Frequently Asked Questions


Why was Group Health Community Foundation created?

Group Health Community Foundation was created to carry on Group Health’s legacy of social impact after Kaiser Permanente acquired Group Health Cooperative. Group Health’s Board of Trustees wanted to ensure that Group Health’s mission and vision would be honored into the future through this new foundation.

Group Health’s mission and vision were bold: create a health system grounded in the principles of social justice and provide affordable, preventive, person-centered health care. These principles and Group Health’s values of caring, innovation, excellence, equity, and inclusion are cornerstones of Group Health Community Foundation.

Working with people across the state, Group Health Community Foundation endeavors to tackle health inequities and reimagine how foster health in Washington and beyond.

How is this new organization related to Kaiser Permanente?

Group Health Community Foundation is independent and not related to Kaiser Permanente. Group Health Community Foundation’s board of directors and staff leadership are responsible for developing strategies consistent with the founding articles and based on research, data, and community input.

What will this new organization do? What is the process for determining priorities and allocating funding? What is the timing of grant making?

Group Health Community Foundation’s investment priorities and strategies will be developed over time, following a thorough process that includes listening to and learning from communities, as well as examining data—as required by our articles of incorporation. We want to ensure that resources truly address the needs of Washington’s people. Group Health Community Foundation will rely on research insights, partnerships, and the wisdom of the community.

We anticipate that establishing community investment priorities and strategies will take at least a year. Group Health Community Foundation will then determine the process for allocating grants across the state.

If you are interested in sharing your ideas with us, or would like to receive periodic updates, please visit our Connect with Us page.

If Group Health Community Foundation is an independent organization, why are there former Group Health Cooperative Trustees on the Board?

For continuity, the board of directors includes four people who were member-elected Trustees of Group Health Cooperative. These individuals bring deep knowledge of Group Health’s history, and will help carry on Group Health’s legacy of social impact. They also understand Group Health’s values of accountability, caring, excellence, equity, inclusion, and innovation, and will help infuse these values into the Foundation’s culture.

What will happen to the current Group Health Foundation? Where will my donations go in the future?

Group Health Foundation is continuing as a separate 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and a subsidiary of Group Health Community Foundation.

Group Health Foundation’s donor-driven funds remain distinct from Group Health Community Foundation, and will continue to be invested in efforts to improve health through immunizations, innovation, and patient care. This includes stewarding endowed and donor-designated funds that our patients and members contribute so people can get great care at Kaiser Permanente of Washington.

By contributing to Group Health Foundation, you have an opportunity to change people’s lives and be part of Group Health’s legacy as it lives on in this new way.

What does it mean that this organization is “organized under section 501(c)(4)” of the Internal Revenue Code?

Group Health Community Foundation is a nonprofit organization like Group Health Cooperative—with many of the same obligations and commitments to contribute to charitable and social welfare purposes. In addition to funding and supporting the kinds of activities outlined above, our status as a “(c)(4)” enables Group Health Community Foundation to advocate more boldly for public policy to improve health. We believe that addressing inequity and improving health and well-being over the long term will require a range of approaches including both policy change and diverse community-based efforts.

Are there other organizations like Group Health Community Foundation?

There are similar (though certainly not identical) foundations across the country that have comparable structures and aspirations to Group Health Community Foundation. Here are a few examples of organizations with some similarities: