The Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota (BCBSND) Caring Foundation will provide a limited number of one-year annual grants of up to $50,000 to communities and organizations in North Dakota working to support the well-being and community prevention. The goal of Caring For Communities’ SPARK (Strengthening People, Access, Resources, and Knowledge) grants is to enhance collaborative efforts and community participation, resulting in lasting change.
“Our goal with these grants is to invest in community initiatives that will lead to better habits and healthier lifestyles, build capacity for effective collaborations, and expand local community efforts to improve equity and sustainability. access to health”, said Pam Gulleson, executive director of the Caring Foundation.
To be considered, organizations must support initiatives that promote health and wellness in North Dakota, that are sustainable and a priority for the community, that collaborate with community stakeholders, and that align on best practices and evidence-based principles. For example, an initiative may aim to reduce the use of tobacco, nicotine or vaping products or raise awareness of behavioral health and suicide prevention or host community gardens and farmers’ markets for easy access to fresh produce or to encourage physical activity by improving cycle paths and adding mileage signs.
Those interested in applying for a SPARK grant must submit a Letter of Intent by 5 p.m. on August 15 to be considered for the Fall 2022 cycle. Organizations must be 501(c)( 3) based in North Dakota, municipal entities (i.e. park boards, public health) or school systems.
The Caring Foundation will contact organizations within two weeks to let them know if they are invited to complete a SPARK grant application. These applications are due September 15. Questions about the grant program as well as letters of intent and grant applications can be emailed to [email protected]
On October 1, the Caring Foundation will announce the recipients for the fall 2022 cycle.