FAQ's

Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about the Social Impact Fund.

How does the Social Impact Fund work?

The Social Impact Fund invests in qualified organizations that operate in under-resourced communities with grants or loans needed to implement sustainable solutions to address social determinants of health.  

I have an idea. What types of organizations does the Social Impact Fund support?

The Social Impact Fund supports entrepreneurs, small businesses and organizations in under-served communities whose programs address economic and social conditions that can affect a person’s health. These issues include social cohesion, employment, education, housing and food access. 

Does the organization seeking funding need to be well-established? 

The Social Impact Fund will invest into organizations at all business stages, provided they address the social determinants of health.

How are Social Impact Fund investees chosen?

An advisory committee comprising American Heart Association volunteers and executives will review investment recommendations.
Potential investees are likely to have:

  • demonstrated ability to drive change in under-resourced communities,
  • an organic connection to the community itself and
  • an ability to scale for maximum health impact.

Is the Social Impact Fund seeking funders?

Yes. Growing the Social Impact Fund 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 socialimpactfund@heart.org

What are the fund’s target communities?

Initial projects have been in Boston, Flint and Chicago. Future projects will be in rural areas and strategic metro areas.
 

Why is the Social Impact Fund critical?

About 50 million people in the U.S. are at higher risk for cardiovascular disease because they lack the most basic necessities — 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 healthcare facilities means building clinic-to-community bridges through high-impact partners and deeply rooted community institutions. The Social Impact Fund provides the means to support these efforts. 


Social Influencers of Health


Your ZIP code and race shouldn’t influence how long you live, but they do. They’re called Social Influencers of Health (SIH). girl standing in a garden holding a vegtable

In the News

Meet the innovator reaching those considered unreachable. Cherie Craft shares a laugh with a child at Smart from the Start, the Boston organization she founded to help economically disadvantaged children. Cherie Craft shares a laugh with a child at Smart from the Start