Funding Opportunity: New Access to Dental Care


Strong safety net clinics play an important role in supporting access to care as facilities with a mission to provide services regardless of an individual’s ability to pay. However, of the 299 community health center locations in North Carolina, only 49 currently offer dental services. Similarly, in the network of 73 free and charitable clinics, only 21 offer dental services on-site, with some offering as few as one evening each month. And, of the local health departments that offer dental, a majority serve children and pregnant people exclusively. This funding opportunity will contribute to increasing the number of access points for dental care across the state.


Available Funding
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation is issuing grants of up to $200,000 to support new or expanded access at safety net dental clinics. These grants are intended to serve as a portion of the overall cost to open new or significantly expand existing safety net dental clinics, and grantees are encouraged to leverage this investment to secure additional new funds or supplement existing funds for the project. Up to $1,000,000 is allocated for this funding opportunity, which will support approximately five clinics.



Organization and Service Type

  • Mission commitment to provide care regardless of insurance status or ability to pay.
    • Examples: Health Department, Federally Qualified Health Center, 501(c)(3) clinic, Free and Charitable Clinic
  • Launching new or significantly expanding existing safety net dental services.
  • Plan to provide a dental home for patients, defined as:
    • “The ongoing relationship between the dentist and the patient, inclusive of all aspects of oral health care delivered in a safe, culturally sensitive, individualized, comprehensive, continuous, accessible, coordinated, compassionate, and patient- and family-centered way regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, sexual or gender identity, medical status, family structure, or financial circumstances. “ AAPD, 2023
  • Funds can be utilized for either a mobile unit or physical location if other criteria are met.


Other Requirements

The following are required to be considered for funding:

  • Sound model for sustaining clinic operations.
  • Demonstration of regional or interprofessional collaboration to increase clinic impact.
    • Examples: coordination with other clinics to share dental services at one facility, plans for accepting patient referrals from other community clinics or resources, interprofessional collaboration with prenatal or primary care clinics.
  • Have or will secure other funds for the project. Funds from this grant should serve as no more than 20% of the total budget.*
  • Facility must have commitment from a dentist to work in the program.*

*Please Note: requirements with an asterisk do not need to be completed for selection but do need to be completed prior to fund disbursement. Applicants recommended for funding will have two years to attest to their completion and receive the funds.


Deadline or Activity Date(s)
Funding opportunity opens March 20, 2024
Foundation staff available for consultation March 25 – April 12, 2024
Applications due April 19, 2024
Response to application from the Foundation June 2024


Pre-Submission Inquiries
Organizations are invited to submit questions by April 10, 2024. An FAQ will be posted by April 15.


Learn More and Apply

  • Download the full funding opportunity.