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, fraternal, and veteran 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 cite previous projects in order to be considered.

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, along with a milestone timeline, 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 focus on promoting healthy behaviors and healthy relationships.

If your project or initiative isn't clearly health-related, you can use the project details—outlined in the application instructions—to cite studies that describe healthy outcomes.

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.


How do I apply?

From the Humana Communities Benefit website, select your location and click "Apply Online Today." Review the requirements carefully. Then complete the application form electronically with the proposal details and required financial and supporting documents. We must receive your application submission on or before the deadline date by Midnight EST. Handwritten and mailed applications forms will not be accepted.

What are acceptable delivery methods for submitting an application?

All applications must be submitted online through the Humana Communities Benefit web site in order to be considered.

How do I know my application was received?

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

How do I determine the population served by the organization?

The population served is the number of people your organization can reasonably expect to help in a 12-month period. Enter this calculation in numeric form.

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 itemization 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 they've 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
  • The program or project's sustainability beyond a funding period of one fiscal year after the 36 months of the Humana Foundation grant period has ended
  • The transformational impact of a $350,000 grant on the organization
  • The organization's financial fitness
  • The program or project's originality or creativity

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?

No. Each organization must submit a separate 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 $100,000 signature grant can apply.

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. However, previous winners are available for consultation by clicking the "Find a Mentor Now" link located on the home page.

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?

No. 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?