Our Grant and Sponsorship Programs: Supporting Community Efforts

Each year, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL) supports communities across our state through its grants and sponsorships. We are proud that our community investments support the valuable work of many community-based organizations that contribute to a healthier Illinois.

Community Investments at BCBSIL are divided into two areas: grants and sponsorships. When deciding to apply for either a grant or a sponsorship, please review the following information and feel welcome to contact us with questions.

BCBSIL Grants: Two Funding Streams

In Illinois, grants are awarded to direct service health and human service organizations with 501(c)3 status. Funding is distributed through two separate funding streams: Healthy Kids, Healthy Families Grants and Community Partners Grants. Grants in these areas are for 1 year only. Organizations may apply through either funding stream (but not both). Funding is competitive; therefore, organizations should assess alignment with each streams' funding priorities.

Healthy Kids, Healthy Families

Promotes health and wellness and disease prevention in the following ways:

  • Nutrition
  • Physical activity
  • Disease prevention and management
  • Safe environments

Community Partners Grant

Supports innovative direct service dedicated to advancing health system objectives:

  • Improving health condition and health insurance literacy
  • Increasing access to health care
  • Enhancing care coordination
  • Addressing behavioral and social determinants of health to reduce health disparities

Information about our FY19 process may be found in our FY19 Grant Funding Guidelines. This document will help you understand the priorities of each funding stream and the criteria we use to evaluate proposals. We encourage you to review the funding guidelines prior to submitting a proposal.

To review our FY19 Funding Guidelines, click here.

FY19 Two-step Application Process & Timeline

BCBSIL grant application is a two-step application process that begins with a Letter of Intent (LOI). Organizations interested in submitting a proposal for a grant must first submit a LOI. After the LOI review, if your request meets BCBSIL’s funding interests and criteria, your organization will be invited to submit a full proposal. Full application proposals will be by invitation only; we will not accept unsolicited full grant applications.

The FY19 grant application process begins January 15, 2018 and will follow the timeline below.

  • January 15: Letter of Intent opens
  • February 2: LOI closes
  • Week of March 12: All LOI applicants notified; invitation-only full application opens
  • April 6: Full application closes
  • Mid-June: Applicants notified of funding decisions
  • July 1: Funding begins (all grants are 1 year, funding ends June 30, 2019)

FY19 Online Letter of Intent:

After reviewing the FY19 Funding Guidelines, to submit an online Letter of Intent for one of the following:

BCBSIL Sponsorships

Organizations working to improve the health and wellness of underserved communities may request sponsorship support from BCBSIL. Sponsorship awards are smaller than grants, ranging between $250–$5,000. Examples of sponsorship awards include galas, dinners, luncheons, seminars, conferences and similar activities.

Please note: To increase the number of organizations who have access to BCBSIL community investment support, an organization may receive a grant or a sponsorship, but not both. Sponsorships do not require 501(c)(3) status. Requests must be made at least two months in advance of project or event.

BCBSIL's grant management platform is getting better. As we work to modernize our technology, we’re upgrading our grants management platform to make it easier to use. We’re working with a new vendor and hope that this change will give your organization a streamlined and efficient process, leading to more time with communities where we live, work and play. Starting Nov. 18, our system will be unavailable. Please check back in early 2019 for updates.

For questions about grants or sponsorships, please contact Kathleen Cangemi.

As of August 2016, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois is unable to fund organizations or projects that discriminate against individuals based on race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religious creed, national origin, physical or mental disability, or protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.