The Basic Needs/Direct Service Grants Program is a competitive grants program in which organizations can seek grants of $500 to $5,000 to provide direct service in the form of material aid such as food, personal needs items, and emergency assistance to poor and vulnerable populations in our service area. We are interested in supporting programs that strengthen individuals and families by addressing their basic needs, while also enabling them to take a step forward by connecting them with other needed services.


Your organization is eligible if all of the following are true:

  1. Applicant organization is a tax-exempt nonprofit under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or a public institution.
  2. Applicant organization has been in operation and provided services for at least one year.
  3. The project will positively impact residents in one or more of the counties in our service area:
    • West Virginia: Calhoun, Jackson, Pleasants, Ritchie, Roane, Tyler, Wirt, Wood
    • Ohio: Athens, Meigs, Washington
  4. Provision of basic needs is already a demonstrated and integral part of the mission and activities of the organization.
West Virginia
  1. Wood
  2. Pleasants
  3. Tyler
  4. Ritchie
  5. Wirt
  6. Calhoun
  7. Roane
  8. Jackson
  1. Washington
  2. Athens
  3. Meigs


  • Funds shall be used solely for the granted purpose.
  • Funded activities shall commence in a timely manner and expenditures shall be made within the period agreed to by the agency and the Sisters Health Foundation.
  • Grantee organizations shall submit an activity and budget report within 30 days of grant completion.
  • Grant requests should range between $500 and $5,000

New Application Process

Starting in Fall 2023, we are initiating a new process for Basic Needs/Direct Services grants, designed to simplify the process of seeking assistance. Our goal is to save organizations time that can be put to use in serving those in need. The process involves a conversation with you, after which the Sisters Health Foundation staff will draft a grant request for you to review and complete.

The best way to get started is to send an email to Marian Clowes, Associate Director, at mclowes@sistershealthfdn.org. Once we receive your email, one of our program staff members will contact you to set up a time to have a conversation. Click here to access our Conversation Guide, which will help you to prepare for our discussion. Emailing us first allows time for both you and the staff to prepare for the conversation.

If you prefer to call, you can reach us at 304-424-6080. Depending on our availability, a staff member may be able to talk with you about your project when you call, or we may need to set up a later time for the conversation. Either way, reviewing the Conversation Guide prior to calling will help you to be prepared for the information that we will discuss.

If your project is a good fit for our Basic Needs/Direct Services program, after the conversation, our staff will draft a grant application for your organization. When the draft is ready, we will ask you to log into our online system to review the application (editing it as needed), attach a project budget, and submit the application by the deadline date. We will send specific instructions to you about finalizing the application.

We encourage you to contact us, either by email or phone, at least two weeks prior to the grant application deadline, in order to allow adequate time for the conversation and application preparation.


The Sisters Health Foundation has two grant cycles per year. Materials should be submitted online no later than midnight on the respective deadline date.

Cycle Opens Online Full Application Due Grant Notifications Sent
Spring 2024 January 17, 2024 February 2024
Fall 2024 July 17, 2024 August 2024

Additional Guidelines

  • No more than 10% of the grant can be used for administrative purposes.
  • Organizations may apply once a year and are limited to a maximum of $5,000 per 12-month period.

We are unable to make grants to:

  • Endowment funds
  • Individuals
  • Organizations seeking retroactive funding for projects that have been completed or will be complete prior to the grant decision date
  • Organizations that engage in proselytizing as part of their mission or programs

For any questions about using the online application system, please contact Shei Sanchez at 304-424-6080 Ext. 101 or ssanchez@sistershealthfdn.org.

Evaluation Criteria

A Basic Needs/Direct Service request is evaluated on the basis of its practical approach, how it will advance the larger mission of the organization, the organization’s capacity and budget, and the cost to achieve results.