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Community Power: Increasing Understanding of Base-Building Methods

Grants to USA Nonprofit Grassroots Organizations
to Research Effective Base-Building for Health Equity

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF)

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

09/24/19 3:00 PM ET Receipt


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Grants to USA and territories nonprofit grassroots organizations to collaborate with researchers to improve health equity, particularly in minority populations. Funding is intended to examine the infrastructure, processes, and relationships that lead to successful community base-building.

This CFP will support research projects to build an understanding of the range of methods applied in innovative and effective community base-building that result in changes to community-level social, economic, and physical conditions that are known to influence health and equity. RWJF is seeking to fund research projects designed to retrospectively examine various methods resulting in innovative and effective community base-building. Base-building is a set of strategies and activities used by residents, workers, consumers, and other constituencies to build collective strength and power to address a variety of inequitable conditions in communities. Base-building has been utilized for generations by grassroots-led organizations to build power specifically in historically excluded or underrepresented populations. 

RWJF is seeking research proposals whose project teams will participate alongside other field and research experts in the RWJF Lead Local program, which is exploring the question: How does community power catalyze, create, and sustain conditions for healthy communities? RWJF is aware that community base-building methods vary across geographic areas and across racial, ethnic, and other demographic groups. RWJF seeks to understand community-identified innovations that lead to meaningful and effective community base-building. The proposed research projects are not intended to build understanding of methodologies applied to other critical approaches to achieve systems change, including policy advocacy, coalition-building, communications, or organizational development. 

Grant funds may be used for project staff salaries, consultant fees, data collection and analysis, meetings, supplies, project-related travel, and other direct project expenses, including a limited amount of equipment essential to the project. 

Base-Building Categories:

Selection Criteria:

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 186800

Estimated Size of Grant:

RWJF expects to award grants ranging from $200,000 to $250,000 each.

Term of Contract:

Grants will begin in December 2019. Projects ideally will be 18 months in duration with the potential to extend to 24 months if needed.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

- RWJF encourages proposals from applicants who represent a wide range of organizations and disciplines—both within and outside the public health sector.
- Applicants may include nonprofit organizations and nongovernmental organizations as members of the proposed collaboration between grassroots-led organization(s) and researcher(s).
- Preference will be given to applicants that are either public entities or nonprofit organizations that are tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and are not private foundations or Type III supporting organizations. RWJF may require additional documentation.
- Awards will be made to organizations, not individuals.
- Applicant organizations must be based in the United States or its territories.
- Building a Culture of Health means integrating health into all aspects of society, so RWJF encourages applicants that represent, or have authentic relationships and/or collaborations with low-income communities and communities of color hardest hit by health inequities.
- This CFP will support projects that include collaborations between grassroots-led organization(s) and researcher(s). Therefore, applicants must be a grassroots-led organization (nonprofit, resident-led, faith-based, etc.).

In keeping with RWJF policy, grant funds may not be used to subsidize individuals for the costs of their health care, to support clinical trials of unapproved drugs or devices, to construct or renovate facilities, for lobbying, for political activities, or as a substitute for funds currently being used to support similar activities.

Pre-proposal Conference:

An optional informational applicant webinar will be held on September 9 a 1:00 PM ET.

Webinar Registration:

Pre-Application Information:

Key Dates:
- September 9, 2019 (1:00 – 2:00 PM ET): Optional informational applicant webinar. Registration is required.
- September 24, 2019 (3:00 PM ET): Deadline for receipt of proposals.
- Late October 2019: Finalists notified.
- December 15, 2019: Grant(s) begin.

Applicants are encouraged to submit proposals in advance of the deadline so that any unforeseen difficulties, e.g., technical problems, may be addressed well before the deadline.

You may apply for multiple grants from RWJF, but each proposal must be for a distinct project.


Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Apply Online:

Please direct inquiries to:

50 College Road East
Princeton, NJ 08540-6614

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

USA Territories: American Samoa (USA)   Guam (USA)   Puerto Rico (USA)   Virgin Islands (USA)   Northern Mariana Islands (USA)