Fargo, N.D. – The BCBSND Caring Foundation will provide a limited number of one-year annual grants up to $50,000 to North Dakota communities and organizations undertaking efforts to support community-based wellness and prevention. The goal of CaringForCommunities SPARK (Strengthening People, Access, Resources and Knowledge) Grants is to enhance collaborative efforts and community involvement that result in long-lasting change.
Evidence shows that where we live has a significant impact on our health. It also determines what services and amenities are available to us. This is why the BCBSND Caring Foundation invests resources locally through SPARK Grants to help enhance healthy lifestyles, address service gaps and promote health equity in the communities we serve.
Pam Gulleson, Caring Foundation executive director, says, “Our goal with these grants is to invest in community-based initiatives that will support access and opportunity leading to improved habits and healthier lifestyles; to strengthen capacity for effective collaborations; and to 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.
- Are sustainable and a priority for the community
- Exhibit collaboration with community stakeholders.
- Align with evidence-based best practices and principles.
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) Tuesday, Feb. 15 to be considered for the 2022 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 Tuesday, March 15. Letters of Intent and Grant Applications must be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Caring Foundation will review all Letters of Intent and Grant Applications. Staff will reach out with next steps if an organization is accepted. On April 1, they will announce recipients for the 2022 Spring Cycle.
For questions about SPARK Grants, please email email@example.com.
About the Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota (BCBSND) 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.