Grants for Public Health
Grants for reducing health disparities and improving public health.
Looking for grants to reduce health disparities in vulnerable populations, launch a public health initiative, or raise awareness of global health risks such as infectious diseases? The Instrumentl team has compiled a few sample grants to get you headed in the right direction.
Read more about each grant below or start a 14-day free trial to see all of the public health grants recommended for your specific programs.
Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation
The Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation seeks to dramatically improve the lives of people and the world around us through innovative strategies, systems changing approaches, and disrupting technologies. Our goal is to find social entrepreneurs with dynamic ideas and nurture them at the early stages with maximum leverage and total commitment.
Prospects for our portfolio of social enterprises come from a vast field of compelling ideas and dedicated leaders. We concentrate our selection on the capabilities of the founder/leader, the scalability of the model, and the potential impact of the organization on the world.
We have an open application process and accept applications year round. Borrowed from our venture capital legacy we find exceptional entrepreneurs, provide them with 3 years of unrestricted capital (totaling $300,000) and provide rigorous on-going support by joining their board of directors for the 3 years and partnering with the leader to help them to build capacity in their organization and scale their impact.
What We Fund
We look for exceptional entrepreneurs
We seek out entrepreneurs who exhibit characteristics of extraordinary leadership: vision, intelligence, influence, ambition, discretion and follow-through. Draper Richards Kaplan entrepreneurs have proven track records that demonstrate a full spectrum of competencies.
We look for potential to scale
To affect meaningful change upon the major challenges of our time, we need big solutions to big problems. We support social enterprises — non profit, for profit and hybrid organizations — that can expand enough to directly benefit a large number of beneficiaries and impart enough momentum to influence broader systems that encumber progress. Scaled organizations act as models to other groups in the sector and have the clout to affect policy, public opinion, and economies.
We look for sustainable impact
We look for leveraged solutions that will create lasting positive change. We look for game-changing ideas that create better opportunities and outcomes for the future.
- Arts & Culture
- Civic Engagement
- Economic Empowerment
- Energy & Environment
- Environment & Climate Change
- Food & Agriculture
- Social Justice
- Systemic Poverty
Global Fund for Children
NOTE: Organizations that believe they meet these criteria can submit an organizational profile at any time. If your organizational profile falls within our priorities, selection criteria, and funding availability, we will follow up to learn more about your organization. Due to the volume of inquiries, we cannot respond to each organization individually.
Global Fund for Children invests in grassroots organizations around the world to help children and youth reach their full potential and advance their rights.
- We research, explore, and identify innovative groups working with children and youth around the world.
- We invest wisely, funding our partners’ life-changing programs for children and youth and keeping a watchful eye on how those funds are put to use.
- We advise, mentor, and guide our partners. We build mutual trust, accountability, and enduring relationships. We provide tools for self-assessment. We support and help our partners grow.
- We connect our partners to each other and to national and regional networks. We bring together brilliant minds to share knowledge, fuel advocacy, and build movements of social change.
- Our greatest joy comes from knowing that we played a part in helping our partners grow strong enough to continue their important work for children without us.
Eligibility Criteria & Selection Guidelines
At Global Fund for Children, we invite you to join our growing grassroots network if you have shown great potential to improve the lives of children and youth who face poverty, injustice, and discrimination. As we embrace learning and collaboration, we hope you will serve as a model and resource for other community-based partners dedicated to the same big goals.
Together with our partners, we are building a future where all young people enjoy equal resources and opportunities in society and can live to their full potential.
Our work advances the rights of children and youth across four focus areas and five regions. We have a deep commitment to courageous organizations that support young people facing poverty, injustice, and discrimination.
We support grassroots organizations that are not afraid to tackle the root causes of poverty with innovative, local solutions. Most offer holistic care to comprehensively address the needs of each child. Many become regional and national leaders in children’s rights—raising awareness, influencing policy, and ultimately impacting thousands of children and youth beyond their doors.
EducationPoverty and injustice—and the many hardships that accompany them—deny millions of children the opportunity to learn. We promote the right of all children to access high-quality education, regardless of their circumstances.
