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Advancing Community wellness in the Coachella Valley


Desert Healthcare District Grant Program –

(NOTE: Our new and improved grant management platform will launch June 1, 2023. More information.) The Desert Healthcare District has adopted a grant program to invest in nonprofits and public agencies whose activities and programs align with the District's strategic goals and objectives, and improve the health and well-being of District residents. 

The District awards grants only to organizations exempt from federal taxation under Section 501(c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code or equivalent exemption, such as a public agency, program or institution. Except for mini grant recipients, organizations must have current audited financial statements.


Organizations must directly serve residents of the Desert Healthcare District. Agencies physically located outside District boundaries may be eligible for funds upon demonstration that the residents of the District will be proportionately served.

Grants are available to organizations whose activities improve residents’ health within one or more focus areas of the District’s strategic plan. Through investment of its grant dollars, the District supports programs, organizations and community collaborations with potential for achieving measurable results. Consideration is given to projects or organizations that:

  • Have proven records of success 
  • Have potential to impact the greatest numbers of District residents 
  • Can demonstrate the greatest potential to positively change health-related behaviors 
  • Are based on research and/or best practices that demonstrate effectiveness 
  • Have data available to measure progress, outcomes and relevance 

Funding Restrictions 

The District does NOT support the following: 

  • Individuals
  • Endowment Campaigns
  • Retirement of debt 
  • Annual campaigns, fundraising events or expenses related to fundraising 
  • Programs that proselytize or promote any particular religion or sect, or deny services to potential beneficiaries based upon religious beliefs 
  • Expenses related to lobbying public officials 
  • Political campaigns or other partisan political activities 
  • 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)

Prevailing Wage Law

A special note for construction and related work. 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. See 

California Assembly Bill 2019 (AB 2019 )

California Assembly Bill (AB 2019) became a 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’s board-approved and established grant awards process begins with a Letter of Intent (LOI).Once the LOI has been submitted,  staff, under the law, can provide the technical assistance to the grantee. 

Grants Policy
Policy Number:   OP-5       

Board Approval Date: 05/28/2019 

BOD Revised Board Approved Policy Procedure: 05/24/2016 

Revised:  02/20/2012

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 & Mini-Grants to provide 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.  

The District Board may amend this policy as needed to be consistent with any state legislation regarding healthcare district grant programs. 

GUIDELINES: 1. The District will administer the grant funds to assure responsible distribution of monies and to maximize the benefit to community members and fairness to grant recipients.  1.a. All grants must align with the Desert Healthcare District’s strategic plan. The strategic plan is available on our website, 1.b. The Board will adopt a grant budget allocation each fiscal year during the annual budget process. (July – June)  1.c. Grant recipients should not assume there exists an entitlement to continued funding nor that similar funding will be available in future years.   

1.d. Grant recipients must accept the District’s standard grant/contract terms and conditions as a stipulation of any grant award.  Grantee who is not in compliance as identified in the Grant Contract may become ineligible to apply for future grants for a period of up to two (2) years 1.e. The District will place a priority on collaboration with community agencies applying for grants, to maximize use of funds and impact while avoiding the fostering of competing programs that may make each such competing programs to become less effective.  Applicants who choose not to collaborate must demonstrate a distinction between their proposed services and those that may already be in place. 

1.1  Grant requestors utilizing a fiscal agent may be considered; the application shall include a copy of a resolution adopted by the fiscal agent organization’s board of directors approving of the action to act as an agent on behalf of the requestor.  1.2  Individual meetings regarding grants between an applicant and a District Board member, officer or staff outside of the established grant process is prohibited.  Staff may provide technical assistance, upon request, from potential and current Grantees. 

Mini Grants

Mini grants allow the Desert Healthcare District community to access support for small health initiatives that possibly do not have the capacity for a large program or project. The mini grant application is processed by the administration of the District. Consideration is contingent upon the availability of funds, community health priorities, and the ability of the applicant to effectively administer the project. The mini grant provides up to $5,000 per one request in a fiscal year (Letter of Interest). Mini grants will be approved administratively by the Chief Executive Officer.

GRANT SCORING: All potential grants will be scored based on this grant application scoring criteria.


Submission of Letter of Interest with 501(c)3 determination letter, program budget (use DHCD form) and current audited financial statements.

STEP 1: Letter of Interest form

Each grant applicant will complete a Letter of Interest. If pre-qualified, District staff will contact the applicant for a proposal conference/possible site visit.

STEP 2: Full Grant Application and Budget Submission

(Access to the online grant application will be granted if all pre-qualifications are met.)

STEP 3: Full Grant Application and Budget Review

  • Staff Review 
  • Program Committee 

STEP 4: Review /Vote

  • Board of Directors