Boston Children’s Collaboration for Community Health

Determination of Need/Community Health (DoN/CHI) Initiative Commitment

Boston Children’s has an opportunity to build on our history of partnering with the community to make a significant impact on the health of children and families over the next 10 years. Boston Children's will distribute funds as part of an agreement with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health's Determination of Need/Community Health Initiative program.

These funds—Boston Children’s Collaboration for Community Health—will be distributed to community organizations in addition to our ongoing commitments and support for programs and partners.  In the summer of 2018, Boston Children's released its first round of funding through the Collaboration for Community Health.  The focus of this round of funding were the strategic areas of: 

Zero to Five Child Health and Development
This area provides funding to organizations that benefit the well-being of children birth to 5 years old, including training of early childhood educators, strengthening the quality of early education and increasing access to parenting resources and support services.

Family Housing Stability and Economic Opportunity
This category provides funding to organizations undertaking activities that keep children and families in their homes and/or foster youth and family economic stability and mobility.

Community Physical Activity, Recreation and Food Access
This area provides funding to organizations conducting projects to increase youth physical activity and recreation opportunities and/or increase the access to and consumption of healthy food options.

A total of $11 million will be distributed to community organizations-our funded partners- over the next three years in these categories.

Funded Partner Stories

We are pleased to profile the Collaboration for Community Health funded partners and will continue to share their stories here.

Boston Basics and Families First
Birth to Age Three: Healthy Children, Supported Parents

Boston Housing Authority
Home is Where the Heart Is

Waltham Boys and Girls Club
Helping Hands, Healthy Habits

Funding Opportunity


How to apply for funds

Through the Collaboration for Community Health, Boston Children’s will fund: 1) programs and services, 2) policy and advocacy efforts and 3) systems change and coordination projects in key strategic areas that will improve the health and well-being of children and families. This will be a highly competitive selection process. Decisions will be made by selection committees made up of Boston Children’s staff and other external representatives with expertise in the strategic areas.

For details on the strategy and the process to identify the strategic areas, please read the Funding Strategy Report.

Key Dates

  • Friday February 1, 2019 at 5 PM, Full Proposal Deadline for Mental Health and Youth Support Systems and Community Trauma Response
  • Week of March 18, 2019, Notification of funding decisions in these categories 

Eligibility for funds

  • Funds can not be used to provide medical services, support clinical trials, construct or renovate health care facilities or substitute funds currently being used to support similar activities.
  • Tax-exempt organizations or organizations with a fiscal sponsor are eligible to apply.
  • Applicants must demonstrate alignment with the core principles identified for the Collaboration for Community Health.
  • Organizations must have been in existence for at least 3 years.
  • Practices or entities owned by Boston Children’s are not eligible to receive funds but may serve as collaborators.
  • Preference will be given to program and service proposals that benefit children and families located in Greater Boston. Proposals for policy and advocacy as well as systems change and coordination that have the potential for statewide applicability from areas outside of Greater Boston will be considered.

If you have questions, email us at

Core Principles – Collaboration for Community Health

Selection and funding decisions will be based on a project’s alignment with the below core principles:

  1. Foster children’s healthy equity. Provide resources to level the playing field and lay the groundwork for children and youth to grow into healthy, happy, resilient and productive adults, especially among those who are disproportionately impacted by racial/ethnic and socioeconomic inequities in health and the social determinants of health.
  2. Support and build community capacity. Embrace the wisdom and strength of communities and foster conditions that support effective and culturally competent approaches to health where children live, learn and play.
  3. Promote cross-sector collaboration. Develop new and existing partnerships among public, private, and/or non-profit institutions in which individuals from partner organizations commit various resources and agree to work cooperatively toward common goals to improve children’s health.
  4. Build on existing strengths and encourage new ideas. Build upon existing strengths, support emerging or promising ideas, and develop entirely new ideas to leverage precious resources and address intractable and persistent challenges for children’s health.
  5. Strengthen the integration of social and community health services and systems. Minimize burden, enhance capacity, and improve accessibility of systems that support children’s and families’ health and social needs.
  6. Encourage sustainability of efforts. Support strategies designed to achieve long-lasting improvements in children’s health.


Community Mission

Boston Children’s community mission is to improve the health and well-being of children and families in our local community. The hospital leverages its resources with community partners to address health disparities and improve child health outcomes.

Learn more

Community Mission