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Advancing Community wellness in the Coachella Valley

Grants Program

New and Improved Grant Management Platform Launching June 15, 2023. More information.

Desert Healthcare District (DHCD) Grants Program

The Desert Healthcare District’s grant program supports collaborative processes and invests in the services and programs of local nonprofits, health service providers, and public agencies that align with and advance the District’s mission and vision. Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the District adopted five interim strategic areas for our FY 2020-21 grantmaking process to be responsive to the needs of our community. The five areas focus on health infrastructure, behavioral/mental health, homelessness, vital human services to people with chronic conditions, economic protection/recovery/food insecurity. By addressing and building on these key community health issues, the Desert Healthcare District hopes to connect and foster deeper collaboration between local agencies to better understand and mitigate the impact of social determinants of health in our community.

Please review the following four items before proceeding to the DHCD grantmaking process

In accordance with Desert Healthcare District's mission and strategic plan, it is the policy of the Desert Healthcare District to provide guidelines for grants and mini-grants to support health and wellness programs/projects for the benefit of the District residents and in alignment with the California Health and Safety Code requirements. Each year the Board of Directors will allocate a budget for both grants and mini-grants. Click here to read the complete policy.

Under California law (Labor Code sections 1720 et seq. and 1770 et seq.), any work paid for in whole or in part with public funds, including funds from the Desert Healthcare District, may require that workers be paid at the prevailing wage rates. Prevailing wage is essentially a minimum wage for various classifications of construction workers. The rule applies to construction, alteration, demolition, installation, repair, or maintenance of property if the total value of the work is $1,000 or more. These rates are often higher than standard wages, and the additional cost should be factored into the project budget. Grant recipients may be liable for back wages and other costs if they fail to inform their contractors of this requirement, and therefore any contracts for such work must state that the prevailing wage rates apply. More information is available from the Department of Industrial Relations.

California Assembly Bill 2019 (AB 2019) became law as of January 1, 2019. This law, in particular, Section 3 – Section 32139 of the Health and Safety Code 9.5 states: A prohibition against individual meetings regarding grant applications between a grant applicant and a district board member, officer, or staff outside of the district’s established grant awards process. A district’s established grant awards process may include the provision of technical assistance to grant applicants, upon request, by district grant program staff.

The Desert Healthcare District and Foundation began the year 2020 by launching an unprecedented, participatory, community-driven health needs assessment and a long-term health improvement plan. The results of this work will inform our collective investments for years to come, and provide access to meaningful, comprehensible data to our stakeholders. This body of work is expected to be completed by early 2021. In the meantime, the outbreak of COVID-19 exposed the inadequacy of our healthcare infrastructure to respond to unexpected health-related events, and amplified the intersection of public health, healthcare, and the economy. DHCD reacted to the unforeseen events by repurposing and focusing its grantmaking dollars. Grants were made to support the critical work of healthcare providers and human service programs serving vulnerable populations. Additionally, we contributed to a collaborative economic protection plan to safeguard Coachella Valley families. Click here to read the full statement.

DHCD Grantmaking

The Desert Healthcare District’s mission can be achieved in part by providing grant resources to projects and programs which align with our grant guidelines. We respond to grant requests initiated by eligible organizations through our online application process. We occasionally use a Request for Proposal (RFP) to target grants for programs and projects that best support the District’s goals.

The Desert Healthcare District’s Board-approved and established grant awards process is a two-stage process that begins with a Letter of Interest (LOI). Once the LOI has been submitted, staff, under the law (AB-2019), can provide technical assistance to the grantee

What types of grants are available?

  • Mini Grants: A mini-grant provides up to $5,000 per one request in a fiscal year. A mini-grant is an opportunity to build the capacity of smaller health initiatives for organizations that may not have the capacity for larger programs or projects.
  • Grants: A grant provides an organization more than $5,000 of support per request. Grants are intended for larger programs and initiatives, whose focus is to address one of the DHCD’s five strategic areas and improve District residents’ health and wellness.

Who is Eligible?

  • 501(c)(3) nonprofit and tax-exempt organizations, a governmental, tribal, or public entity, including, healthcare service providers such as federally qualified health centers, and local clinics.

Who is not eligible?

  • Individuals
  • Endowment Campaigns
  • Retirement of debt
  • Annual campaigns, fundraising events or expenses related to fundraising
  • Programs that proselytize or promote any religion or sect, or deny services to potential beneficiaries based upon religious beliefs
  • Political campaigns or other partisan political activities, including lobbying public officials
  • Unfunded government mandates
  • Replacement funds to allow funding to be shifted to other programs or budget areas prior to grant approval
  • Capital Projects (on hold until further notice)
  • Organizations that discriminate against certain groups or individuals in the delivery of programs and services based on race, religion, national origin, gender, age, sexual orientation, or disability


  • Organizations must directly serve residents of the Desert Healthcare District
  • Organizations must address one of the Desert Healthcare District’s five strategic areas
  • Except for mini grant recipients, organizations must have current audited financial statements