Worldwide, 124 million children and adolescents are out of school. Millions more who do attend school do not acquire basic skills in mathematics and reading. And every day, conditions beyond their control—gender, ethnicity, economic status, geography, conflict, disaster—force children and youth to drop out. But giving up on them isn’t an option.
At Global Fund for Children, we believe that educating children and youth is the key to building a more peaceful and just society. When we equip young people with education and skills, we unlock their potential to contribute to their families and transform their communities.
We support education from children’s earliest years to secondary school and on through university or vocational training. We place a strong emphasis on girls’ education to address the current and historical disadvantage for girls, improving access and quality and ensuring that girls have safe, girl-friendly places to learn. For refugees, children with disabilities, child laborers, and more, we prioritize inclusive, innovative educational programming that meets children and youth where they are and addresses their unique needs. For older youth, we support life skills, vocational, and entrepreneurship education so that they are empowered to make smart decisions, build financial resilience, and shape their own futures.
Young people have the right to protect their bodies, raise their voices, and define their futures. But millions are denied these rights every day. We work to ensure that all children—regardless of their gender or their sexual identity—can be safe, learn, lead, and thrive.
Around the world, girls, young women, and LGBTQ youth—particularly those who are ethnic minorities or refugees, live in rural areas, or belong to other highly marginalized populations—face exclusion, violence, and discrimination. Too often, they are left out of decisions that determine their futures. At Global Fund for Children, we defend the right of all children to live free from discrimination and harmful gender-based attitudes and practices.
We believe that investing in girls delivers invaluable returns to the girls themselves, their families, and their communities, while confronting historical inequalities in societies worldwide. In fact, it’s essential to ending poverty and injustice. We also believe that traditional gender norms limit the full range of possibilities for boys and young men.
Through the work of our grassroots partners, we support girls’ education, sexual and reproductive health and rights, redefining masculinity, and the eradication of gender-based violence and harmful traditional practices, including child marriage and female genital mutilation/cutting. Our strategies engage entire communities—including parents, schools, community leaders, and local and national governments —to work collectively toward gender justice. We equip girls with knowledge and skills that will help them lead independent lives and empower them to become agents of change, while ensuring the men and boys in their lives are engaged in building a more equitable world.
We also support programs that specifically address the needs of LGBTQ youth and help them achieve equal rights around the world.
Our grassroots partners provide shelter to LGBTQ youth who are fleeing violence or persecution, run LGBTQ support groups and summer camps, and offer essential health information and services. Our commitment to gender equity also values advocacy on sexual rights and sexual and gender identity, helping to create a safe and welcoming world for all children and youth.
Right now, the largest youth population in history is coming of age, and most of these young people live in the developing world. It’s a challenge—and an opportunity—we can’t ignore.
According to the United Nations, 89% of the world’s youth live in developing countries. At the same time, youth unemployment is on the rise. And work alone does not mean prosperity: nearly 40% of working youth live in poverty. Together, these challenges pose an enormous threat to our global economic and political stability—unless we seize the opportunity.
By investing in young people, we advance youth rights and work to transform the youth “bulge” into a powerhouse of innovation, opportunity, and social change.
At Global Fund for Children, we empower thousands of youth by equipping them with the skills and knowledge they need to lead lives of dignity, purpose, and economic stability. Our approach involves engaging young people who are also the least likely to have access to mainstream education and training, including girls, refugees, young people with disabilities, and youth engaged in hazardous work.
But economic opportunity is only part of the picture. We prioritize programs that advance young people’s political and civil participation and rights; that amplify youth voices, increase their decision-making powers, and raise awareness of their rights and needs; and that empower young people to educate and inspire their peers to act.
Freedom from Violence and Exploitation
All children deserve to grow up free from danger and harm—yet millions are threatened by war, trafficking, violence, and abuse. For survivors and children at risk, we work to bring safety and dignity to their lives.
Children and youth who live outside of mainstream society—and who are therefore most at risk of violence and exploitation—are often overlooked. Physical, psychological, and sexual abuse happen behind closed doors; poverty and inequality make children more vulnerable to sex and labor trafficking; war and community violence uproot children and youth from their homes and families. Their physical and psychosocial well-being is threatened. And too often, cultural norms make it acceptable to ignore their suffering.
