Wisconsin Grants to
Improve Health

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AHW regularly issues requests for applications (RFAs) for funding. We do not accept unsolicited proposals.

The following section includes open RFAs for grant awards, or RFAs that will be opening in the future.

  • Learning Event Support
  • Experiential Projects in Community Health
  • Seed Grants
  • Learning Event Support

    How can Wisconsin’s health workforce engage in opportunities to build knowledge, skills, and connections?

    AHW’s Learning Event Support funding opportunity aims to improve the health of the people of our state by advancing Wisconsin’s health workforce to be increasingly more accessible, equipped, and representative to improve health for all Wisconsin residents. 

    Funding will support Wisconsin-based learning events that build knowledge, skills, and networks among current Wisconsin-based health professionals and the next generation of leaders to explore new ideas that can be applied to their work to improve health in Wisconsin communities. 

    Eligible applicants may request up to $5,000 in funding to support direct, event-specific expenses. Learning event support awards are limited to one award per event. 

    • Up to $100,000 is available to support up to 20 community-led grants hosted by eligible organizations. 
    • And $100,000 in funding is available to support up to 20 MCW-led learning events hosted by MCW faculty. 

    Successful applications will 

    • Describe a key learning gap that the event aims to address 
    • Identify a targeted group of learning event participants that make up Wisconsin’s current or future health workforce, and how they will put the skills and knowledge they gain into action to advance health and/or health equity in the state. 

  • Experiential Projects in Community Health

    This funding opportunity supports Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) learners in carrying out community-based health improvement projects with Wisconsin-based community organizations to support the advancement of Wisconsin’s health workforce and community health initiatives.

    Successful applicants will identify a community-based health need that has an impact on Wisconsin communities and engage with an eligible MCW faculty member and community collaborator to propose and implement an approach to meet the need.

    Promising projects should demonstrate how the proposed project will positively contribute to long-term health and health equity in Wisconsin. Applicants should also show how the proposed project will positively impact Wisconsin’s health workforce through the applicant’s proposed learning and potential impact on their career path. Each project may request up to $5,000 for direct, non-personnel, project-specific expenses.

  • Seed Grants

    Wisconsin faces particular challenges when it comes to health and health equity. Addressing them requires innovation. 

    Seed Grants are available to test new approaches, collaboratively incubate novel ideas, and strengthen partnerships to support larger, longer-term efforts to improve health and advance health equity.

    Funding is available to two types of teams:

    • Community-led teams, where a Wisconsin-based nonprofit or government agency partners with an MCW faculty member or learner
    • MCW-led teams comprised of MCW faculty

    By planting seeds for initial exploration and discovery, funded projects will be able to build a foundation to address Wisconsin’s leading health challenges and propel their novel ideas and project learnings into larger endeavors leading to deeper, long-term impact on health and health equity for Wisconsin residents.

    Applicants are able to request up to $50,000 to carry out their projects.

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The following resources will assist grant seekers in understanding the mission and goals of AHW.

  • AHW’s Five-Year Plan
  • Our Focus Areas
  • Supplanting Criteria
  • Allowable Costs
  • Application Tips
  • Get in Touch
  • AHW’s Five-Year Plan

    Since 2004, we have worked to improve the health of the people of Wisconsin by serving as a catalyst for positive change in the health of communities statewide. We invest in high-impact solutions, connect communities to researchers and educators to improve impact, and influence how partners can collaboratively move networks and ideas into action.

    We are committed to a more involved philanthropic approach to actively help to shape the solutions to improve Wisconsin’s health. During the five-year period of 2019-2023, we aim to move the needle on Wisconsin’s health through our investments and changemaking roles, while looking to strengthen our commitment to address the determinants of health that lead to poor health outcomes and unacceptable health disparities. 

    This five-year plan lays out how we will build on the efforts and experiences of the past to achieve greater results for the future. It is our strategic roadmap for improving health for everyone in every corner of our state.

  • Our Focus Areas

    AHW is committed to advancing three health priorities in Wisconsin: improving heart health, supporting healthy minds, and dismantling cancer. By focusing on these areas of focus, we are targeting solutions from cells to society through research, education and workforce development, and community health initiatives. 

    Alongside our work across these issues, we aim to accelerate opportunity, innovation, and collaboration by responding to research- and community-identified needs, and reaching beyond investments to influence greater impact statewide. 

    We have identified the following three focus areas.

    • Improving Heart Health. We are seeking projects that advance cardiovascular health by discovering solutions across genetic and biologic factors, health behaviors, and the socioeconomic conditions that lead to poor heart health outcomes.

    • Supporting Healthy Minds. We invest in teams that are advancing brain and behavioral health by seeking solutions across brain conditions, diseases, and injuries, as well as examining the emotions, behaviors, and biology of mental wellness and substance use.

    • Dismantling Cancer. We are investing in solutions that improve understanding, prevention, and survival in the fight against cancer and its causes.

  • Supplanting Criteria

    By order of the Commissioner of Insurance, AHW funds “may not be used to supplant funds or resources that are available from other sources.”

    The MCW Consortium is required to report annually on whether AHW funds are being supplanted. 

