Frequently asked questions

Read commonly asked questions and answers about Humana Communities Benefit.


Who is eligible for this grant?

Nonprofit organizations classified 501(c)(3) tax-exempt by the Internal Revenue Service are eligible. Social, labor, political, and fraternal organizations, as well as individuals and private foundations, are not eligible to receive funds.

Religious organizations are eligible for project-specific support—for example, social services outreach—or funds for an accredited, church-affiliated educational institution. The Foundation won't consider requests for general operating support, funds for constructing or renovating a sanctuary, or mission-focused work. Institutions that receive payments for eligible religious projects must have 501(c)(3) status.

Humana recognizes the amount of resources required to effectively administer a grant of this size. As such, applying organizations must have a minimum operating budget of $1,000,000 and a minimum staff of three full time employees and cite previous projects in order to be considered.

My organization is not located in one of the eligible counties but serves one of more of them. May I apply for Humana Communities Benefit?

Yes. If you encounter any issues in the application process, you may need an invitation code to proceed. If so, please send an email to to obtain one.

Why must the organization be based in and serve the market exclusively?

This requirement ensures grant funds aid the communities where Humana has a significant presence. Area organizations that primarily serve the defined area and extend beyond the immediate community are still eligible.

Why can't more than 15 percent of the $ 350,000 grant be used for salaries, consultant fees, or other administrative costs?

This question addresses sustainability. The Humana Foundation expects a grantee to complete a funded program by using the entire $350,000 donation within a 36-month period, requiring little or no additional funding. The goal is to avoid ongoing administrative costs that require funding after program completion.

However, we also recognize that some salaries are related to providing a direct service that is part of the funded program. For example, the hiring of a volunteer coordinator or a coach may be necessary to implement the funded program. Therefore, the Humana Foundation would permit more than 15% of the $350,000 grant to be used for salaries in order to properly fund the program.

What documents are required for a complete application?

Applications are completed online. Complete all required fields, including an organization description, affiliations list, project details, an itemized budget outlining how and when the $350,000 grant would be used, most recent audited financial statements and/or Form 990. Additional supporting materials, such as letters of support, may also be uploaded to the online application.

Can a past-year finalist reapply for the signature grant?

Yes. Any nonprofit that hasn't received a Humana Communities Benefit signature grant can reapply.

Are non-health related organizations eligible for the grant?

Yes. Nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations are eligible if they propose programs or projects that intend to transform communities by lowering barriers to health and well-being and increasing access to services, lessening the impact of diabetes and/or congestive heart failure (CHF) on community health.

Is the $350,000 grant a multi-year award?

Yes. A portion of the grant will be awarded each year based on completed milestones. $200,000 will be awarded year one; $100,000 year two; and $50,000 year three.

No organization can receive the signature grant more than once.

Is the organization required to use the entire $350,000?

Yes. The total grant award must be used within three years of grant receipt. An itemized budget outlining how and when the $350,000 grant would be used, along with their completed milestones, is required.

Can the grant be used for fundraising events?

Humana won't consider applications for fundraising campaigns or for general operating expenses. Proposals will be accepted for capital-improvement projects intended specifically for renovation or construction that will serve the community.

Letter of Intent

How do I submit a Letter of Intent?

Letters of Intent must be emailed to by 11pm EDT, May 29, 2015.

How long should the Letter of Intent be?

Letter of Intent should not exceed three pages, double-spaced, 12-point font with 1-inch margins and submitted as a PDF.

What contact information should be included in the Letter of Intent?

Please include the following information for a primary contact: name, title, address, phone number, and email.

How will I know the Letter of Intent is received?

You will receive an e-mail notification upon receipt of your Letter of Intent at

What is the deadline for submitting a Letter of Intent?

Letters of Intent must be emailed to by 11pm EDT, May 29, 2015.

How will I be notified if my organization is invited to apply for this year’s Humana Communities Benefit charitable grant?

A response will be emailed to the sender of the Letter of Intent with directions for accessing the online application.

When will I be notified if my organization is invited to apply?

The sender of the Letter of Intent will be notified by June 9, 2015 if you are invited to apply.


How do I apply?

Following review of the Letter of Intent, organizations that are invited to apply will be emailed a link to the online application. Nonprofits must complete the application electronically with the proposal details and required financial and supporting documents. We must receive your application submission by 11pm EDT, June 30, 2015. Handwritten and mailed applications will not be accepted.

