Frequently Asked Questions
How does Sierra Health Foundation define health?
We have a broad definition of health, believing that health includes more than just physical condition and well-being. It is influenced by many factors including, but not limited to, environment, genetics, healthcare and individual behavior choices. See our Social Determinants of Health web page.
What is the source of Sierra Health’s funds?
Earnings from our investment portfolio are the primary source of funds. Sierra Health’s endowment has a diversified portfolio, including real estate and the stock market.
How does Sierra Health determine how much it will award each year?
Based on IRS regulations, we allocate a minimum of 5 percent of our net invested assets as direct grants, in-kind support and operating expenses. In 2011, this was approximately $6.4 million.
How does Sierra Health determine its programs and funding priorities?
When planning a new grant program, we strive to build on our strengths and experience from 27 years of grantmaking. We look to our lessons learned from previous programs, and find out what communities in the region need, using tools such as surveys and focus groups.
Will Sierra Health fund only tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organizations?
No. We also fund public agencies, such as school districts and state, county and city government. We cannot fund 501(c)(3) nonprofits that are supporting organizations with an Internal Revenue Code of 509(a)(3). Get more information on supporting organizations.
Why is Sierra Health’s funding region limited to 26 counties?
When Sierra Health was created, there was a lack of independent philanthropies in the rural northeast section of the state.
Is Sierra Health considering an expansion of the funding region?
Not at this time.