Our Story

Health Does Not Only Happen in a Doctor’s Office—it Also Happens in Our Homes, Our Schools, and Our Communities

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Every aspect of our life impacts our health.

Access to affordable, quality health coverage when you’re sick is important, but we believe that Californians need neighborhood environments that support health.

Californians need neighborhoods where:

  • Children can ride bikes and play together in nearby parks
  • Parents can buy healthy, affordable foods at local markets
  • Everyone feels safe walking to school or work

Californians need schools where:

  • Quality school food and beverages are the norm
  • Exercise is part of the school day
  • Social-emotional health is promoted, leading to improved behavior and better decision-making

Whether you just stepped foot in California or you were born and raised here, we want your communities, and the local and statewide policies—or “rules”—that affect your life to work for everyone.

With smart grant making good leadership, and people power, we believe we can make the state of health in California better for all.



The California Endowment’s mission is to expand access to affordable, quality health care for underserved individuals and communities and to promote fundamental improvements in the health status of all Californians.

With smart grant making—which we call “change making”—good leadership, and people power, we believe we can make the state of health in California better for all. We don’t focus on prescriptions.

We focus on fixing broken systems and outdated policies, ensuring the balance of power is with the people.

We don’t focus on the individual, we focus on the larger community as an ecosystem of health. We work with citizens and elected leaders to find lasting solutions to impact the most people we possibly can.

The goal is simple: First, change the way people view health—from the notion that health happens in the doctor’s office to a belief that health happens where you live, work, learn, and play.

We call this “narrative change.” Second, integrate smart solutions in communities across the state. We do this by working with our partners and grantees to fundamentally change “the rules”—laws, policies, and systems—that impede health in our communities.

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We follow the ABC’s of health equity

The core ingredients of health equity are Agency, Belonging, and Change Conditions. With these in place, there’s better health and more equity for everyone living in California.

Our Commitment


We envision a California that leads the nation as a powerful and conscientious voice for wellness, inclusion, and shared prosperity.

  • Where the talent and genius of all young people are no longer left on the sidelines, but are central to the state’s future;
  • Where California invests in the wellness of all and assures meaningful opportunities for all, particularly the next generations, and those who have been excluded from opportunity because of discrimination, marginalization and stigmatization;
  • Where there is racial truth and reconciliation, justice and healing;
  • Where public institutions are responsive to, and reflective of, the will of all the people;
  • Where all have voice, and are empowered to participate in a robust democracy;
  • Where health destiny is not determined by a person’s ZIP code;
  • Ultimately making California the nation’s healthiest state, and a model that fulfills America’s true promise of equality and justice for all people.
  • Together we will work toward a California for All in the 21st Century.

In support of this vision, The California Endowment will invest in three bold ideas in the decade to come.

These ideas have been shaped by our last decade of listening to and engaging with young people
and grassroots communities across our state. These three ideas are:

People Power

People Power

Developing young and adult leaders to work intergenerationally to raise up the voice of marginalized communities and promote greater civic activism as essential building blocks for an inclusive, equitably prosperous state.

Reimagined Public Institutions

Reimagined Public Institutions

Transforming our public institutions to become significant investors in, and champions of, racial and social equity, and in the healthy development and success of young people for generations to come.

A 21st century “Health for All” System

A 21st century “Health for All” System

Ensuring prevention, community wellness, and access to quality health care for ALL Californians.

These three bold ideas reflect our belief that California will be a healthier place to live and a model for the nation when it is free from social inequality and racial injustice.

Our clean bill of health


We were endowed with the funds and the mandate to ensure health and justice for all.

The 17-person Board and its committees help decide The Endowment’s grant-making priorities. All the rules around how these funds can be spent are outlined in the documents below. These documents keep us principled and The Endowment working.

Articles of incorporation

The California Endowment is a public benefit corporation. We are not for profit.

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How we govern: code of ethics

Guidelines for how the Board of Directors and staff should represent us publicly.

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Everyday bylaws

The rules for our day-to-day work.

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Conflict of interest policy

A few reminders to keep The Endowment’s work honest and wholly independent from the personal motivations of The Endowment’s Board or staff.

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Committee charters

Individual missions for each of the Board of Directors’ committees under The Endowment.

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Our past, present and future


We are a private non-profit, statewide foundation that works to make California a healthier place for all.

We were created in 1996 when Blue Cross of California acquired the for-profit subsidiary WellPoint Health Networks. Today, with more than $3 billion in assets, The Endowment is the largest private health foundation in the state.

Each and every day The California Endowment and its community partners seek ways to improve the state of health in California.

Since inception, the Endowment has awarded more than 22,000 grants totaling over $2.9 billion to community-based organizations throughout California.

Unveiling Our 2023 Annual Report

The California Endowment is proud to present our 2023 annual report. Read about the work we are supporting and our partners who are changing California to a state of belonging and inclusion.

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youth awards

The 2024 Youth Awards Nominations are Closed

Thanks to each of you who took the time to nominate. We are now diligently working on selecting the winners from an incredible pool of nominees. Stay connected for the upcoming announcement.

Learn about the Youth Awards