Not on our watch. Global Fund for Children is dedicated to creating systemic change to end violence and exploitation for children and to help young survivors rebuild their lives.
Our grassroots partners provide protection and holistic care to trafficked children, migrants and refugees, child laborers, and survivors of sexual abuse and exploitation. They work to secure children’s legal identities—a critical step toward ensuring children’s safety and access to social services. They prevent future abuses by educating the public, training service providers, and combating harmful cultural norms and practices. And by pushing for better laws and policies to protect children and youth, they contribute to a growing movement that will not accept anything less than safety and security for every child.
Henry T. Nicholas III Foundation
About the Henry T. Nicholas, III Foundation
The Foundation has been at the forefront nationally in supporting victims' rights, reflecting Dr. Nicholas' longstanding commitment to victims of violent crime. He has been a leader of the victims' rights movement since 1983, when his sister, Marsy, was murdered. He helped his parents found Justice for Homicide Victims, a leading non-profit organization that supports families of murder victims. Dr. Nicholas led the effort in 2008 to pass Marsy's Law, a state constitutional amendment that created a comprehensive Victims' Bill of Rights for California. Following this campaign, he formed Marsy's Law for All, an organization dedicated to enforcing the constitutional amendment, empowering victims' rights organizations, and creating a national movement to pass a victims' Bill of Rights as the 28th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Through Marsy's Law for All, the Foundation provides legal, technical, media and other resources to support victims' rights organizations and initiatives.
Read more about us.
The Henry T. Nicholas, III Foundation was created in 2006 with the vision of enabling and assisting communities and individuals to reach their highest potential. The Foundation is dedicated to improving lives through investment in Education, Youth Sports, Technology, Science, Medical Research, Victim's Rights, and National Defense.
Since its inception, the Foundation has provided more than $2.7 million to numerous public charities and non-profit organizations engaged in helping people build better lives for themselves and their neighbors.
The theme that unites the Foundation's various efforts into a single mission is investing in people and their futures:
- Grants are provided to help young people build strong educational and athletic foundations that will lead to healthy, productive and successful lives as adults.
- Advancement in science, technology and medicine is supported because these fields are the key to future health and prosperity for people and communities.
- Aid and support is provided to help violent crime victims and their families, and to assist the heroes who defend our nation and their families, because without safety and security there is no future.
Cowles Charitable Trust
NOTE: The Trust Board of Trustees meets four times a year in January, April, July and October to consider grant requests. An eligible request that arrives too late for one meeting will be placed on the agenda of the following meeting. Proposals must be received on the following dates to be included in the agendas noted:
December 1 - January agenda
March 1 - April agenda
June 1 - July agenda
September 1 - October agenda
If any of the above dates fall on a weekend or holiday, the proposal must be received the first working day following the published deadline.
Our mission is to continue and further the philanthropic legacy of Gardner Cowles, Jr. and the Cowles family, which includes promotion of education, social justice, health, and the arts.
The Cowles Charitable Trust was first established in 1948 by Gardner “Mike” Cowles, Jr. (1903-1985). Born into the Cowles publishing family of Des Moines, Iowa, Mike was the youngest of Gardner Cowles and Florence Call Cowles’ six children. A newspaper editor and publisher by trade, he was committed to his family’s traditions of responsible, public-spirited, and innovative journalism as well as philanthropy.
Mike always said that his mother, through her liberal social views, humor, and soft-spoken nature, was his greatest influence. One of the first women in Iowa to earn her college degree, Florence Call made philanthropy her life’s work, beginning by establishing a seed savings bank in her living room to help neighboring farmers through the winter. A strong advocate of women’s reproductive rights and family planning, she supported Margaret Sanger’s mission, including bailing her out of jail on more than one occasion.
