Frequently Asked Questions

Pictured:  Two children lay on the floor, coloring

How does Sierra Health Foundation define health?

We have a broad definition of health, believing there is much more to health than health care. It is influenced by many factors, including socioeconomic conditions, environment, education, income and individual behavior choices — factors that have come to be known as the Social Determinants of Health.

What is the source of Sierra Health Foundation’s funds?

Earnings from our investment portfolio are the primary source of funds. Sierra Health Foundation’s endowment has a diversified portfolio, including real estate and the stock market.

How does Sierra Health Foundation 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 2021, this was approximately $2 million.

How does Sierra Health Foundation determine its programs and funding priorities?

When planning a new grant program, we strive to build on our strengths and experience from our many years of grantmaking. We look to our lessons learned from previous programs, and find out what communities in the region need.

Will Sierra Health Foundation 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 does Sierra Health Foundation’s funding region have 26 counties?

When Sierra Health Foundation was created, there was a lack of independent philanthropies in the rural northeast section of the state.

Is Sierra Health Foundation considering an expansion of the funding region?

Not at this time. Learn about The Center at Sierra Health Foundation, our nonprofit that promotes efforts to eradicate health inequities across the state.