Frequently Asked Questions
What is the AHA’s Impact Investment Group?
The American Heart Association is committed to working with communities to break down social and economic barriers and generate positive, large-scale health outcomes. The AHA’s Impact Investment Group supports local organizations and businesses addressing access to food security and nutrition, poverty reduction, economic resilience and health care.
Through equitable financial support, local for-profit and nonprofit enterprises (with budgets less than $5 million) can gain immediate access to resources so they can scale quickly and transform their communities with sustainable, community-driven solutions.
Resources are currently available through two different funds:
Bernard J. Tyson Impact Fund Social Impact Fund
How does the Impact Investment Group work?
The Impact Investment Group invests in qualified organizations that operate in under-resourced communities with grants or loans to implement sustainable solutions to social determinants of health.
What types of organizations does the Impact Investment Group support?
The Impact Investment Group supports entrepreneurs, small businesses and organizations in under-resourced communities that address economic and social conditions that can affect a person’s health. For more information, please see our target investment areas, the social determinants of health.
Does the organization seeking funding need to be well-established?
The Impact Investment Group invests in organizations at all business stages with proof of concept that address the social determinants of health.
How are Impact Investment Group social enterprises selected?
The Governance Committee, comprising of American Heart Association volunteers and executives, review investment recommendations. We’re committed to executing a quick, yet rigorous, evaluation process that deploys capital within a short time. Every recipient undergoes a thorough financial, impact and on-site evaluation, with input from external experts and local community members, to determine the viability of large-scale impact.
Potential social enterprises are likely to have:
- Demonstrated ability to drive change in under-resourced communities
- An organic connection to the community
- An ability to scale for maximum health impact
Are the Social Impact Funds seeking funders and philanthropic support?
Yes, growing the Social Impact Funds will allow the American Heart Association to support more community-led solutions nationwide. If you’re interested in accelerating community transformation alongside the American Heart Association, email the Social Impact Funds team.
Why are the Social Impact Funds critical?
About 50 million people in the U.S. are at higher risk for cardiovascular disease because they lack basic necessities, including access to healthy food, clean air and drinking water, quality education, employment and housing. These factors can contribute to how long and how well you live. For example, two neighborhoods located just five miles apart can have a 20-year gap in life expectancy.
The American Heart Association believes that improving health and practicing self-care outside of health care facilities builds clinic-to-community bridges through high-impact partners and deeply rooted community institutions.
How is funding from the Impact Investment Group different from traditional funding opportunities?
We recognize that communities often have the solutions but lack funding to make an even greater impact. Through our Impact Investment Group funds, we’re working directly with nonprofits and social entrepreneurs to resolve health inequities in their communities by providing the financial resources to scale the work of local enterprises and transform lives.
The AHA’s Impact Investment Group funds are:
- Focused on social changes that impact health outcomes, not medical interventions.
- Available in any community with a need and solution—in large cities, suburban and rural areas or Native American territories.
- Not limited to a specific problem or segment of health (i.e., heart disease).
How are the Impact Investment Group funds implemented in a local community, and what’s the process and timeline?
The timeline from the public announcement to the announcement of the recipients in a funded market is about three months and includes the following key milestones:
- Public Announcement and Expressions of Interest Window Opens / Begin accepting Expressions of Interest (EOI) via an online portal.
- Virtual Town Hall with Local Community
- EOI Window Closes
- EOI Review Period
- Alignment Meeting with Funder
- Funding Recommended to Governance Committee
- New Recipients Announced
- Second Window and Recipients Announced
What is the Virtual Town Hall?
The Virtual Town Hall is an hour-long meeting with local businesses and organizations interested in receiving funding from the Social Impact Fund. Information about the fund and how to submit an Expressions of Interest will be presented by national and local American Heart Association staff.
Also, we invite community members to join us for the Virtual Town Hall to discuss the most critical needs in their community and determine how the Social Impact Fund can help drive sustainable change.
What information should be included in Expressions of Interest?
We ask for a few short paragraphs about the challenge being addressed, expected impacts and what it will cost (proposed budget). We don’t require documents, but applicants can upload supporting materials they would like to share.
Who should I contact if I have questions?
For questions about the Impact Investment Group, please email the Social Impact Funds team.