews applications, pulling out those that do not meet the organization’s grant requirements, and chooses which hospital or hospitals to award money to. Along with the application, hospitals need to submit an employee identification number from the federal government. Other documents typically needed include board of director contact information, financial statements, annual reports and organizational charts.
Utilizing Grant Funds
Most grant programs come with attached stipulations on the how the money can and cannot be used. Some grant programs offer several different types of grants and the hospital can apply for the most appropriate one based on its needs. For example, the Independence Blue Cross Foundation’s Blue Safety Net Grant has two components—a general operations grant for operating expenses and a special project grant for one-time or on-going health programs. The grant money may come with stipulations that it be used for certain types of people, such as underprivileged or under-insured patients. Some grants outline what the recipient may not use the money on, including expenses like construction projects or purchasing medical equipment.