Mike continued his mother’s legacy of activism and was politically engaged both nationally and internationally. The Cowles family was passionate about civil rights and race relations in 20th century America, as demonstrated not only through their philanthropy but also via their trade. In a 1955 speech detailing what makes a great editor, Mike said:
“The greatest editors I know are just like the greatest educators and are successful for the same reason. They are thoughtful men with scrupulous regard for the truth. They are men who strive to stir the best in the human race, not pander to the worst. They are men who dare to lead, even when the direction is temporarily dangerous and unpopular.”
With his brother John, Mike was co-owner of Cowles Media Company. In 1937, he published the first issue of LOOK, a national picture magazine with roots in Mike’s passion for photojournalism and the journalistic innovations that the brothers had implemented at their newspapers. For Mike, LOOK was a visual tool meant to inspire and open the world to its readers; an instrument meant to facilitate one of his greatest passions: education. Of education, Mike stated in a 1949 speech:
“The only answer to ignorance is education and more education. And I mean more than just the formal education in more and better schools, colleges and universities. I mean more adult education, more public forums, more discussion groups. But above everything else, I mean better newspaper and magazine editing, better news and discussion and debate programs on the radio. And I mean the use of the powerful new medium of television to make people understand and think. Too much thinking nowadays goes on in a bath of noise, because life is so busy, so complex…leaving the common man appallingly confused and misinformed.”
Mike Cowles left to his family a philanthropic legacy that continues to this day. The majority of the Cowles Charitable Trust’s current trustees are Mike’s direct descendants.
For more information on Mike Cowles and the Cowles family, click here.
Tomberg Family Philanthropies
NOTE: Normally we also support projects in the environment and health areas, but we found that those funding areas had received extra support over the past few years. Therefore, we are only reviewing proposals in education and poverty alleviation for this funding cycle. We will again be supporting projects in the environment and health funding areas in future years. Current grantees may submit requests for continued funding for the project we funded in 2020 – 2021 regardless of the funding area.
The mission of the Tomberg Family Philanthropies is to support well run and effective programs that make a difference in the areas of poverty alleviation, the environment, health and education. Our focus is on supporting projects that help their recipients build capabilities themselves that will last far beyond the end of the specific project.
We agree with the Nobel Committee that “every single individual on earth has both the potential and the right to live a decent life.”
We make grants to organizations working in the areas of:
- the environment,
- health, and
- poverty alleviation.
We look for funding opportunities such as pilot programs, support of new programs, capacity building, evaluations, Etc. that allow us to make a larger difference with limited funds than would be possible otherwise.
We take a ‘pilot’ to mean a first delivery of a new program or offering, intended to serve as a test of the program; test results from the pilot inform the decision to continue delivering the program as is, or with changes.
We normally can only offer support for up to three years for each program we fund.
AARP Community Challenge
The AARP Community Challenge provides small grants to fund quick-action projects that can help communities become more livable for people of all ages. This year, applications will be accepted for projects to improve public spaces, housing, transportation and civic engagement; support diversity, equity and inclusion; build engagement for programs under new federal laws; and pursue innovative ideas that support people age 50 or older.
AARP will prioritize projects that support residents age 50 or over, are inclusive, address disparities, directly engage volunteers and aim to achieve one or more of the following outcome areas:
- Create vibrant Public Places that improve open spaces, parks and access to other amenities
- Deliver a range of Transportation and Mobility options that increase connectivity, walkability, bikeability, wayfinding, access to transportation options and roadway improvements
- Support a range of Housing options that increases the availability of accessible and affordable choices
- Ensure a focus on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion while improving the Built and Social Environment of a community
- Support communities’ efforts to Build Engagement and Leverage Funding available under new federal programs through laws including the American Rescue Plan Act, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, and more
- Increase Civic Engagement with innovative and tangible projects that bring residents and local leaders together to address challenges and facilitate a greater sense of inclusion
- Other community improvements, including Health Services, Community Development, and Coronavirus Pandemic Recovery
AARP Community Challenge grants can be used to support:
- Permanent physical improvements in the community
- Temporary demonstrations that lead to long-term change
- New, innovative programming or services
Since 2017, our average grant amount is $11,500 and 76 percent of grants have been under $15,000. While AARP reserves the right to award compelling projects of any dollar amount, the largest grant ever awarded by the AARP Community Challenge was $50,000.