    To determine compliance, the partners must certify that no financial resources will be supplanted and provide a complete listing of current funding sources for the project, or similar current or prior projects. Those materials help AHW make an accurate assessment of whether resources are being supplanted versus leveraged. 

    The following criteria are used to make the determination.

    1. Closely related projects or uses and financial resources for related projects or uses. All related projects and uses and financial resources for such related projects and uses should be identified and considered. 

    2. Sources of financial resources for the project or use. Financial support provided by a governmental source for a project or use within the three-year period prior to the date of the application or submittal should be identified. Financial support provided by a source other than a governmental source and other than the Funds for a project or use within the two-year period prior to the date of the application or submission should be identified. 

    3. Availability of federal funding. 

    4. Availability of state funding. Consideration should be made with respect to programs for which state funding has been or may be reduced due to budget cutbacks. Consideration should be made with respect to governmental mandated programs without governmental funding. 

    5. Availability of College corporate funding. College corporate funds are derived from tuition, the academic enrichment fund assessment on clinical revenue, facilities and administrative fees paid under federal grants, investment income on working capital, and unrestricted philanthropy. Consideration should be made whether College corporate funds are available. Expenditures of College corporate funds for a project or use during the two-year period immediately prior to the application or submission for financial support by the Funds should be identified. 

    6. Availability of community funding. Sources of community funds will be determined on a case-by-case basis. Community financial support for a project or use provided during the two-year period immediately prior to the application or submission for financial support by the Funds should be identified. 

    7. Availability of matching funds; opportunities for leveraging. Supplemental uses and limited term funding will be factors in the consideration process. Matching funding and opportunities to leverage the Funds to obtain other funding are to be encouraged. 

    8. Other factors deemed significant by the Dean and Executive Vice President, the Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration, or the MCW Consortium.

  • Allowable Costs

    There are a number of cost considerations that remain critical throughout the funding period. 

    AHW reviews award budgets and all post-award changes for compliance with the governing cost principles and other requirements and policies that apply to the type of award. 

    The decision of whether a proposed cost is allowable or unallowable is based on the grantee’s ability to specifically associate the cost with the project, rather than on the nature of the goods or services.

    • Allowable Expenses are direct expenses that are project-specific and included in the approved AHW project budget.

    • Unallowable Expenses are expenses that may not be incurred using AHW funds, including any indirect expenses such as expenses related to the normal operating functions of the organization. 

    The following criteria apply to all expenses: 

    • Failure to mention a specific cost category does not imply it is either allowable or unallowable. 

    • All purchased materials and supplies must be consumable during the life of the project.

    • Expenses must be demonstrated to be totally or incrementally incurred as a direct association to the approved project aims and objectives. 

    • Expenses using AHW funds may not supplant (replace) funds or resources that are available from other sources. 

    • Sales Tax - Given the nonprofit, tax-exempt status of Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) and AHW Endowment’s partner organizations, sales tax will generally not be reimbursed. To practice appropriate stewardship and maximize the impact of AHW funds, partners should avoid incurring sales tax on purchases. 

    See our full list of allowable and non-allowable expenses here.

  • Application Tips

    AHW uses an online grants management system that is designed to streamline and simplify the application process. We process all applications through our online system, and do not accept paper or emailed applications. Application links are posted to each open funding opportunity's webpage, as each opportunity has a unique application. 

    AHW regularly issues requests for applications (RFAs) for funding awards and encourages all interested, eligible teams to consider applying for an open funding opportunity. We seek partners who share our belief that by working together we can build a healthier Wisconsin today, and for generations to come. 

    When your team is ready to apply, consider the following tips to develop and submit your online application:

    • Building a collaborative application: For many funding opportunities, AHW provides a Word document version of the online application to allow project partners to collaborate in writing the application. We recommend you use this sample document to craft your application, then designate one individual to enter the final application information into the online application form.

    • Saving your work: By entering your email address and password, you can save your work and return to complete it. NOTE: Only one individual from the applicant team should begin and complete an application. 

    • Formatting the online application: AHW’s online application form has character limits that are listed in the sample document. Pay attention to the character limits when copying and pasting information into the online application, as the system will only accept text at the set limit. Special formatting such as colors, bold, underline, or italics will not be captured. In addition, images or tables are not allowed. Please double-check your information before submission. You will receive an error message if all required fields are not filled. 

    • Adding approval signatures: Following submission, signatures will be required from key individuals listed in the application in order to indicate their awareness and support of the application. Following application submission, each individual will receive an email with instructions to complete and submit their signature via DocuSign. Required signatures must be submitted by the signature deadline in order to advance the application to the merit review stage.

  • Get in Touch

    The AHW team is here to help! If you have questions about whether your project idea aligns with an AHW funding opportunity, identifying an eligible partner to join your project team, or submitting an online application, request a pre-application consultation with a member of the AHW team.

    Are you an MCW faculty member interested in learning about AHW’s MCW-led funding opportunities? Reach out to request a pre-application consultation with a member of the AHW team.


We're pleased to support a set of community initiatives and research projects that show great promise to improve health in Wisconsin.