Strengthening People Access Resources Knowledge (SPARK) Grants can give up to $50,000 in one year to North Dakota communities and organizations.
FARGO, N.D. – The Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota (BCBSND) Caring Foundation is accepting letters of intent for SPARK grants through August 15. The Strengthening People Access Resources Knowledge (SPARK) grant program gives one-year grants annually of up to $50,000 for community initiatives that support health, wellness and prevention.
“The BCBSND Caring Foundation wants to invest SPARK dollars in programs that use collaboration and community involvement to advance health and well-being throughout North Dakota,” said Amber Blomberg, BCBSND Caring Foundation Manager. “The data shows us that we have a better chance of improving outcomes if we work to enhance healthy lifestyles, address service gaps and promote health equities at the local level.”
SPARK grants fund initiatives that show they can create lasting change by reflecting community priorities, using collaboration and partnership, and improving access and equity. The 2023 spring SPARK recipients include the Dakota Children’s Advocacy Center to support a telehealth outreach project; CHI Mercy Health Hospital to contribute to transitional housing for mental health care for individuals experiencing homelessness; YWCA Cass Clay for financial assistance to help break the cycle of poverty and homelessness; and Missouri Slope Areawide United Way to support housing and access to services at the Center for Opportunity.
The first step in the grant application process is to send a letter of intent by 5 p.m. August 15 for the fall funding cycle. Eligible organizations must be North Dakota based 501(c)(3) nonprofits, municipal entities (i.e., park boards, public health) or school systems. The Foundation will invite organizations it selects from the letters to apply in the second step. The complete description of the competitive, two-step application process is available at SPARK Grants.
For more information about the state of health in North Dakota that this grant program is trying to address, read the BCBSND Caring Foundation’s “Health and Well-Being in North Dakota – A Social Determinants of Health Perspective.” The study is a partnership with the North Dakota State University Center for Social Research and offers critical insights.
About Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota (BCBSND) Caring Foundation
Established in 1989, the BCBSND Caring Foundation (www.BCBSND.com/caring-foundation) is a private 501(c)(3) charitable organization. Through giving and investing, the Caring Foundation focuses on key health issues that help improve the health and well-being of North Dakotans and their communities. Caring Foundation staff work with grantees to support nonprofit sustainability, collaborate on shared outcomes and create lasting change.