The Health Foundation of Central Massachusetts Announces 2023 Synergy Initiative and Activation Fund Grant Opportunities

WORCESTER, Mass. – The Health Foundation of Central Massachusetts announces the opening of its 2023 Synergy Initiative and Activation Fund grant opportunities to target community-identified health issues and support innovative approaches to addressing health issues in the region.

The Synergy Initiative provides multiple years of funding (approximately $2 million in total funding over roughly five years) for collaborative projects that address health issues in Central Massachusetts with integrated, comprehensive strategies focused on systems change. The Activation Fund supports discrete, one-year projects in Central Massachusetts (typically between $60,000 and $120,000) aimed at helping move an organization to its next level of capacity and effectiveness that can be sustained over time.

The Foundation does not name specific health issues or priority areas, instead looking to community-based organizations to identify health issues and potential solutions. Information sessions outlining each program’s funding goals, eligibility criteria, and application processes will be held in February and March.

“Since its launch in 1999, The Health Foundation of Central Massachusetts has been committed to improving the health of those who live or work in Central Massachusetts. We look forward to this next round of Synergy Initiative and Activation Fund grants as an opportunity to further our impact in the region, and we are especially excited to pilot several innovative activities aimed at supporting smaller, newer organizations interested in our grant opportunities,” said Dr. Amie Shei, President and CEO of the Foundation.

The deadlines for submission of initial application materials are April 12 for the Activation Fund and July 12 for the Synergy Initiative. To learn more about both grant opportunities and register for an upcoming information session, please visit the Foundation’s website at

In 2023, the Foundation is also piloting several equity-related initiatives aimed at increasing access to the Foundation’s Activation Fund grant opportunity and helping smaller organizations build capacity.

For those with limited English proficiency, interpretation and translation services will be available for virtual information sessions when requested in advance through the registration process. For small organizations with limited grant development capacity and experience, the Foundation is offering technical assistance focused on the Activation Fund through an outside consultant for up to five applicants.

Organizations with annual operating budgets less than $500,000 will also be eligible to request up to 10% of direct project costs for unrestricted, supplemental support aimed at building capacity. These pilots will be evaluated to assess effectiveness and to inform future implementation. To learn more about these opportunities, please visit the Foundation’s website. Applications for the technical assistance pilot are due by February 17.

Foundation staff is available to assist throughout the application process for both funding opportunities by discussing project ideas and providing feedback. To schedule a consultation for the Synergy Initiative, contact Dr. Kathy Mills, Vice President for Programs (, and for the Activation Fund contact Jennie Blake, Senior Program Officer (

About The Health Foundation of Central Massachusetts

The Health Foundation of Central Massachusetts uses its grantmaking resources to improve the health of those who live or work in the Central Massachusetts region, with particular emphasis on vulnerable populations and unmet needs. The Foundation was established in 1999 with the proceeds from the sale of Central Massachusetts Health Care, Inc., a physician-initiated, not-for-profit HMO. The Foundation has assets of approximately $80 million and has awarded grants totaling over $52 million since it began its grantmaking in 2000. For more information, visit