Funding Guidelines

Missouri Foundation for Health (MFH) will provide funding in accordance with our governing documents. All awards will be aligned with our mission to eliminate underlying causes of health inequities, transform systems, and enable individuals and communities to thrive. and will be administered to ensure appropriate use of funds and resources. MFH will be a partner in all grants and service contracts to support the funded organization and its work in our community, as well as to effectively monitor the funded project for compliance to the award agreement.

Who We Fund

MFH uses three funding mechanisms to implement our strategy and accomplish our mission:

  • Grants, which primarily benefit the grantee by furthering their own exempt purposes and programs. The project must primarily benefit the MFH service area and the organization must be in good standing with the State of Missouri and abide by MFH’s Non-Discrimination Policy. The following types of organizations are eligible to seek grant funding from MFH:
    • Organizations granted tax-exempt status under provisions of Sections 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Service Code
    • State or local government agencies, including educational institutions, and branches of the federal government serving Missouri
    • Coalitions, collaboratives, or groups using a fiscal sponsor
  • Contracted services, which primarily benefit MFH’s grantees or strategy directly. Common examples of contracts for services involve hiring consultants to provide technical assistance to grantees or evaluation of a MFH programmatic strategy. Individuals, nonprofit organizations, and corporations are eligible to respond to a Request for Contracted Service Proposals.
  • Program Related Investments, which consist primarily of low-interest rate loans to seed formation or growth of an organization or program which demonstrates mission and values alignment with MFH. Nonprofit organizations and for-profit organizations are eligible.

What We Fund

MFH will fund costs necessary to meet the objectives of a project as outlined in a request for application, contracted service, or program related investment proposal.

The following expenses are allowable subject to the limitations stated:

  • Benefits and Payroll Taxes: For each employee supported with Foundation funds, benefits and payroll taxes may ONLY be requested for:
    • employer portion of federal, state, and local taxes
    • health, life, and disability insurance related only to the Foundation funded employee(s)
    • retirement (only 401(k), 403(b), or pension)

      Note: MFH reserves the right to negotiate an agreed upon rate.

  • Indirect Expense: Indirect expenses are shared among projects and/or functions. Examples include executive management, accounting, grants management, human resources or administrative and other support services, phones, occupancy, insurance, utilities, and facility maintenance.

    In 2024, MFH updated its indirect expense policy. This change applies only to grant proposals received on or after January 1, 2024.

    Indirect expense is calculated as a percentage of the total direct expense request from MFH and the rate is based on the applicant’s expenses from the most recent annual accounting period as outlined in the table below. The direct expense request from MFH does not include indirect expense or the fiscal sponsor fee, if applicable, as shown in the spreadsheet on the last page of the MFH grant budget template.
Expenses from Applicant’s Recent Annual Accounting PeriodMFH Indirect Rate
Under $1 million25%
Between $1.01 & 5 million20%
Over $5 million15%

MFH will not fund the following types of expenses and activities:

  • Basic biomedical research or research on drug therapies or devices
  • Lobbying
  • Existing operational deficits or programs projected to create a deficit
  • Fundraising campaigns for the purpose of construction, endowment building or establishing emergency or other types of reserves
  • Programs that promote specific religious beliefs or proselytize
  • Programs fully funded from other sources

How We Fund

MFH completes a comprehensive review of each proposal to determine funding decisions and administer awards through grant and service contracts.

  • Programmatic review – This aspect of the review process includes an assessment of the organization’s alignment with the mission and values of MFH and their expertise and capacity to carry out the activities of the project as proposed. Additionally, the process includes an analysis of the project’s opportunities, risks, and goals, as well as the alignment with MFH’s programmatic strategy.
  • Organizational review – This aspect of the review process includes an evaluation of the fiscal status of applicants as well as the capacity and operational infrastructure to successfully carry out the project as proposed.
  • Contract administration – If approved for funding, a legal contract between MFH and the grantee/service provider is developed which includes payment and reporting schedules and other conditions.

Non-Discrimination Policy

MFH will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or veteran status. As part of the application process, applicants are required to affirm that the applicant will/does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or veteran status either in its employment practices or in its policies and procedures concerning access to services.

*If you are uncertain about your organization’s practices, please contact Steve Frisbee, Senior Project Analyst, at (314) 345-5587 or