Grants Process

Statement of Identity

1889 Foundation provides grants and community leadership for transformative work that improves the health of people and communities in Cambria and Somerset Counties.

At this time, we are not accepting unsolicited requests for Letters of Intent. Health and human services organizations that are requesting emergency funds for coronavirus relief should apply directly to the United Way of the Laurel Highlands.

In line with the World Health Organization, “health” is defined broadly as a “state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” We also endorse the paradigm of “population health” which recognizes that health is strongly influenced by the conditions within which people live. Beyond improving health, 1889 Foundation sees our purpose as “improving lives.”

The Foundation’s resources are targeted to ambitious, innovative initiatives that achieve meaningful impacts. We are particularly interested in comprehensive approaches that are formulated by multiple organizations working in partnership. Some grant funding is dedicated to specific issues or approaches that the Foundation identifies as a priority, while other funding is available for applicant-designed initiatives. In either case, we expect the initiative to be based on solid research and sound logic, and to specify the outcomes to be achieved. The Foundation places a high value on accountability, both for itself and for grantees.

The Foundation’s focus on initiatives means that we do not serve as an ongoing source of operating support for the region’s nonprofit organizations. We view our role as fostering the development and initial implementation of new approaches that have the potential for transformational impact. At the same time, the Foundation is committed to improving how organizations throughout the region address the issues that most affect health and well-being. Through our interactive approach to grantmaking, our encouragement of partnering and targeted support for capacity building, we strive to help organizations become more strategic, adaptive and financially sound. We also act as convener to promote stronger systems where agencies are aligned, coordinated and comprehensive in meeting community needs.

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