Portage Health Foundation’s (PHF) mission is to positively influence a healthier community through enhanced philanthropy and collaboration. In order to uphold this mission, PHF has identified seven areas of targeted emphasis addressing the following (in no order of importance or preference):

    • Increase access to education
    • Mitigate poverty
    • Reduce hunger and poor nutrition
    • Build safer communities
    • Provide access to support healthy living
    • Support medical research and innovation
    • Improve physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health and well being

These identified focus areas are used to define and establish giving priorities, programming initiatives and to help identify grant project criteria that ensures our service area’s (Baraga, Houghton, Keweenaw and Ontonagon Counties) success in addressing health risks.

Grants vs. Sponsorships

PHF views grants as financial awards that assist organizations in the implementation or support of new or existing programs, projects or services. Grant applicants design projects with measurable goals and outcomes, which serve a health need in the community.

PHF also supports area organizations and groups through sponsorships. PHF views sponsorships as promotional opportunities and partnerships that support one-time or short-duration community events focused on a health need. For more information regarding sponsorships, please visit our Sponsorship Request page.


To be eligible to apply for a PHF grant or other means of financial support, the applicant must:

  • Be recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization; a local unit of government; or a public institution of education (Note: Applicants must be current with their IRS tax exempt organization determination and have a current License to Solicit Charitable Contributions as required, unless exempt under MC 400.283.).
  • Be domiciled in Baraga, Houghton, Keweenaw and/or Ontonagon counties in Michigan, and serve the citizens of the same.
  • Have filed their most recent 990, 990-EX or 990-N filing.
  • Have a certified financial audit or reviewed financial statements as required by state law; (Note: For all nonprofits with annual gross receipts of $250K or less, PHF requests CPA prepared complied financial statements for their most recently completed fiscal year).
  • Have adequate and demonstrated organizational capacity to successfully execute the proposed grant, including all reporting requirements.

Please view our Grant Policy and Guidelines (PDF) for complete information regarding eligibility.

Not sure if you're eligible? Complete our eligibility questionnaire.   


Letter of Inquiry

PHF strongly encourages all interested applicants to submit a Letter of Inquiry (LOI) prior to submitting a grant application.  While not required in order to apply for a grant, an LOI encourages understanding, collaboration and project development between PHF and potential grant applicants.  Please approach the LOI as an abbreviated grant proposal that PHF can review to determine if a project matches the foundation's funding interests and is suitable for formal grant consideration. PHF will follow-up with all organizations regarding their inquiry within one month.

Letter of Inquiry Form (PDF)


Applying for a Grant

PHF accepts grant applications under the following two categories. 

  • Targeted Request for Proposal (RPF) basis
  • Non-RFP applications

Assistance is Available

Portage Health Foundation is happy to take phone calls or meet with you to discuss ideas. We also want to make sure non-profits are aware of the Proposal Development Award from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation. This program helps nonprofit, community-based service organizations develop proposals to seek funding for health care projects. It offers awards up to $3,500 to help nonprofits with the development of new grant proposals. Learn more at bcbsm.com


Targeted Requests for Proposals (RFP)

Although grantees may apply at any time, PHF takes a more strategic approach to its granting with focused RFP’s to address specific needs throughout the community.

No current targeted RFPs


Previous RFPs

In the past, PHF released the following RPF’s (check back to this page for updates, or subscribe to our email newsletter):

  • Volunteer Emergency Services Grant (deadline was May 19, 2023)
  • Mental and Behavioral Health Services (deadline was May 12, 2023
  • Small Grants (The deadline was April 14, 2023)
  • Community Recreation and Facilities Request for Proposals (The deadline was March 17, 2023)
  • Food Pantry / Emergency Food Assistance Small Grant Program (The deadline was October 24, 2022, read what the RFP funded)
  • AED Grant Program (The deadline was September 16, 2022, read what RFP funded)
  • Volunteer Emergency Services Grant Program (The deadline was May 18, 2022, read what the RFP funded)

All applications must meet the criteria stated in the RFP and be received by the application due date to be considered for granting.

Non-RFP Grant Requests

PHF will accept applications on an on-going basis that align with PHF goals and are dependent on resources available.

Please complete the Request for Funding Application (available below). All questions must be answered. If the question does not apply to your grant, the question should be answered “not applicable.”  Make sure your application is submitted at least two months in advance of your project start date. PHF will not consider incomplete applications.

Request for Funding Application (PDF)


Grant Proposal Assistance

PHF welcomes conversations with potential grant applicants. If you have an idea or project you are interested in obtaining funding for, are looking for ways to collaborate with us or are in need of assistance with your grant application, please do not hesitate to contact us.  We are always happy to guide you through the application process and offer feedback. Please consider submitting a Letter of Inquiry.


Grant Reporting Requirements

All grantees, following a customized reporting schedule, must track and report to PHF on their project goals and desired outcomes. The type of report required depends on the size of the grant, some organizations may need to submit multiple grant reports while others may need to submit only a follow-up report. 

Follow-up Report Form (PDF)

 Grant Report Form (PDF)


Amending a Grant Award

PHF recognizes that grantees may need to make changes to their grant such as a budget or timeline amendment. In those cases, grantees are required to submit a Grant Amendment Request Form.

Grant Amendment Form (PDF)



Please contact us with any questions you may have regarding any portion of the grant process. 

We look forward to receiving your questions and applications in order to work with you to help make our communities healthier and more vibrant places to live.