Request for Proposals & Application

We believe that lasting change can happen at the community level through partnerships, equitable and evidence-informed strategies, and funding. Wholespire, in collaboration with the SC Office of Rural Health (SCORH), is offering mini-grants of up to $5,000 to help communities increase access to healthy choices and to build community capacity to address health.

The mini-grants will be used to fund healthy eating and active living projects that support policy, systems, and environmental (PSE) changes. Wholespire will provide technical assistance to grantees to help them execute projects and connect with other local community health initiatives.

Eligibility and Selection Criteria

Applicants may be a current 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization OR use a fiscal agent who is a current 501(c)(3), school, local government, or faith-based organization. All grant proposals MUST be related to healthy eating and/or active living and implement, promote, or support a PSE change. In addition, strong grant proposals will include:

  • A project idea that is ready to be implemented.
  • A letter of support for the project from partnering organizations.
  • An outline of how the project will address health equity in your community.

Projects that may be funded under this initiative include (but are not limited to):

  • Improvements for schools’ outdoor activity spaces, such as water bottle refill stations.
  • Bike racks and/or crosswalks to support a complete streets effort.
  • Establishment or promotion of SNAP/Healthy Bucks at a farmers’ market.
  • Support a local HYPE team project
  • Support a faith-based HEAL initiative such as Faith Activity Nutrition (FAN).

Alternative Application for Individuals with a Disability or Limited Access

You may request a reasonable accommodation if you are unable or limited in your ability to apply for a mini-grant. You can request reasonable accommodations by contacting Kelsey Sanders at kelsey@wholespire.org.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Policy, Systems and Environmental (PSE) Change?

Policy, systems and environmental change approaches seek to go beyond programming and into the systems that create the structures in which we live, learn, work, pray, and play. These approaches often work hand‐in‐hand where, for example, an environmental change may be furthered by a policy or system change. Similarly, a policy could be put in place that results in additional environmental changes. The process is not linear.

At the end of the day, an effective PSE approach should seek to reach populations and uncover strategies for impact that are sustainable. Efforts may accelerate the adoption or implementation of effective interventions by effectively integrating approaches into existing infrastructures. Such approaches often include advocates, decision and policy makers.

For more detailed definitions, characteristics, and examples of PSE change, click here.

What Is Policy, Systems and Environmental (PSE) Change?

Policy, systems and environmental change approaches seek to go beyond programming and into the systems that create the structures in which we live, learn, work, pray, and play. These approaches often work hand‐in‐hand where, for example, an environmental change may be furthered by a policy or system change. Similarly, a policy could be put in place that results in additional environmental changes. The process is not linear.

At the end of the day, an effective PSE approach should seek to reach populations and uncover strategies for impact that are sustainable. Efforts may accelerate the adoption or implementation of effective interventions by effectively integrating approaches into existing infrastructures. Such approaches often include advocates, decision and policy makers.

For more detailed definitions, characteristics, and examples of PSE change, click here.

What is Health Equity?

Health equity means that everyone has a fair and just opportunity to be as healthy as possible. This requires removing obstacles to health and their consequences. The Wholespire definition is Thriving with conditions that support low-disease risk, education, employment, and a stable economy.

Who is eligible to apply for mini-grant funds?

Any municipality, coalition, school, or community organization that has a 501(c)(3)
designation in South Carolina is eligible to apply. All applications will be considered. Preference will be given to communities without current funding or limited resources.

When will mini-grants be available?

The application opens in June of each year.

How often will mini-grants be available?

Mini-grants will be awarded annually. 

How do I apply for mini-grant funding?

The application for a mini-grant should be submitted on the Wholespire website. If you are unable or limited in your ability to apply for a mini-grant on this site, you can request reasonable accommodations by contacting Kesley Sanders at kelsey@wholespire.org.

How much money is available for my project?

Mini-grants will be awarded in amounts up to $5,000. 

What is the time frame to complete a project?

The grant period for mini-grants is approximately 9 months.

What if we don’t spend all of the funds or cannot complete the project on time?

Funds that are not spent in the selected grant period will be returned. No extensions will be granted.

May I apply for mini-grants more than once over 4 years?

Yes, you may apply for more than one mini-grant over the four-year period that mini-grants are available.

Can we submit more than one application per grant cycle?

No. If applicants have more than one project that they are interested in they should
prioritize which project is more urgent and submit a second application in a later grant
cycle.

If I have had funding from a mini-grant before, do I qualify?

Yes. If you were awarded a mini-grant in a previous grant period, you can apply for a new mini-grant.

Is there a required match?

A match is not required; however, we acknowledge the importance of being able to
leverage funds as a means to broaden impact and improve the sustainability of coalitions and community organizations. Applications that demonstrate matched funds will be rated higher than those that do not.

Can mini-grant funds be used for coalition capacity building?

Mini-grant funds are intended to be used for project implementation. If your organization is interested in receiving training or capacity building, please contact staff so that you can be connected to a local coalition that is eligible to apply for a scalable technical assistance project through SCORH.

What will not be funded by this mini-grant?

Funds will not be issued for:

  • Doctor, dentist, or pharmacist salaries
  • Capital campaigns including brick and mortar establishments
    One time or annual events including sports tournaments, camps, or event incentives
  • Fundraising events including the purchase of tickets or tables, membership drives, raffles, or auctions
  • Individuals
  • Political campaigns or activities that influence legislation
  • Advertising, and
  • Religious activities.

Can mini-grant funds be spent on food or incentives?

Yes, however, this should be a small percentage of the total budget. If you plan to include food or incentives in your budget, it is recommended that you contact staff ahead of time to discuss the budget.

June 1, 2022
Application opens
July 22, 2022
Application deadline
August 24, 2022
Awardees notified
September 15, 2022
Funds Released
May 30, 2023
Grant period ends
July 1, 2023
Final reports due

Email:
kelsey@wholespire.org

Phone:
803-667-9810

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