The goal of the Hearst Foundations, inspired by founder William Randolph Hearst, is to “ensure that people of all backgrounds have the opportunity to build healthy, productive, and inspiring lives.”
First, to clear up why they are the Hearst Foundations, plural: William Randolph Hearst established an East Coast foundation in 1945 and a West Coast foundation in 1948. Their missions were (and remain) the same, as are the granting stipulations. Whether your organization resides east or west of the Mississippi River is the only difference.
Regardless of what side of the Mississippi you're on, these foundations are committed to supporting health. The word "healthy" is right there in the mission statement, and Health is the official name of one of four areas of foundation giving.
There are obviously myriad ways to support a healthy society. The foundations acknowledge this in their own desire to leave a large footprint, stating that they seek to use their funds "to create a broad and enduring impact on the nation’s health."
But the foundations do narrow their scope a bit, articulating five priorities:
- Professional development
- Specialized care for elderly populations
- Improving access and quality for low-income populations
- Innovating health care delivery systems
- Research, particularly related to disease prevention and treatment.
Hospitals and healthcare centers are related to all of these priorities, and the Hearst Foundations support hospitals and healthcare centers that engage in all of them. Meaning there's opportunity here, as long as your program hits upon one or more of the priority areas.
All said and done, about 30 percent of Hearst Foundations giving goes to health programs in the U.S. Grantseekers must have an annual operating budget of at least $1 million to be eligible; the foundations say that 80 percent of health grantees have budgets over $10 million. (If you're representing a hospital or healthcare center, this is likely not an issue for you.)
As you might expect, given the operating budgets of eligible organizations, the Hearst Foundations look for organizations with a large scope. They want to fund organizations that serve “large demographic and/or geographic constituencies.” As a comment on their overall giving—not just related to health—they also favor organizations that “enable engagement by young people and create a lasting impression.” Engagement of "young people," here, relates not only to serving children, but professional development.
The Hearst Foundations want the hospital and healthcare center programs they support to differentiate themselves from their peers—not just in an approach to programming, but also in terms of results. Hearst places importance on results by expecting “evidence of sustainability” for programs beyond their own support of them. They regularly give both program and capital support (and a limited amount of general and endowment support) to 501(c)3 organizations.
A sampling of recently granted hospital and health center projects and programming includes:
- $250,000 to the Mayo Clinic Rochester (Rochester, Minnesota) "to support the Proton Beam Radiation Therapy program and capital campaign;"
- $250,000 to the Cleveland Clinic (Cleveland, Ohio) "toward the School-Based Health Center’s mobile services;
- $200,000 to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center (Los Angeles, Calfornia) "to develop and validate an intervention program that promotes healthy living through the use of a virtual reality component;"
- $150,000 to Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems (Bangor, Maine) "toward the new neonatal intensive care unit;"
- $150,000 to the University of Miami (Coral Gables, Florida) "toward the construction of an Operating Room Suite in the new Simulation Hospital in the School of Nursing and Health Studies;"
- $150,000 to Brigham & Women's Hospital (Boston, Massachusetts) "to expand the diversity of the healthcare workforce by supporting the training of nurses of multicultural backgrounds;"
- $125,000 to the Washington Hospital Center (Washington, D.C.) "toward the creation of the Heart and Vascular Institute;"
- $125,000 to Shawnee Mission Medical Center (Shawnee Mission, Kansas) to help meet a $1 million challenge grant " to construct a new, state-of-the-art Medical Simulation Center;"
- $100,000 to Castle Medical Center (Kailua, HI) "toward renovation and expansion of the Emergency Department;"
- $100,000 to the University of Mississippi Medical Center (Jackson, Mississippi) "to provide scholarships and recruitment and retention services for diverse students in the School of Nursing;"
- $100,000 to the Chinese Hospital Association (San Francisco, California) "to help build the new Chinese Hospital;"
- $100,000 to All Children's Hospital (Saint Petersburg, Florida) "to support the development of the hospital’s pediatric residency program;"
- $100,000 to UnityPoint Health - Trinity (Rock Island, Illinois) "to support the expansion of the Teaching and Learning Center to enable the Trinity College of Nursing & Health Sciences to increase nursing enrollment by one-third;"
- $100,000 to Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital (Hollister, California) "to purchase an Automated Breast Volume Scanner (3D breast ultrasound system);"
- $100,000 to Boston Medical Center (Boston, Massachusetts) "toward the new Labor and Delivery department, as part of the “Building the New BMC,” capital campaign;
- $75,000 to Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation (Bethel, Alaska) "to support the construction of a new health clinic in Kongiganak, Alaska;"
- $50,000 to Community Health Centers (Burlington, Vermont) "toward the expansion of the School-Based Dental Center."
Remarkably, for a funder playing on such a large field, the Hearst Foundations has an open online application process. New applicants should note that Hearst steers 80 percent of its funding to previous recipients. On the flipside of this daunting statistic, if you do make the cut for initial funding through the Hearst Foundations, the odds are in your favor that you’ll continue receiving it. But you’ll have to wait at least three years until that happens—that's Hearst's waiting period between grants.