Frequently Asked Questions

Don’t see your question listed below? Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

General FAQs

Greater Rochester Health Foundation was created in 2006 when the not-for-profit MVP Health Plan acquired the not-for-profit HMO Preferred Care. The Preferred Care board of directors decided it was in the best interest of the community to use the purchase price of $232 million to create a private, not-for-profit foundation dedicated to improving the health of the Greater Rochester community. We distribute at least 5 percent of our assets each year to organizations in Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Orleans, Seneca, Wayne, Wyoming, and Yates counties. Since its inception, the Health Foundation has acted as an independent foundation governed by a community-based board of directors and managed by a professional staff.

Our board of directors ensures that the Health Foundation’s mission—to pursue and invest in solutions that build a healthier region where all people can thrive—is fulfilled. Using their knowledge of the community and their specific area of expertise, board members establish the overall strategic direction for the Health Foundation and monitor and evaluate the implementation of this effort, including grant-making policies, areas of focus, and oversight of financial operations.

The nominating committee of the board works diligently to maintain a board that is diverse and that is representative of the community. It is a self-perpetuating board and members are limited to three, three-year terms, with up to two members rotating off the board each year. As we do not raise funds, there is no expectation that board members contribute money to the Health Foundation.

Our model for funding is divided by our areas of focus:


Responsive: Opportunity Grants + Community Health Grants

Partnership: Collaborative projects + Community event sponsorship

Targeted: Healthy Futures Strategy + Neighborhood Health Status Improvement Initiative

The board of directors decides how much money will be awarded each year. The total amount of money available to award to all programs is based on the monthly average of the prior year’s average investment values. We comply with IRS regulations to award at least five percent of this amount to organizations in the nine-county area—Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Orleans, Seneca, Wayne, Wyoming, and Yates counties—for programs and administration. At the discretion of the board of directors, we may award more than five percent in a single year, based on community needs and the quality of the grant requests received.

Funding FAQs

Our model for funding is divided by our areas of focus:

Responsive Grants: Responding to emerging health issues and needs as identified by community.
Partnership: Collaborative projects + Community event sponsorship
Targeted: Healthy and Equitable Futures Strategy + Neighborhood Health Status Improvement Initiative, Racial Health Equity. 

We fund projects that can improve the health of the communities in Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Orleans, Seneca, Wayne, Wyoming, and Yates counties.

Grants that are open to the general community are announced on our website, in our newsletters, and via social media. Funding opportunities also are announced through email. To receive announcements please register now.

Opportunities for funding are posted to our website, shared on our social media channels, and announced in our newsletter. If you have ideas for projects or inquiries about our strategic areas of focus, please contact the program manager for that area. Staff contact information may be found here.

Health Foundation staff are available to answer any questions you may have and/or provide guidance on your idea and how it aligns with our goals. 

Proposals that are in alignment with our mission are reviewed based on goals and interests within each expressed program. Health Foundation staff and external experts participate in the review process. Projects that are recommended are presented to the Board of Directors for final decision. 

Our focus is on funding programs that are strategic in nature and for which there are measurable objectives. We also sponsor community events; click here for more information.

We welcome the opportunity to speak with prospective grantees about ideas to improve the health of the community. These conversations are helpful to us in revealing community health issues and needs and can also help an organization determine if it is a good use of its resources to submit a Letter of Intent and a full proposal. Organizations are invited to speak with our executive staff or senior program officers at any time. For the staff directory, click here.

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