Grant making at IMH is guided by our mission, our core values and by the areas of focus selected by the Foundation. IMH funding is limited, by charter, to Orleans Parish. We do not fund capital projects or individuals.


IMH seeks to strengthen and sustain policies, programs, and providers focusing on early childhood and families with children ages birth to six years.

Early Childhood Program Grants

Through this grantmaking program, IMH will fund programs to increase the number of children ready for kindergarten by building their social and behavioral skills; to increase the social and emotional well-being of children in early childhood programs; to assist parents and caretakers in parenting their children; and to improve the effectiveness of parents and organizations in advocating for programs and policies that address the social and emotional needs of young children. In reviewing applicants, we look for the use of evidence-based approaches. IMH will also fund early intervention and treatment programs for young children with mental health issues.

Child Care Improvement Grants to Promote Diverse DeliveryIMH supports Diverse Delivery, the provision of LA 4 preschool and/or Head Start/Early Head Start services in child care centers. There are several examples of such partnerships in New Orleans. Both Head Start grantee agencies in New Orleans (Total Community Action and the Recovery School District) have contracted with child care centers to locate Early Head Start and Head Start classes within Child Care centers. The Recovery School District has also contracted with several child care centers to provide LA4 classes. In each case, these diverse delivery classrooms meet all the standards for each funding stream and setting involved, providing the highest quality option for the children served.

We are especially encouraged by partnerships between individual public schools and child care centers in their neighborhoods such as the partnership between Langston Hughes Academy and Wilcox’s Academy of Early Learning through which the school is providing LA 4 classes in a nearby child care center. Such partnerships offer many benefits. Children are better prepared for “big school” but located in a familiar and developmentally appropriate setting for pre-k, families are helped to prepare for the transition, schools are assured a class of children prepared to learn, and child care centers are recognized as partners in the larger effort to provide the best quality education for our children.

Additionally, diverse delivery offers the opportunity to braid the scarce funding streams available for early childhood education, maximizing the available state and federal dollars. Over time, we anticipate such partnerships will have the potential to help New Orleans move toward more neighborhood-based schools and provide greater access to high quality early childhood education for all children.

We are seeking proposals to promote such Diverse Delivery arrangements. We are open to creative proposals from any of the parties involved: local educational agencies, Head Start/Early Head Start grantee and delegate agencies, individual schools, child care centers, and organizations facilitating diverse delivery arrangements. We seek strategies to promote Diverse Delivery arrangements that can be self-sustaining over time.


IMH is accepting applications for programs providing comprehensive mental health services in public schools and community based programming.

Comprehensive Mental Health Services in Public School Settings

IMH defines comprehensive mental health services as the range of services necessary to address the barriers to learning that many children experience. We are especially interested in efforts that address the barriers that stem from emotional and behavioral issues/problems, which must be integrated with efforts to address barriers that stem from learning and physical health problems. We believe that comprehensive mental health services need to be rooted in a school climate that welcomes and nurtures students and their families. IMH supports the use of prevention programs to build the social and emotional competence of the entire school population.

Community Based Services

IMH supports efforts to increase the availability of prevention, early intervention and treatment services in community settings. Such efforts might include the co-location of mental health services with other well-utilized services for children and their families. IMH supports the provision of services in locations that are easily accessible to vulnerable populations. We also support the development of partnerships and collaborations between multiple organizations that serve the same population.


IMH supports advocacy as a strategy to work toward increased public support for the full range of mental health services for children and their families and toward the development of policies and regulations that promote quality in the supports and services available to all children.

IMH also supports organizational efforts to increase and strengthen the voices of children, parents and caretakers in their communities; and we will support convenings to better inform the public on issues relating to children’s optimal development and mental health.


IMH also provides Core Support Grants to mental health organizations with a proven record of accomplishment. These grants are intended to provide stable yet flexible dollars to organizations addressing the mental health needs of children and their families. These grants are named the Nancy J. Aronson Core Support Grants Program in recognition of the sixteen-year tenure of the first director of IMH and her commitment to supporting the work of nonprofits in the community. Applications are by invitation only.