Achieving Today. Sustaining for the Future.
The Health Foundation of Central Massachusetts

Applying for a Synergy Initiative Grant

Prior to submitting a Letter of Intent
 for the Health Care and Health Promotion Synergy Initiative ("Synergy Initiative"), please contact Amie Shei, Vice President for Programs, at or (508) 438-0009 x2 to discuss your proposed project idea at least 30 days before the Letter of Intent deadline.

Potential Synergy Initiative grant applicants should follow these steps:

1. Review the Synergy Initiative Guidelines: 

The Synergy Initiative provides funding for partnership-based projects that target significant anomalies of poor health status with integrated, comprehensive strategies that target health issues in Central Massachusetts. The Foundation continues to encourage projects that serve the most vulnerable residents of Central Massachusetts.

  Key criteria for successful Synergy Initiative projects include:
  • Significance of the Problem
  • Level of Integration
  • The Soundness of the Approach   
  • The Capacity for Enduring Systems Change   
  • The Potential for Impact   
  • The Potential for Replication   
  • Quality of the Evaluation Plan   
  • Exit Strategy

2. Review the Key Factors that influence the Foundation’s decision-making regarding the Synergy Initiative.

3. Review the Foundation’s Funding Exclusions:

In general, the Foundation will not support:

  • projects outside of Central Massachusetts;
  • endowments;
  • capital campaigns;
  • fund drives or sponsorship of events;
  • scholarships; or
  • the retirement of operating deficits.

In addition, by law, the Foundation is not permitted to provide direct support to individuals for projects, scholarships or health care, nor may it fund electoral activities or candidates for public office.

4. Review the Synergy Initiative Deadlines:

Consultation with THFCM staff encouraged prior to June 10, 2019

Letters of Intent due:

 July 10, 2019

Applications invited:

 September 19, 2019

Applications due:

 October 28, 2019

Grant awards:

 December 12, 2019

Please contact Amie Shei, Vice President for Programs, at or (508) 438-0009 x2 to discuss your proposed project idea at least 30 days before the Letter of Intent deadline.

5. Complete and Submit the Letter of Intent and Associated Materials:

1.  Cover Sheet (For a Word version, please send a request to 

2.  Letter of Intent (Max 3 pages)

3.  Projected Project Budget – The overall budget of the proposed project highlighting the amount requested (an Excel spreadsheet is preferred, but a Word document is fine).  Please include other funding sources, if relevant.

4.  Summary of Relevant Qualifications and Capacity – Explain the relevant qualifications of those who would direct the proposed project and the capacity of the applicant organization to successfully manage the proposed project. 

5.  Letter of Tax Exempt Status - A copy of the applicant organization’s IRS letter indicating current tax exempt status.  For a governmental unit or political subdivision thereof, a governmental information letter from the IRS is required. 

6.  Audit – A copy of an accountant's most recent report or audit with an Opinion Letter and a Management Letter.  If your agency is not audited, you may submit the agency’s most recent tax return (Form 990). 

7.  Internal Financial Report – A copy of the applicant organization’s most recent internal financial report. (ex:
current quarterly financial statement/income statement/balance sheet).

8.  List of Board of Directors/Officers - A list of current officers and members of the applicant organization’s board of directors.

Application materials, including any attachments, should be included in one email and sent to by 5:00pm EST on Wednesday, July 10, 2019.  Late or incomplete submissions will not be accepted.

All submissions will be acknowledged within 1 business day with an electronic receipt.  If you do not receive an email confirming your submission, please contact Daniel Germain at or (508) 438-0009 x4 to verify your submission.

Overview of the Letter of Intent and Application Process

All Letters of Intent are reviewed by the Distribution Committee and the Board of the Foundation.  Those invited by the Board to submit an application will be notified by Foundation staff and are strongly encouraged to work with Foundation staff in completing their grant application. 

The entire Synergy Initiative grant application process takes approximately six months from the initial contact with staff prior to submission of a Letter of Intent through the Board's final funding decision. 

  • The initial contact with staff should occur at least one month before the Letter of Intent deadline
  • The review of the Letters of Intent takes about two months
  • The review of the applications and funding decisions takes another month
  • Applicants will be notified of the Board's decision by mail