Call for Proposals: Lessons Learned from Engaging with Communities

Introduction

Group Health Foundation’s mission is to shape and accelerate efforts to improve health equity and advance community aspirations for a vibrant, healthy future in Washington. We believe everyone deserves the opportunity to be healthy and the opportunities that come with good health. With equity as our leading value, we are particularly interested in the conditions that disproportionally affect people’s health including but not limited to poverty, geography, education, racism, and other forms of oppression. We are committed to fostering conditions where people of all communities, especially those experiencing social and economic injustices, can participate, prosper, and thrive.

Group Health Foundation recognizes that incredible work is taking place around our state to advance health and health equity, and we are eager to learn from those who are leading these efforts. We are interested in hearing about the ways in which organizations and coalitions serving Washington State have engaged communities to address social determinants of health. We are providing grants of $7,500 to organizations willing to share insights gained from partnering with communities to identify or implement a strategy to achieve health equity.

Purpose

At this early moment in the Foundation’s evolution, we are interested in learning more about community-centered efforts that address inequity. Do you have an example to share of a health equity-related initiative, program, or activity that was designed by or implemented with community members? If so, we want to hear from you. We plan to award up to 60 grants to acknowledge the time it takes to document and share the lessons you’ve discovered.

These grants will provide an opportunity for selected grant recipients to capture insights and discoveries gained from efforts to develop effective, equitable, community-based approaches to improving health. While we appreciate results and outcomes, at this moment we are particularly interested in hearing about process. These grants are meant to support the documentation of work you are currently doing or have recently completed. Insights can be shared with us in a variety of formats, such as a short (four- to six-page) paper, a video, an infographic, or some other form of communication. We are providing $7,500 grants to honor the time it will take to share your expertise.

Prospective Applicants

We want to learn from organizations working in Washington State about the ways you have invited, engaged, and created paths for community members to identify the issues that matter most to them. In this context, the concept of “community” can mean a place-based community (e.g., neighborhood, town, city, region), an identity-based community (e.g., LGBTQ, youth, people of color, women), or any other community as you have defined it.

We are particularly interested in hearing from:

  • Community organizations, networks, coalitions, and public sector partnerships that have a focus on health and health equity;
  • Organizations that have a focus on social determinants of health and experience working in partnership with communities to identify and work toward solutions; and
  • Funder collaboratives that have come together to address a health equity issue.

Our Hope

We desire to learn from and alongside mission-aligned organizations. Selected partners will submit a brief, reflective presentation about challenges, successes, and key learnings related to the process of engaging and partnering with communities on health equity issues. As a point of reference, we are currently using this working definition of health equity:

Achieving health equity would mean that all Washingtonians have fair and equal opportunities to lead healthy, productive lives regardless of race, ethnicity, income or where we live. Health equity is the absence of avoidable differences in health among groups of people, whether those groups are defined socially, economically, demographically, or geographically. We understand that the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age affect their health and that these circumstances are shaped by the distribution of money, power, and resources.

Your insights will help inform and shape our process for developing a long-term strategy in partnership with residents and organizations around the state. Learning from you about the best ways to support communities in their journey to find equitable solutions will enable us to do the same. We intend to share all submissions through our website (with permission) so that others can learn as well. We are a new foundation and want to learn as much as we can before we begin our long-term strategy development work. In the spirit of transparency, please note that we are not using this process to identify future grantees .

Application

We will be accepting applications through this online form. In addition to some basic organizational facts, the application will invite you to provide brief (three- to four-sentence) responses to each of the following questions:

  • Describe the effort you will be sharing with us.
  • Share one lesson that you learned along the way about engaging with communities (we are interested in challenges, successes, and surprises).
  • How did you intentionally attempt to address systematic or structural issues (such as power imbalances) that contribute to inequities?
  • Describe how your community-centered approach influenced the design and/or implementation of your effort

Selection Process

We are planning to provide up to 60 awards of $7,500 each. We hope to receive applications from a broad array of organizations, ranging in size, geography, and purpose. We are particularly interested in:

  • Engagement practices that have reached into multiple facets of a community and that have addressed root causes and power imbalances;
  • Approaches that have brought diverse members of a community together;
  • Models that have resulted in the co-design of solutions; and
  • Examples of how engagements have advanced or influenced health equity.

Timeline

Proposal deadline: May 4, 2018
Award notification date: May 18, 2018
For selected partners – submission of lessons learned: June 29, 2018

Questions

Please send your questions to us at info@grouphealthfoundation.org.