Request for Proposals & Application

The purpose of this mini-grant opportunity is to increase access to healthy choices and build community capacity to address health by providing technical assistance and funding opportunities around the state. We believe that lasting change can happen at the community level through partnerships, equitable and evidence-informed strategies, and funding.

Between 2021 and 2024, Wholespire, formerly Eat Smart Move More SC, in partnership with the SC Office of Rural Health (SCORH), will fund mini-grants in amounts up to $5,000. There will be one grant cycle per year with an application deadline in July. The mini-grants will be used to fund healthy eating and active living projects that support policy, systems, and environmental (PSE) changes. Grantees will receive technical assistance to help complete projects and to connect with other existing 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.
  • Outline of how the project will address health equity in your community.

Examples, not a complete list, of projects that may be funded through this initiative:

  • 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 of a local HYPE team project.
  • Support for a faith-based HEAL initiative such as Faith Activity Nutrition (FAN).

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?

Thriving with conditions that support low-disease risk, education, employment, and a stable economy. 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.

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. All applications will be considered. Preference will be given
to communities without current funding or limited resources.

When will mini-grants be available?

Applications will open in June 2022.

How often will mini-grants be available?

Mini-grants will be awarded annually. Note: $35,000 is currently allocated to mini-grants. There will be approximately 7 awards each year.

How do I apply for mini-grant funding?

The application for a mini-grant should be submitted on the Wholespire website.

How much money is available for my project?

Mini-grants will be awarded in amounts up to $5,000. The scalable technical assistance
model will include grant awards up to $25,000.

What is the time frame to complete a project?

The grant period for mini-grants is 12 months. Scalable technical assistance grants are tentatively set for a 12-18 month grant period.

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?

You may apply for more than one mini-grant over the four-year period that grants will be 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.

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, it is recommended that you contact the project coordinators to be connected to a local coalition that would be eligible to apply for the scalable technical assistance project.

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
  • Religious activities
  • Other grant-making foundations

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 21
Application opens
July 21
Application deadline
August 17
Awardees notified
September 1
Funds Released
May 30
Grant period ends
July 1
Final reports due

Email:
community@wholespire.org

Phone:
803-667-9810

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