Special Projects Fund


January 30, 2024

Priority Area

Special Projects Fund


2024 Special Projects Fund

The New York Health Foundation (NYHealth) has a broad mission to improve the health of all New Yorkers, especially people of color and others who have been historically marginalized. The Foundation concentrates most of our grantmaking in three strategic priority areas: Primary Care; Healthy Food, Healthy Lives; and Veterans’ Health.

The Foundation also engages in responsive grantmaking through the Special Projects Fund. The Special Projects Fund allows the Foundation to support projects that address other important and emerging health care and public health issues that fall outside our three priority areas. We seek to partner with a wide range of organizations implementing innovative projects that can improve health at the local, regional, or statewide levels.

Grants awarded under the Special Projects Fund are one-time, nonrenewable funding opportunities. Projects that fall under the Foundation’s three priority areas are ineligible for funding through the Special Projects Fund.

How to Apply

Step 1: All applicants must first complete a letter of inquiry form (LOI) through our applicant portal. Deadlines for the LOI are below.

Step 2: After reviewing all LOIs, NYHealth staff members will invite selected applicants to submit a full proposal. Selected applicants will be e-mailed specific submission instructions. Deadlines for the full proposal are below.

NOTE: All updates and notifications will come from noreply@salesforce.com. Please make sure to check your junk/spam folders and edit your filters, as these e-mails often get redirected.

Important Dates and Deadlines

LOI Due Date: March 5, 2024, at 1:00 p.m.
Full Proposal Invitation/LOI Declination Notification: Mid-April
Full Proposal Due Date (invited applicants only): May 9, 2024, at 1:00 p.m.
Award/Declination Notification: September 2024

NOTE: The Foundation will open a new funding cycle in 2025. Important dates and deadlines will be posted in fall 2024. Please sign up for Special Projects Fund e-mail alerts to get the latest news and information.

For More Information

For more information on this funding opportunity and the application process, please consult the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) below.

Additional programmatic questions about this funding opportunity should be e-mailed to specialprojectsfund@nyhealthfoundation.org.

Technical questions about the online application system should be addressed to the Grants Management department at gm@nyhealthfoundation.org.


FAQs: Project and Eligibility Guidelines

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The Special Projects Fund allows the Foundation to support projects that address important and emerging health care and public health issues that fall outside our three priority areas: Primary Care, Healthy Food, Healthy Lives, and Veterans’ Health.

Special Projects Fund awards are one-time, nonrenewable funding opportunities. Funding will support an organization’s efforts to replicate and expand successful project models, broaden the scope of its work at a local, regional, or statewide level; deepen knowledge in the health field; improve health care practices; and/or address a timely health-related issue affecting a significant number of individuals living in New York State.

View a list of our past Special Projects Fund Recipients here.

No. Proposals that address any of our three strategic priority areas as outlined above will be ineligible for funding through this Special Projects Fund Request for Proposals (RFP).

Typically, no. These grants are generally one-time, nonrenewable funding opportunities. There are only a few exceptions. In rare cases an organization may be eligible for an additional grant if the funding request is for a distinct, subsequent phase of a successful Special Projects Fund-supported project.

Yes; however, please note that if you submit the same exact project there is a high likelihood that it will be declined again.

No. Please be in touch with Foundation staff to get feedback on proposals that were not awarded funding.

Yes. However, if an organization submits multiple LOIs for consideration, only one project would be eligible to be invited to submit a full proposal. We encourage applicants to identify the project that is the highest priority for your organization and most aligned with the goals of the RFP.

No. Many health education and awareness campaigns are supported by other funding sources, and we do not consider these kinds of campaigns eligible for a Special Projects Fund grant.

Typically, no. NYHealth will not support medical, biomedical, or clinical research. However, proposals to demonstrate or pilot evidence-based interventions in New York are welcome. Data analysis projects will also be considered in cases where an analytical topic is timely, actionable, focused on a New York-specific issue, and supportive of policy or systems change.

Applicants are encouraged to e-mail specialprojectsfund@nyhealthfoundation.org with specific questions.

Yes. Please e-mail specialprojectsfund@nyhealthfoundation.org with any programmatic questions. We encourage you to be specific in your questions so we can offer helpful feedback. Please note that, because of the large number of applicants, questions asked very close to the due date may not be answered in time.

FAQs: Developing and Submitting an Application

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Project durations vary, but typically are 12 to 36 months. Please note that the duration must be commensurate with project activities.

Projects will be assessed for the appropriateness of budget to the proposed scope of work and timeline. The amount of funds requested must be commensurate with the work proposed. Special Projects Fund grants are typically in the $250,000 range or below. Funding requests can range from $50,000 to a maximum of $300,000.

  • Lobbying
  • Capital expenses (e.g., construction/renovation, furniture, vehicles, health care equipment)
    • Materials and supplies (e.g., tablets for patients) may be eligible under some circumstances if they are directly related to project activities, but costs cannot account for a major portion of the total budget.
  • General operations/core support or projects that involve funding of existing ongoing services undertaken by an organization.

No. NYHealth seeks to fund opportunities where a modest investment of our funds can have a long-lasting, leveraged impact on the health system or on health care and public health providers.

Yes, NYHealth allows a 15% maximum administrative overhead.

Letters of support cannot be included with the LOI. Letters of support may be submitted only if you have been invited to submit a full proposal and are optional.

No. All information must be included in the LOI fields.

You are not required to include references in the LOI or your full proposal; however, applicants will be expected to provide references if asked by Foundation staff. If you would like to include references, please include them in the body of the LOI form or proposal.

Very important. Many proposals are turned down because no apparent means exist to continue the project after NYHealth grant funding ends. It is critical to explain the business plan for continuing the project after the grant period concludes, beyond stating that you would seek additional grants from other funders. This is particularly important if you propose to hire staff to conduct this project. Please refer to this NYHealth-supported sustainability toolkit for helpful resources and tools.

Most successful grant proposals to the Foundation include an evaluation plan to assess whether the project has achieved its stated goals and to measure its impact. There is no exact blueprint for a program evaluation; different applicants will have various ways of measuring the success and outcomes of their proposed project. Please refer to these guidelines for helpful resources and tools for designing and implementing a program evaluation.

FAQs: Application Review Process

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Letter of Inquiry (LOI) Due: March 5, 2024, at 1:00 p.m.
Full Proposal Invitation/LOI Declination Notification: Mid-April
Full Proposal Due (invited applicants only): May 9, 2024, at 1:00 p.m.
Award/Declination Notification: September 2024

Early submission does not provide an advantage; however, we do encourage reaching out to Foundation staff at specialprojectsfund@nyhealthfoundation.org early in the process should you have programmatic questions.

No. Because of the large number of applicants, we cannot give extensions to any applicants. We recommend you submit the application at least several hours before the 1:00 p.m. deadline so you can reach out to the Grants Management department at gm@nyhealthfoundation.org with any technical questions if you are having difficulties.

Only applicants invited to submit a full proposal will gain access to the full proposal application via e-mail.

All LOIs are reviewed by Foundation staff. The staff decide which applicants will move into the next stage and receive an invitation to submit a full grant application for external review. 

Then, the grant applications are assessed by a panel comprising reviewers from across the State with a wide range of experience and expertise. External reviewers evaluate proposals using the criteria specified in the RFP. Selected proposals are forwarded to NYHealth’s Board of Directors, which makes the final funding decision.

Notifications will be sent to applicants in September 2024.

Fund disbursement is specific to each grant. If awarded funding, grantees will receive a formal disbursement timeline after notification that the grant has been approved by our Board of Directors.

Approximately 5 to 15 organizations are funded annually through our Special Projects Fund RFP process. The number of grants funded varies each round, as budget request amounts are different for each proposal.