Community Grants

Discover how Essentia Health can help your organization make a healthy difference in your community. We fund projects and programs that improve health in Minnesota, North Dakota, and Wisconsin.

Community Contributions

Essentia Health is actively engaged in funding non-profit organizations focused on assisting the underserved, building healthy communities and improving the quality of life for people in our service area, we are committed to the following focus areas:

  • Access to health care
  • Community building
  • Community health education
  • Food access
  • Healthy lifestyle (physical activity and nutrition)
  • Housing for vulnerable populations
  • Mental health
  • Oral health
  • Safety and injury prevention
  • Services for underserved populations
  • Substance abuse
  • Workforce development

Is My Project/Program Eligible?

For the purposes of evaluation, priority is given to programs, projects, and direct services. Less emphasis is given to requests to fund operations, salaries, or capital campaigns. Funding is not available for:

  • Endowment campaigns
  • Programs outside of Essentia's geographic service area
  • Individuals
  • Political organizations
  • Sponsorships of events or advertising (Sponsorship Application [PDF])
  • Memberships or dues
  • Any program, project, or service inconsistent with Essentia's mission and values

Funding Applications

For more information or questions about the application process, please contact Essentia Health Community Contributions at

Funding Applications

Community Health Grants: Central Minnesota

If you’re in Central Minnesota, see if your organization could benefit from a Community Health Grant. This program, funded by Essentia Health-St. Joseph’s Foundation, supports programs that have a clear, direct, measurable impact on the health of people living in the Brainerd Lakes Area. We award $20,000 to $40,000 to more than a dozen recipients each year.

Is My Organization Eligible for Funding?

To be eligible for a Community Health Grant, your organization must:

  • Be a nonprofit or governmental organization in Central Minnesota
  • Align with Essentia’s mission and vision
  • Not have received funds from us for one year
  • Meet at least one of the following criteria:
    • Provide health care services to patients and families who use Essentia Health-St. Joseph’s Medical Center or its clinics
    • Support health-related programs in response to community needs
    • Show evidence of pursuing various funding options
    • Fund research into new and better ways of providing care, preventing and treating disease, and/or promoting health
    • Fund health education

We do not fund:

  • Advertising, tickets, or raffles
  • Endowment campaigns
  • Fundraisers that benefit the organizers
  • Individuals or their projects
  • Lobbying or advocacy organizations
  • Political organizations or campaigns

Religious organizations for direct religious activities

Grant Application Process

To apply for a Community Health Grant from St. Joseph’s Foundation, submit:

  • Community Health Grant Application [PDF]
  • Copy of your tax-exempt affirmation letter
  • List of current board members, officers, and key staff
  • Current financial statements (audited, if possible)
  • Project budget
  • Brochures or marketing materials, as appropriate

After reviewing your materials, we may ask for more information or an on-site visit.

Application Deadline

Community Health Grants are reviewed every other month. Submit your proposal as early as possible. Deadlines are as follows: February 1, April 1, June 1, August 1, October 1, and December 1.

You’ll hear from us within 60 days of the grant application deadline.

Contact Us

For questions about Community Health Grants in Central Minnesota, email St. Joseph’s Foundation or call 218-828-7362.

Take Heart AED Requests: Central Minnesota

If you would like to apply to receive an automated external defibrillator (AED) please complete the AED Application Request Form

Applicants will be notified within 60 days.

Contact Us

Call us for more information about grant funding programs from Essentia Health.

  • In all areas: 218-786-3045
  • In Central Minnesota: 218-828-7362