Grantmaking in 2020

Leaders of nonprofit service providers and government agencies are invited to apply for Needs Immediately Met grants of up to $10,000. NIMble grants will be awarded to support one-time critical purchases, immediate needs for stabilization or crisis response, or innovative opportunities related to work to address our priority areas. This year our priorities have expanded to include COVID Impact and Recovery.

Deadline to apply is 5 p.m. August 5

Nantahala Health Foundation has partnered with CommunityForce to help us manage our grant applications. While not required, it is recommended applicants use the link below to view a 20-minute video about the application process. Additional set-up support is available by clicking on the ‘HELP’ link on the bottom right of the Grant Site Log-In screen.

A call for proposals for Collaborative Health Innovation Project (CHIP) grants is planned for August. Through the application process, CHIP grant recipients will demonstrate how their problem-solving project/program will make the region better for everyone. They will work inclusively with their communities, make the most of existing resources, and collaborate with at least one other organization as part of their problem-solving and/or response process.

At Nantahala Health Foundation, our success stems from the collaboration of organizations in Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Jackson, Macon, and Swain counties and the Qualla Boundary. Our team works with agency partners to improve the places and ways in which we live, learn, work, and play. We believe that building capacity and supporting innovative programming will lead to overall better health outcomes.

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Our Priorities

After receiving community input through meetings, surveys, and interviews to inform our priorities and decision making, the following priorities were established:


  • Career Technical Education:  Specifically, innovative projects that prepare individuals for the workforce, particularly by teaching job-readiness and retention skills other than technical skills for all ages.
  • Early Childhood Education initiatives:
    • Assisting expansion of the availability of childcare facilities
    • Increasing childcare affordability (such as scholarships for low-income families on the waiting list for voucher support)
    • Increasing the availability of summer camps and after school programs


  • Increasing access to health care, behavioral health services, medication assistance, and dental care.


  • Alleviating poverty
  • Ending food insecurity for older adults
  • Providing or increasing emergency housing shelters


  • Increasing the provision of home repair or rehabilitation for people in need
  • Providing access to mold remediation services


  • Transportation. Transportation has been identified as a primary need in our region, one which impacts all social determinants of health. We seek to fund initiatives with either unique solutions and/or current efforts to provide transportation, especially those with collaborative efforts among human service or medical providers.
  • COVID-19 Impact and Recovery.  For organizations working in the priority areas listed above, we know that the COVID-19 pandemic has created additional challenges to fulfilling their mission.  Nantahala Health Foundation has set aside a portion of our grantmaking for 2020 and 2021 to specifically address the impact and recovery efforts in our region.

2019 Grant Recipients

In December 2019, we awarded 28 grants for a total regional investment of nearly $1.5 million. Going forward we will continue to explore the work of local organizations to identify innovative partnership opportunities to address the root causes of health inequalities in our region.