Building Capacity for Health Advocacy

Supporting Advocacy, Organizing, and Civic Engagement

In 2019, the Rx Foundation launched the Building Capacity for Health Advocacy grant program with two goals:

(1) to boost the capacity and infrastructure of state-level non-profit organizations in the United States to champion issues that promote social justice through better health and better health care;

(2) to 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 justice, and the belief that every person should have access to affordable, high-quality, culturally competent healthcare, this grant program supports advocacy, organizing, and civic engagement partners throughout the nation.

Since 2019, the Rx Foundation has made grants totaling more than $4M to at least 17 organizations working on advocacy, organizing, or civic engagement, with a funding model that emphasizes capacity-building and long-term progress.

Building Capacity for Health Advocacy Grant Partner Network: State Partners

*several organizations have national reach and are not reflected on this map. To see a full list of partners, please visit our Grants Database.

Building Capacity for Health Advocacy in Massachusetts

With funding from the Rx Foundation’s Building Capacity for Health Advocacy grant program, Health Care for All Massachusetts hired a Health Justice Organizer, built community organizing capacity, and advanced vaccine equity amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Purpose and Funding

 The Rx Foundation seeks to build partnerships with applicants that function as hubs or anchor organizations for building advocacy, organizing, and civic engagement capacity and infrastructure among networks and coalitions of non-profit organizations. A hub or anchor organization must have a clear vision for impacting health and health care, a pragmatic plan for strengthening technical skills and infrastructure, and a track record of effective collaboration 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, organizing, and civic 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 are awarded for one to three years and range from $50,000 to $150,000 annually. Applicants are permitted to budget up to 10% of the total grant as internal general operating support. Applicant organizations are encouraged to budget an additional percentage of the total award as general-operating-support field grants to non-profit partners or coalition members that engage with the hub in the capacity-building work.

 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. 

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 health-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. 
  • 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. 
  • Training: Hosting or participating in training to understand policy-making systems (e.g., legislative process, local government) and to build advocacy and organizing skills (e.g., power-mapping, canvassing, 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. 

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. As a private foundation, the Rx Foundation is not able to make grants to 501(c)(4) organizations. Organizations that function as hubs or coalition leaders to build advocacy, organizing, and civic engagement capacity and infrastructure among a network of organizations, especially at the state level, 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. 


The Rx Foundation is not currently accepting new Letters of Interest to our Building Capacity for Health Advocacy grant program.

LOI guidelines

Instructions for submitting a letter of interest, including standard of selection and eligibility criteria for Building Capacity for Health Advocacy

Proposal Guidelines

Detailed instructions for submitting an invited proposal to Building Capacity for Health Advocacy

Reporting Guidelines

Detailed instructions for the annual Building Capacity for Health Advocacy reporting process are updated each year