What are acceptable delivery methods for submitting an application?

All applications must be submitted online. Organizations invited to apply will be sent a link via email to access the invitation.

How do I know my application was received?

You will receive an automated e-mail notification upon submission of your application.

Are United Way and United Way funded agencies eligible for the grant?


How do you define professional and support staff?

Professionals are degreed individuals and those in management positions. All others are support staff.

What happens if we can't provide audited financial statements or the previous year's Form 990?

If an audited financial statement or Form 990 isn't available, you can submit the most recent unaudited financial statements. However, if the judges select your organization as a finalist, we will require audited financial statements.

What's the difference between a program budget and an itemized statement of grant use?

A program budget is the financial plan for the entire program, which may be greater than $350,000. An itemized statement of use of grant funds is a report outlining how you intend to use the $350,000 grant. An itemized budget template is included in the online application as a sample of how this information should be reported.

Are a capital budget and list of committee members required if the organization isn't in a capital campaign period?

No. However, the applying organization should explain why it has omitted the documents.

Can an organization apply for the grant if it doesn't have an IRS 501(c)(3) classification but is in the process of receiving the certification?

No. Only organizations that can provide a copy of their 501(c)(3) classification by the deadline are eligible.

Can letters of support be mailed separately from the application?

All requested materials must be included online with the application. The application can be saved at any point to add required materials prior to the application deadline and submission.

Can other supporting documents or media be submitted?

Directions for submitting supporting documents are included in the online application. Media files cannot be submitted and will not be reviewed or returned.


How does Humana define salaries, consultant fees, and administrative fees?

Salary and consultant fees are monetary compensation including, but not limited to, holiday, vacation, sick pay, bonuses, and other fringe benefits. Administrative fees are costs associated with managing a program or project.

What is the judging process?

Each qualifying application is carefully reviewed and scored by a panel of judges using established criteria. Applications are evaluated on:

  • The organization's ability to successfully execute the program or project, as demonstrated by past achievements and outcomes
  • The program or project's sustainability beyond a funding period of three fiscal years
  • The transformational impact of a $350,000 grant on the organization and the community
  • The organization's financial fitness
  • The program or project's originality or creativity
  • Demonstration of impassioned and competent leadership
  • Track record of success to include:
    • Positive reputation in community
    • Successful collaboration with community partners
  • An organizational or programmatic theory of change that links to successful results or promising practices
  • “Best practices” or innovative approaches that are data-driven and backed by research

Based on the application scores, the internal judges identify the finalists. The finalists then present their program proposal to a panel of community leader judges. These judges determine which organization's program or project will best serve the community.

Can two organizations submit a joint application?

While collaboration is encouraged, only one organization should apply. Applying organization will list collaborators in application.

Is an organization that has previously received funding from the Humana Foundation eligible?

Yes. Any nonprofit organization that hasn't received the Humana Communities Benefit signature grant can apply.

If my organization has already won a Humana Communities Benefit grant can we apply again?

No. Unfortunately winning organizations cannot apply for the grant twice. Organizations that were runner-ups are eligible to apply for this year’s grant.

How do we explain that our organization is a new 501(c)(3) but not a new nonprofit in our application?

Highlight the situation in your organization description and program details.

Are past year signature grant recipient applications available for public reference?

No. Humana doesn't currently have the resources to provide this information.

If our organization isn't a finalist, will you provide information on how we can improve future applications?

No. Humana doesn't presently have the resources to provide this service.

Is there an application page limitation?

Character limitations are noted in the online application. Attachments and supporting documentation should be uploaded–the limitation for upload is 10MB.

Can an organization submit applications for more than one program or project?


When does the winning applicant receive the first portion of the $350,000 grant?

The first portion of the grant will be provided in October 2015.

My location was not selected this year. Will it be selected in the future?

Next year’s markets have yet to be determined. Each year Humana Communities Benefit is reviewed and adjusted, including the eligible locations. Please check in the spring to see if your location is selected.

Does the Humana Foundation offer any grants besides Humana Communities Benefit?

Yes. The Foundation encourages organizations that do not qualify for Humana Communities Benefit to visit its website to learn more about our grant cycle that is open between November 1-January 15.