The mission of The California Wellness Foundation is to improve the health of the people of California by making grants for health promotion, wellness education and disease prevention. Since its founding, Cal Wellness has awarded 8,265 grants totaling more than $950 million.
Guided by our mission, we pursue the following goals through our grantmaking:
The Foundation's grantmaking is grounded in the social determinants of health research that states that where people live and work, their race and ethnicity, and their income can impact their health and wellness. It’s the Foundation’s desire to help “level the playing field” so that everyone has access to good-paying jobs, safe neighborhoods and quality health care services.
We begin by defining health as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. As the World Health Organization has noted, characteristics of a healthy community include:
Wellness is a state of optimal health and well-being, achieved through the active pursuit of good health and the removal of barriers to healthy living, both personal and societal. Wellness is the ability of people and communities to reach their fullest potential in the broadest sense.
Social, economic and environmental factors all play a role in ensuring the wellness of communities throughout California.
Cal Wellness believes that every individual is personally responsible for adopting healthy habits. Widespread agreement exists about the dangers of smoking and substance abuse, the importance of physical and emotional fitness, and the effectiveness of good nutrition.
But the pursuit of wellness is more than just an individual endeavor. In underserved communities, residents can promote health by mobilizing to reduce violence, confront environmental health hazards, open up new opportunities for youth and create equitable access to quality health care.
We believe the most successful community health programs develop the capacity of local leadership and institutions to create healthier environments. For this reason, we provide grants for programs that build on existing community strengths, emphasize community potential and foster self-determination.