Frequently Asked Questions

How to apply for a grant

How can we tell if our organization and project is eligible for BCBSM Foundation funding?

Before developing and submitting a concept paper, please review specific grant program eligibility requirements and grant guidelines on the grant pages. The BCBSM Foundation responds only to concept paper inquiries for the Community Health Matching Grant Program, Investigator Initiated Research Program, and Physician Investigator Research Award Program, and doesn't review unsolicited proposals for these three programs.

What is expected of a BCBSM Foundation grantee?

A BCBSM Foundation grantee is expected to adhere to the terms and conditions of the grant, submit mid-term and final reports, and other materials that tell us about what was accomplished during the funding period.  

Who can we contact to discuss our idea for a concept paper?

Contact us if you would like to discuss your idea and/or plans before you submit your concept paper.

Do we have to submit a concept paper, or can we just send a proposal?

A concept paper is required for the Community Health Matching Grant Program, Investigator Initiated Research Program, and Physician Investigator Research Award Program. Please don't submit a formal proposal to those programs unless BCBSM Foundation requests one.

Are there deadlines for submitting concept papers?

While BCBSM Foundation accepts concept papers year-round, to be considered for a specific funding cycle, it's required that your concept paper is received at least 60 days before the grant deadline.

What’s the difference between a concept paper and a formal proposal?

The concept paper is the first step of the application process and gives an individual/organization the opportunity to concisely make its case for BCBSM Foundation funding. Senior Program Officers review concept papers throughout the year as the first step in the BCBSM Foundation grant process. If your concept paper is under further consideration, you'll be asked to submit a full proposal. A Senior Program Officer will provide instructions on how to submit an application.

If we have more than one concept for a proposal, what's the best way to submit alternative ideas and get feedback on which would be of the most interest to BCBSM Foundation?

Contact us and the appropriate Senior Program Officer will be directed to respond to your inquiry. You can discuss your ideas before submitting your concept paper.

Can we submit more than one concept paper at the same time?

If your organization has more than one new project or service expansion planned, contact us to discuss your projects.

When will we receive notice of the Foundation’s decision about our concept paper?

You should receive next steps within two weeks of submitting a concept paper of next steps.

Important note: An invitation to submit a concept paper or a proposal does not guarantee funding for a project. Grant awards are only assured after the application/review process is complete, the Foundation’s Board of Directors has made final determinations regarding awards, and submission of required documents as indicated in the grant award letter.

Once I'm invited to submit a proposal, what documents do I need to include with my application?

It depends on the grant. Go to the grant program page you are interested in for details on the documents required for your proposal package.

How will I know you received my application?

You'll receive an email confirmation from

Grant budget

In the budget section, should I let you know that my organization is financially supporting the project?

For research grants, showing the organization’s support of the proposed project isn't required, but a good idea if applicable. However, a cash financial match, outside of your organization, is required for the Community Health Matching Grant Program.

Do you have a budget template?

Yes, we have a budget template, but you can design your budget document based on what works best for your project and organization.

Do you pay for indirect or administrative costs?

The Foundation doesn't pay for indirect costs with the exception of limited fringe benefits. The allowable fringe benefit expense may not exceed the lesser of 25 percent of the salary subtotal figure or the actual cost of the fringe benefits. Fringe benefits include health, person and/or medical benefits.

The Foundation doesn't pay for: capital expenses, computer equipment, including hardware and software, unless they are directly related to the aim of the proposed project.

When will I know that a decision on my grant has been made?

The contact person listed on the grant will receive an email within 10 days after the application review dates listed on the specific grant program pages.

Can I request a change to the project’s budget?

No. After we accept your original budget request, we won’t change the budget in the future. However, if you need your funds transferred from one category to another, email us your request.

Can I request a no-cost extension of the grant project's end date?

This is done on a case-by-case basis. If you would like a no-cost extension, email us your request.

Receiving grant payments

What do I need to do to receive my first payment?

You have to meet the criteria detailed on your award letter, and you will need to complete Automated Clearing House Form, or ACH Form that we will give you along with your award letter.

How will I receive payments?

We deposit payments through electronic fund transfers, or EFT, to your checking or savings account. We can’t make payments by check. Your award letter will have detailed information about your grant payments, including how many you should expect to receive.

We’ll notify you via email when we send you a payment.