The ability to take part in policymaking from the ballot box to the legislative chamber is fundamental to the health of every person, but too few of us have the resources or know-how to participate. We need the tools to support strong, enduring civic engagement in all our communities, so we can elect leaders and shape policies for a quality life and good health. Northwest Health Foundation is calling our five-year initiative to do this work Civic Health. 



Civic Health’s Strategy:

  • Boldly resource and support 501(c)3 and 501(c)4 organizations led by Black people, Indigenous people and people of color (BIPOC)

  • Build independent political power and infrastructure using Integrated Voter Engagement (IVE)

  • Connect urban and rural communities across Oregon and Southwest Washington

  • Appoint leaders, elect candidates and move important policies


Civic Health’s Goals:

  • Build the skills and infrastructure in BIPOC communities to elect leaders and change policies at the local and state level so everyone has access to the resources and opportunities they need

  • Develop leaders and talent rooted in, and supportive of, BIPOC communities

  • Establish a vibrant democratic culture that values, centers and supports BIPOC


BIPOC Leadership

Race/ethnicity is one of the strongest predictors of lifelong health. We don’t think this bias is right, so Civic Health places Black, Indigenous and people-of-color-led (BIPOC) organizations at the forefront of this work. We also recognize that intersecting factors like geography, disability and class compound to create even greater barriers to civic engagement and health. Civic Health will emphasize the leadership of people and organizations that work at these intersections.


Integrated Voter Engagement

Civic Health will use the Integrated Voter Engagement (IVE) framework. IVE organizations register and turn people out to vote, mobilize their base to change policy and hold elected officials accountable during and between elections. They also strive to build long-term relationships and trust with communities rather than episodic or transactional engagement. In using IVE across the program, Civic Health grantees will work together to create a vibrant democratic culture and build independent political power. A community has independent political power when it can influence decision-making without relying on mainstream political institutions like political parties.

Ten small circles surround a larger circle that contains the words “Integrated Voter Engagement.” Each smaller circle has an icon inside it and words beside it: a person holding a picket sign, next to the words “Hold electeds Accountable;” a set of scales, next to the words “Defend & Expand voting rights;” two overlapping speech bubbles, next to the words “Engage & Educate the Electorate;” A person from the shoulders up with a checkmark on their chest, next to the words “Register Voters;” A pencil drawing a checkmark in a box, next to the words “Get Out the Vote;” a checkmark inside a shield, next to the words “Protect the Vote;” People standing in a circle, next to the words “Organize & Mobilize Communities;” A person standing on a box, arm raised, with a person on either side of them, next to the words “Develop Strong Leaders;” a capitol building, next to the words “Achieve policy impact;” a megaphone, next to the words “Persuade the public.”


July 31, 2019 - Assessment & Planning Call for Applications opens

October 1, 2019 - Assessment & Planning CFA closes

November 2019 - Groups invited to participate in Assessment & Planning

January - March 2020 - Assessment & Planning process meetings

Summer - Fall 2020 - Civic Health Request for Proposals opens

December 2020 - Civic Health groups selected

January 2021 - First Civic Health grants disbursed

2021 - 2025 - Civic Health initiative


Contact Us

If you have questions, please contact Jen Matheson, Director of Programs, at or 971.230.1292.