FAQs

GENERAL QUESTIONS

What is your mission?
Our mission is to improve the health and well-being of North Carolinians. This mission is achieved through programs and services funded in response to grant requests, as well as through funding or proactively developing initiatives supporting needs identified by the Foundation.

What are the Foundation’s Priorities?
We know that a North Carolina with healthy people living in active communities reduces health risks and improves health outcomes. Health is a complex equation that is as much determined by the environment as it is by the individual. Our strategy is to look ahead to get at the core drivers of poor health and to support lasting system-wide changes.

North Carolinians deserve the high-quality health care they need, when they need it, in a culturally-competent environment. Safety net health care organizations, those with a mission to care for individuals regardless of their ability to pay, play a critical role in helping low-income and uninsured children and adults access health care and dental services. We support these organizations to develop and scale strategies through the Health Care priority area.

North Carolinians deserve a state where all people have access to safe, inviting places to play and be active, as well as access to healthy, local food. Our Healthy Living priority area takes a systemic view, ensuring that healthy choices are accessible in early childcare centers, schools, communities and places of worship.

What is the history of BCBSNC Foundation?
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina established the independent philanthropic BCBSNC Foundation in November 2000 to ensure that resources would always be available to contribute to improving the health of North Carolinians.

How is the Foundation governed?
The vision and mission of the Foundation is guided by our board of directors, which is comprised of current and former executive-level employees within Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, in addition to one medical community representative who also serves on the BCBSNC corporate board of trustees. Brad Wilson, President and CEO of BCBSNC, serves as our Chairman.

 

QUESTIONS RELATED TO GRANTMAKING

How Do I Receive Grant Funding?
Sign up to be notified of grant opportunities and visit the site for frequent updates and news.

Eligibility

Who is eligible to apply for a grant from your foundation?
Organizations are eligible for grants from the Foundation if they have qualified for exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the IRS Code or are public instrumentalities (i.e., a government entity). Individuals, private foundations [as defined by Section 509(a) of the Code] and Type III supporting organizations are not eligible to apply or receive grants.

Will my organization be required to submit an audit with its proposal?

Yes, depending on the size and type of organization:

  • Organizations with $500,000 or more in annual revenues are required to submit a certified public accounting audit.
  • Organizations with at least $100,000, but less than $500,000 in annual revenues are required to submit financial statements reviewed by an independent certified public accountant.
  • Organizations with annual revenues less than $100,000 are required to submit financial statements certified as accurate and complete by the organization’s chief executive officer. Financial statements should include at a minimum a Statement of Financial Position (or Balance Sheet) listing assets and liabilities and a Statement of Activities (or Income Statement) listing revenues and expenditures.

If my organization is a government entity (such as a health department) or educational institution (such as a university ), will I need to submit our entire audit with our proposal?
No, government organizations or educational institutions do not need to submit the entire audit with the proposal. Given the size of the audits, these entities are required to submit only four components of the audit: 1) the auditor’s report (cover letter); 2) the balance sheet; 3) the statement of revenues and expenditures; and 4) the auditor’s notes.

Investment Priorities and Restrictions

Does the Foundation provide grants to individuals?
No. The Foundation invests in organizations that help individuals living in North Carolina.

Does the Foundation pay for indirect costs in a university setting?
No. We are unable to pay for university overhead costs. These are the costs associated with providing facilities and administrative support for sponsored activities and include operating and maintaining buildings and grounds, equipment, the libraries and providing administration at the university, college and department levels.

Does the Foundation pay for capital, either equipment or construction?
We will invest in acquisition of equipment as it relates to a specific program. We typically do not pay for construction (a.k.a., bricks and mortar).

Does the Foundation pay for personnel expenses?
Yes, as they relate to a specific program. For instance, we would be unlikely to pay for an organization’s executive director position, but would support personnel costs associated with a program .

What type of operational expenses does the Foundation fund?
We will provide funding for direct service or program-related costs such as salaries, benefits, materials, supplies, etc. that can be directly associated to the project. If you have questions specifically related to budget development, please contact the appropriate Foundation program officer.

Would the Foundation pay for 100 percent of a program’s costs?
Typically, no. We prefer to be one of several different sources of revenue. An application is strengthened by seeking multiple sources of support as this is a key indicator of sustainability.

