Our Grant and Sponsorship Programs: Supporting Community Efforts

Each year, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL) supports communities across our state through its grants and sponsorships. We are proud that our community investments support the valuable work of many community-based organizations that contribute to a healthier Illinois.

Community Investments at BCBSIL are divided into two areas: grants and sponsorships. When deciding to apply for either a grant or a sponsorship, please review the following information and feel welcome to contact us with questions.

BCBSIL Grants: Two Funding Streams

In Illinois, grants are awarded to direct service health and human service organizations with 501(c)(3) status. Funding is distributed through two separate funding streams: Healthy Kids, Healthy Families® Grants and Community Partners Grants. Grants are for 1 year only. Organizations may apply through either funding stream (but not both). Funding is competitive, so organizations should assess alignment with each streams' funding priorities.

Healthy Kids, Healthy Families

Promotes health and wellness and disease prevention in the following ways:

  • Nutrition
  • Physical activity
  • Disease prevention and management
  • Safe environments

Community Partners Grant

Supports innovative direct service dedicated to advancing health system objectives:

  • Improving health condition and health insurance literacy
  • Increasing access to health care
  • Enhancing care coordination
  • Addressing behavioral and social determinants of health to reduce health disparities

Information about our FY20 process may be found in our FY20 Grant Funding Guidelines. This document will help you understand the priorities of each funding stream and the criteria we use to evaluate proposals. We encourage you to review the funding guidelines prior to submitting a proposal.

View our FY20 Grant Funding Guidelines.

FY20 Two-step Application Process & Timeline

BCBSIL grant application is a two-step application process that begins with a Letter of Intent (LOI). Organizations interested in submitting a proposal for a grant must first submit an LOI. After the LOI review, if your request meets BCBSIL’s funding interests and criteria, your organization will be invited to submit a full proposal. Full application proposals will be by invitation only; we will not accept unsolicited full grant applications.

  • January 21: Letter of Intent opens
  • February 8: LOI closes
  • Week of March 18: All LOI applicants notified; invitation-only full application opens
  • April 12: Full application closes
  • Mid-June: Applicants notified of funding decisions
  • July 1: Funding begins (all grants are 1 year, funding ends June 30, 2020)

FY20 Online Letter of Intent:

After reviewing the FY20 Grant Funding Guidelines, submit an online Letter of Intent.

BCBSIL Sponsorships

Organizations working to improve community health and wellness may request sponsorship support from BCBSIL. Sponsorship awards are smaller than grants, ranging between $250 and $5,000. Examples of sponsorship awards include galas, dinners, luncheons, health fairs, seminars, conferences, walks/runs and similar activities.

Please note: To increase the number of organizations that have access to BCBSIL community investment support, an organization may receive a grant or a sponsorship, but not both. Sponsorships do not require 501(c)(3) status. Requests must be made at least 2 months prior to the project or event.

Requests for sponsorship consideration must be made through our online application .

For questions about grants or sponsorships, please contact Kathleen Cangemi.

As of August 2016, BCBSIL is unable to fund organizations or projects that discriminate against individuals based on race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religious creed, national origin, physical or mental disability, or protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.