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Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation

Contact information:
P.O. Box 98022

Baton Rouge, LA 70898

Phone: 225-298-7979



Type of foundation: Corporate-sponsored

Types of grants: Project, awards

Description: The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation is committed to improving health and education in Louisiana communities. It provides approximately $1 million per year to organizations that work to improve Louisianians’ access to health care and educational resources. Health care grants typically focus on improving public health, reducing barriers to care for the uninsured, and conducting research to prevent or cure disease. Education grants focus on helping Louisianians learn to stay healthy and make wise decisions about their health care. The foundation also works to fight childhood obesity through its program, Smart Bodies. This program is a partnership with the LSU AgCenter which teaches elementary school children and their families about healthy eating.

In Fall 2011, the foundation announced that it would award up to $10 million through the Blue Cross Challenge for a Healthier Louisiana. The goal of the Challenge is to support communities in reshaping their environments to support healthy living and prevent obesity. For this initiative, the foundation is partnering with the Pennington Biomedical Research Center, noted for its work to combat childhood obesity and recognized as the foremost academic nutritional research center in the world.

The Challenge for a Healthier Louisiana seeks to fund innovative projects that address the root causes of obesity through integrated changes in policies, norms, practices, social supports and the physical environment. The foundation is especially interested in projects that target underserved or high-risk populations. Projects should have multiple collaborators and should incorporate several of the following efforts:

  • Encourage healthy lifestyles.
  • Promote physical activity.
  • Promote fitness and nutrition education.
  • Support parental involvement in their children’s lives.
  • Provide access to safe facilities and neighborhoods for physical activity.
  • Directly support adequate and healthy nutrition.

Examples of the kinds of “multi-level” projects the foundation might support are provided here.

Grants will be awarded for periods of up to three years. Grantees must provide at least a one-to-one match in funding, which may come from various sources. Up to half of the matching funds may be in kind.

Fit for public broadcasting: The Challenge for a Healthier Louisiana offers a great opportunity for public media to collaborate with other community organizations. Public media is exceptionally positioned to advance the promotional and educational goals of the Challenge (promoting fitness and nutrition, promoting parental involvement, promoting physical activity). Public media in Louisiana could also implement other initiatives such as youth media projects focused on healthy eating. For examples of what other stations are doing around the country to build healthier communities, listen to this Grant Center webinar on Health Funding.

Eligibility: Challenge applicants must be Louisiana-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit agencies.

Deadline: Challenge applicants must submit a letter of intent by January 13, 2012. Final applications are due April 30, 2012.

How to apply: The foundation is offering several informational workshops around the state for organizations interested in applying for Challenge grants. Complete information on how to apply is available here. Challenge applicants must provide evidence of prior effectiveness of proposed project components to receive full consideration for funding. Support from research studies, pilot programs, or related projects as to the effectiveness of one or more of the components of the proposed project is critical.

Giving range: Challenge for a Healthier Louisiana grants will range from $250,000 - $1,000,000.

The 2008-2010 Corporate Social Responsibility Report is accessible from this page.

This Grant Center profile is a synopsis of the foundation and its giving, based on currently available information. It is not intended to be a comprehensive source. Be sure to consult the foundation website for additional information.


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