Is there a limit on the duration or size of a grant award?
Yes. Grants are limited in scope and duration based on the parameters of each specific priority area and grant opportunity. Please refer to the available grants information for specific guidelines.

Does the Foundation invest in existing programs or just new or expanding programs?
We provide support for existing, new and expanding programs.

Applying for a Grant

How do I apply for a grant?
Please refer to this section of our website.

Do I need to contact the Foundation prior to submitting an application and/or may I set up a meeting to discuss my proposal?
All of the information regarding investment priorities and application instructions can be found on our website. If after carefully reviewing all information provided you still have questions, you may contact the designated team member. Team members may help clarify the guidelines and application; however, they cannot tell you whether your project will receive a grant. Discussing your proposal with a team member does not guarantee an investment.

My organization is a government entity, what do I need to submit in lieu of an IRS tax determination letter?
If your organization is a government entity, you must provide us with a statement typed on your organization’s official letterhead and signed by a responsible officer or other person authorized to make such representations on behalf of the entity, certifying that the organization (i) is a government unit described in Sections 170(b)(1)(A)(v), 170(c)(1) and 509(a)(1) of the Code and (ii) agrees to use the funds granted for exclusively public purposes within the meaning of Section 170(c)(1) of the Code.

Will the Foundation invest in collaborative groups?
Yes. We encourage collaborations and partnerships; however, the application must be completed and grant reports managed by one nonprofit organization.

Submitting a Proposal Online

How do I access the online proposal?
Each grant opportunity will have a unique link located on the available grants page once an application is open and available. Please pay close attention to grant cycle open and close dates. The links will not be available outside of the dates listed.

Can I get a copy of the online application form?
You will be able to print a copy as you are filling out the online application form. Click on the “Printer Friendly Version” link located in the top right hand corner of each application page.

Do I have to complete the application in one online session?
No, you can start the application and choose to save and finish it at another time. Just click on the “Save and Finish Later” button located at the bottom of each application page. You can also save your proposal and share it as a draft via e-mail. It is important that you remember your login information and use the correct link to return to your saved proposal.

Is my application automatically saved once I create an account?
No, your application is not saved automatically. To ensure no application data is lost, please click on the “Save and Finish Later” button at the bottom of each application page.

How do I return to an incomplete application that I saved, but have not yet submitted?
Once you create an online grant application account, you will receive an e-mail notification that includes the e-mail address and password required to access your saved application.

How do I send my proposal online?
Once the application is completed and you have uploaded all of the required attachments, you will need to click the “Review & Submit” button at the bottom of the last page of the application to complete the process. Once your application has been submitted, a confirmation e-mail will be sent to the e-mail address that you used to create your online grant application account.

Can I send the application directly to a BCBSNC Foundation program officer?
No, we only accept applications through the online system.

Can I mail a copy of the proposal to the BCBSNC Foundation?
No, we currently only accept applications online. If you need any assistance or have a special circumstance, please contact Michael Gay at michael.gay@bcbsncfoundation.org or (919) 765-2826.

Do I need to have cookies enabled on my internet browser?
Yes, the online application system places a cookie on your computer to enable the “Save and Finish Later” functionality. Please check the user’s manual for your internet browser to enable cookies if you receive an error message.

What if I have questions along the way?
If you are having trouble with the online application form, please email your questions to michael.gay@bcbsncfoundation.org. If you have questions about the content of your proposal, you should contact the program officer for the appropriate priority area.

May I submit attachments with my request?
Please submit only the attachments requested with the grant application. Attachments will need to be uploaded online.

How do I know if you received my proposal?
You will receive an email confirmation from our online application system. Please keep this email for your records.

Grant Notification

How do I find out about the status of my request?
You will be notified via email about the status of your grant application, once a determination has been made regarding whether it is approved or declined. We ask you not to call us to track a proposal or to discuss the status of the proposal. Deadlines are posted on the available grants page of the website. If for some unforeseen reason the notification deadline is delayed, we will contact the grant applicants directly.

How long does it take to review a proposal?
Each specific grant opportunity has its own review cycle; generally applicants are notified within three months of the proposal due date. Please refer to the available grants page for specifics.

If I receive notification that I have been approved for a grant, when will I receive the actual money?
Once the grant is approved and we have all necessary materials, a grant agreement is prepared and sent to the grantee for a signature from the organization’s executive director and board chair. Once we receive a signed grant agreement, a check is usually sent within 30 days.