BCBSND Caring Foundation now accepting letters of intent for Spring 2023 SPARK Grants

Woman and girl doing an art project together.

Fargo, N.D.  The Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota (BCBSND) Caring Foundation will provide a limited number of one-year annual grants in amounts of up to $50,000 to North Dakota communities and organizations undertaking efforts to support community-based wellness and prevention. The goal of these CaringForCommunities SPARK (Strengthening People, Access, Resources and Knowledge) Grants is to enhance collaborative efforts and community involvement create long-lasting change.

Evidence shows where you live significantly impacts your health. It also determines what services and amenities are available to you. That is why the Foundation invests resources through SPARK Grants to help enhance healthy lifestyles, address service gaps and promote health equity in North Dakota communities.

BCBSND Caring Foundation Executive Director Pam Gulleson says, “Our goal with these grants is to invest in community-based initiatives that will lead to improved habits and healthier lifestyles; strengthen capacity for effective collaborations; and expand efforts by local communities to improve health equity and access.”

To be considered, organizations must support initiatives that:

  • Encourage health and well-being in North Dakota.
  • Exhibit collaboration with community stakeholders.
  • Align with evidence-based best practices and principles.
  • Grow to be sustainable and a priority for the community.

For example, initiatives may aim to:

  • Lower use of tobacco/nicotine/vaping products.
  • Raise awareness for behavioral health/suicide prevention.
  • Host community gardens and farmers markets for easy access to fresh produce.
  • Encourage physical activity by improving bike trails and adding mileage signs.

Those interested in applying for a SPARK Grant must submit a Letter of Intent by 5 p.m. (CT), Wednesday, Feb. 15 to be considered for the 2023 Spring Cycle. Organizations must be North Dakota-based 501(c)(3) non-profits, municipal entities (i.e., park boards, public health) or school systems.

The Caring Foundation will contact organizations within two weeks to inform them if they are invited to fill out a SPARK Grant Application. These applications are due March 15. Letters of Intent and Grant Applications must be emailed to caringfoundation@bcbsnd.com.

The Caring Foundation will review all Letters of Intent and Grant Applications. Its staff will reach out with next steps if an organization’s application is accepted. On April 1, the Foundation will announce recipients for the 2023 Spring Cycle.

For questions, please email caringfoundation@bcbsnd.com.

About the Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota Caring Foundation
Established in 1989, the BCBSND Caring Foundation is a private 501(c)(3) charitable organization. Through giving and investing, the Caring Foundation focuses on key health issues to help improve the health and well-being of North Dakotans and their communities. Caring Foundation staff collaborate with grantees to support non-profit sustainability, promote shared outcomes and create lasting change.