Working with community members to make communities well.

(Deadlines for 2023 are August 4th, October 6th and December 1st )

5 Healthy Towns Foundation (5HF) is a tax-exempt, private foundation governed by a volunteer board of directors representing populations included in the school-districts of Chelsea, Dexter, Grass Lake, Manchester and Stockbridge, generally referred to as the 5HF service area.  The mission of the 5HF is to cultivate improvements in personal and community wellness.

Total funding for community investments (grants) is determined, annually, by the 5HF. The funds for community investment come from the returns made on the market investment of 5HF assets.  Grants are made to a range of non-profit organizations that demonstrate grant funding will be used to further 5HF’s mission.

Only 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations serving the 5HF service area are considered for funding.  Funding information can be found below.


5HF’s philosophy adheres to its values of stewardship, innovation and collaboration.  Funding will be granted to well-designed programs that are able to clearly identify expected outcomes.  5HF will consider programs and projects that fund-seekers identify as able to meet the current needs of a community or communities in the service area.  In addition, funding will be available for visionary projects intended to improve a community’s or communities’ health measures.  In some circumstances the 5HF may identify a non-profit organization or group of non-profit organizations and request development of a program to address a specific issue.

The 5HF philosophy is to be responsive, interactive and proactive in its efforts to improve the wellness of its communities.

Method of Solicitation

5HF considers applications for funding from Community Wellness Coalition approved programs and regional planning applications.

The local Community Wellness Coalitions are the clearinghouse for wellness-related activities seeking 5HF funding.  The Wellness Coalition maintains local pots of funding for targeted interventions, as well as some sponsorship funding. Applicants are encouraged to visit their local wellness coalition with potential ideas, and to see how their Wellness Coalition can help.  Even applicants requesting funds for projects across communities should begin by engaging the affected Wellness Coalitions.  For more information about the local coalitions and when they meet please click here or email

5 Healthy Towns Foundation is now accepting proposals for regional programs that address isolation, food access, and/or physical activity opportunities in the 5 Healthy Towns service area.  Up to $500,000 over the next three years will be made available for the RFP process.  The 5HF service area includes the populations within the School Districts of Chelsea, Dexter, Grass Lake, Manchester, and Stockbridge.

Organizations with ideas for wellness activities that do not fall into either solicitation method may submit a letter of inquiry to 5HF, including documentation from their Wellness Coalition that they’ve been contacted about the proposed idea, of actions taken to inform and discuss with the Wellness Coalition, and why the proposal should be considered outside of the coalition or regional planning process.

An outline for the letter of inquiry can be found at the link on this page.  The letter of inquiry will be reviewed by 5HF.  Following the review 5HF will make the following recommendation to the applicant:

  • Continue to work with the Wellness Coalition to seek funding through 5H
  • Submit a grant to the 5HF for consideration
  • Seek funding from an alternate source

If an organization’s letter of inquiry is approved, an application for funding may be completed & submitted.  The application will be evaluated based on funding criteria, outlined below.

Application and Application Review

Applications for all grants are evaluated by a committee made up of representatives from 5HF including members of the Board of Directors.   Committee members and 5HF staff may meet with applicants and others in order to make the best decision about the community’s request.

Following evaluation, the committee will make one of the following recommendations to the 5HF BOD:

  • Fund
  • Do not fund
  • Defer to BOD for further discussion

Because committee members are active in the community, potential conflicts of interest may arise.  To avoid the perception of unfair advantage, those who submit applications must refrain from discussing the application with any BOD member outside of the official grant application review process.

If a committee member is engaged in any activity or has a demonstrated interest that may cause bias for or against a grant application, the member will disclose the conflict during a committee meeting.  The committee may ask the member to abstain from further review, discussion and voting on the application.  The decision of the committee will be duly recorded in the minutes of the meeting.  The 5HF BOD will follow the same procedure for potential conflict of interest at the time of final funding decisions.

Funding Criteria

Preference will be given to 5HF Wellness Coalition approved interventions and sponsorships and Regional Planning Applications that:

  • Are consistent with 5HF’s mission and address one or more of our four vision elements
  • Address policy, infrastructure (built environment), systems or behavior/culture
  • Show evidence of community collaboration.  Regional Planning Proposals must incorporate at least three of the five 5HF service areas.
  • Address the needs identified for the service area.  Local health data can be found at
  • Demonstrate organizational capacity including
  •        Capability of efficiently implementing the project
  •        Structure and leadership sufficient to manage the project
  •        A history and track record from previous projects
  •        Community buy-in
  • Demonstrate credibility
  •         Evidence based or have a strong chance of success for innovative interventions
  •         Apply best practice
  •         Based in logic
  • Impact a large number of service area residents
  • Demonstrate innovation
  • Are measurable
  • Are feasible (financially and otherwise)
  • Collaborate with other service area communities
  • Addresses health disparities

Funding will only be made to nonprofit organizations that demonstrate sound accounting procedures.  Wellness Coalition final evaluation reports for each 5H project will be submitted to 5HF.

The Grant Committee meets every other month to review grant applications.  Grant applications must be submitted by the deadline listed for that cycle. If your application is submitted one or more days after the deadline it will not be considered until the next grant cycle.

The 5HF does not generally fund the following programs and projects:

  • Debt reduction
  • Annual appeals
  • Memberships
  • Benefiting an individual or a few people
  • Endowment building