About the Funds


The MA CHHA Funds, through contributions to equitable systems across sectors and the explicit prioritization of people of color and older adults, envisions Massachusetts communities that are transformed so that all residents have an equitable opportunity to have the highest quality of life possible.


Disrupt and remove barriers to health by investing in community-centered innovative change approaches targeting the root causes of inequitable health outcomes. 


As a funder, we embrace the values of Trust Based Philanthropy. In addition, our team values being:  

  • Leaderful, Strategic, and Intentional​ – The Funds team values, hears, and fully utilizes the strengths of all team members intentionally and strategically to sustain the Funds’ long-term work.​ 
  • Bold, Innovative, and Ambitious ​- The Funds team takes risks, thinks outside the box, and is creative in their approaches. The team is committed to anti-racism, challenges bureaucratic systems, and pushes leaders to improve. ​ 
  • Community-Centered​ – The Funds team uplifts community expertise and is supportive, collaborative, and compassionate in their relationships. The team is a resource for grantees and applicants.​ 
  • Accountable – The Funds team is committed to calling out white supremacy culture, maintaining a consistent feedback loop with grantees, and conducting work that is informed by data and lessons learned.   
  • Open to Learning and Growth Together​ – The Funds team brings passion and joy to their work. They are comfortable with vulnerability, utilize conflict resolution skills, and practice equitable approaches to decision making. The team makes space to reflect and actively enhances connections in their work to streamline efforts. ​ 

Leading with Race and Racism

The Funds are using a Leading with Race and Racism approach which recognizes that people of color in Massachusetts have historically and consistently had less opportunity to lead a healthy life. The Funds also recognize that Root Causes can create barriers to health for all types of populations. We encourage communities to lead with Race and Racism explicitly but not exclusively. 


In January 2017, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) completed a landmark revision of the Determination of Need (DoN) regulation which led to the creation of the Massachusetts Community Health and Healthy Aging Funds. 

Prior to the 2017 revision, Community Health Initiative funding (funds hospitals are required to devote to programs improving health) went primarily to the communities that hospitals were located in. This resulted in concentrated funding, primarily in Boston. 

The 2017 revision created the Massachusetts Community Health Funds to receive a portion of Community Health Initiative Funds and re-distribute to communities across the state that have not benefited from these Determination of Need Community Health Initiative funds.  

The Funds provide an opportunity to address the root causes of health inequities in communities across Massachusetts. Health Resources in Action (HRiA) acts as the fiscal agent and is responsible for facilitating the planning and implementation of The Funds. 

Figure 1: The Funds Contribution

The Funds Theory of Change

Figure 2: The Funds Theory of Change

How We Fund

The Funds represent both a grantmaking and capacity-building resource to assist organizations and communities in addressing the root causes of health inequities 

Beginning in 2020 and continuing every other year, the Funds facilitates a competitive grantmaking process awarding between 20-30 grants. Community-based nonprofit organizations, municipalities, quasi-governmental organizations, and community groups or coalitions with a 501c3 fiscal sponsor can apply. 

For more information on our grantmaking, visit the What We Fund page.

For more information about the Massachusetts DoN program, click here.