Building Capacity for Health Advocacy

Not accepting new applications in 2020.


The Rx Foundation announces a new grant program that aims to (1) boost the capacity and infrastructure of state-level non-profit organizations in the US to champion issues that promote social justice through better health and better health care, and (2) build enduring networks that can sustain advocacy and citizen-engagement on issues that impact health and health care in their communities. Based on a commitment to health equity, and the belief that every person should have access to affordable, high-quality healthcare, the Building Capacity for Health Advocacy grants program is open to qualified applicants nationwide.


Letters of inquiry will be accepted on a rolling basis from February 1st, 2019 through August 1st, 2019. The Rx Foundation will invite a full proposal from applicants with a high-scoring letter of inquiry.

Grant awards will be made at several times throughout the year.

purpose and funding

The Rx Foundation seeks to build partnerships with organizations that will function as hubs for building advocacy and citizen-engagement capacity and infrastructure among networks and coalitions of non-profit organizations statewide. A hub organization must have a clear vision for impacting health and health care in the context of its state, a pragmatic plan for strengthening technical skills and infrastructure, and an effective team on the ground to lead the work with non-profit partners.  

The Rx Foundation recognizes that a wide variety of factors impact health and health care, and seeks to create capacity that will sustain advocacy and citizen-engagement efforts as priorities evolve. These factors include equal access to coverage and care, health equity, social and economic needs (e.g., food, housing), links between environmental determinants and health disparities, racial justice, and income inequality.

Grants will be awarded for one to three years and range from $50,000 to $150,000 annually. Hub organizations are permitted to budget up to 10% of the total grant as internal general operating support. Hub organizations are encouraged to allocate a portion of the budget as general-operating-support field grants to non-profit partners that engage with the hub in the capacity-building work.

Capacity-building and technical assistance priorities under this grant program include:

  • Power Analysis and Strategic Impact Planning: Developing an understanding of the current landscape and a detailed strategy and plan for achievable policy change that improves lives.
  • Leadership Development: Training and development not only of staff and board leadership, but also of constituency-based leadership, to create champions for social justice through better health and better health care.
  • Training: Hosting or participating in training to understand policy-making systems (e.g., legislative process, local government) and to build advocacy skills (e.g., power-mapping, phone banking), including advocacy training for direct-service organizations.
  • Communications: Training, strategy, and resource development in communications, including peer-to-peer, traditional media, and social media.
  • Data & Technology Resources: Improving access to and utilization of databases, data analysis, digital organizing, and other technology tools/strategies.
  • Civic Engagement: Building, improving, and expanding grassroots organizing and other constituent- and community-engagement strategies.
  • Coalition Building: Building, or improving and expanding on existing partnerships to (1) articulate shared goals, (2) develop and execute consistent communications strategies, (3) set attainable milestones, and (4) track performance.

The capacity building and technical assistance portion of the grants are not intended to cover recurring general expenses. The general-operating-support field grants for non-profit partners are intended to offset the staff time and organizational resources required to effectively engage with the hub organization in capacity building work. This grant program does not support event sponsorship or capital campaigns.

A small number of planning grants will be awarded to hub organizations that need additional support to operationalize a vision of developing health advocacy capacity and infrastructure in their state. Please contact [email protected] for details.

Eligibility Criteria  

This program is open to 501(c)(3) tax-exempt non-profit organizations, foundations, or other non-profit entities with a suitable fiscal sponsor. Organizations that function as hubs or coalition leaders to build advocacy capacity and infrastructure among a network of organizations statewide are encouraged to apply. The program welcomes applications from community-based and grassroots organizations; direct service organizations building advocacy and grassroots organizing capacity; and issue-based organizations creating community organizing capacity that targets health and health care issues. It is not required that applicants be wholly dedicated to health and health care, though it is expected that funded work will focus on this issue area.

Eligible grantees should have a strong working knowledge of the rules under Section 4945 of the Internal Revenue Code that prohibit private foundations from funding attempts to influence legislation, attempts to influence the outcome of any public election, or voter registration drives. Grant funds may not be used to fund any such lobbying or political activity.


Please submit any questions you have about the grant opportunity, process, and instructions via email to [email protected].