Case Study

Episcopal Health Foundation (EHF)

The Episcopal Health Foundation’s (EHF) mission is rooted in faith and hope and driven by the belief that every Texan, especially the poor and those with the least resources, deserves access to a healthy life.

Foundation Background and Mission

The Episcopal Health Foundation’s (EHF) mission is rooted in faith and hope and driven by the belief that every Texan, especially the poor and those with the least resources, deserves access to a healthy life. The foundation provides millions of dollars in grants, engages community partners and congregations, and provides critical research to address the underlying causes of poor health. The foundation’s model of community-based philanthropy serves more than 15 million Texans across an 80-county service area. Connected to The Episcocal Church, the foundation was endowed to transform the way the Church addresses health equity. 

Voting Faithfully 

It is a Christian obligation to vote, and more than that, it is the church’s responsibility to help get souls to the polls.

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry

One of the foundation’s priorities is changing the conversation about health and addressing the root causes of poor health, as outlined by the foundation’s 2021-2024 strategic plan: support organizations to raise the voices of community members to influence community health. While voter engagement is not a specific pillar, the foundation views voter engagement as a key indicator of a healthy community and a way to ensure that the people most directly impacted by health disparities have pathways to provide input on the policies that will improve health outcomes. Further, EHF’s orientation on voter engagement is guided by The Episcopal Church, led by Bishop Michael Curry, which has a clear and public emphasis on faithful voting and civic participation as an important aspect of spiritual life. 

In practice

The Episcopal Health Foundation funds several community based organizations and prioritizes capacity building and organizing frameworks that support community engagement. The community organizations supported by EHF implement resident leadership models, support local communities to participate in legislative meetings on local health-related policies, build infrastructure to help people to have conversations with one another, and organize areas where there is a low propensity of voters as an opportunity. 

We focus on the approach that the organizations are using to create the change in the communities and incorporate community voice


In addition to funding several community organizations that focus on voter engagement, EHF leverages its existing Congregational Engagement team to inspire voter engagement among churches in its faith network. The Congregational Engagement team works with more than 150 churches to encourage ministry outreach, civic involvement, voter participation with communities around health-related issues. 

Congregational Engagement team has advanced a number of initiatives to support churches in their voter engagement efforts: 

  • Connecting congregations to volunteer deputy voter registrar training. In Texas, the deputy voter registrar training is required for anyone who wants to register others to vote. EHF decided to encourage their network of congregations to register voters by listing detailed information about the trainings on their website and featuring a Q&A with congregants of a local church to share their experience working as a Deputy Voter Registrar. 
  • Uplifting the Vote Faithfully campaign through The Episcopal Church. The campaign’s centerpiece is a toolkit that includes creative ways for churches to encourage their communities to vote. The toolkit shares ways that congregations can advertise registration and early voting deadlines, support communities that might experience voter suppression or intimidation, host candidate forums, organize volunteers to provide rides to the polls, and provide childcare on Election Day.
  • Hosting a Vote Faithfully training. In collaboration with representatives from The Episcopal Church, Texas League of Women Voters, and Texas Impact, EHF hosted a training that provided information to congregations about ways to educate and engage their communities to vote in the upcoming election. The session covered resources available through the Episcopal Vote Faithfully Campaign, ways to engage vulnerable populations to vote, and recruiting election workers. In addition to the training, a workshop at their sixth annual In Common event series shared ways for attendees to educate themselves and others about the current elections and nonpartisan ways to encourage voting in the community.
  • Launching the “I Voted” Voting Challenge. EHF hosts the Health + Justice Advocacy Network, a network of Episcopalians and community members interested in health policy and how it impacts the Episcopal Diocese of Texas and the state. EHF issued a challenge creating healthy competition among churches to register their congregants and create outreach videos to encourage voting. EHF provided a toolkit, created promotional videos in English and Spanish encouraging participation, and sponsored the prize of an ice cream social for the winning church.