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Community Innovations 2020

Written by Build Healthy Places Staff on February 13, 2020

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Request for Proposals for the Community Innovations Opportunity is now closed.

Building Health Partnerships

Build Healthy Places Network (Network), with funding from The Kresge Foundation, has launched Community Innovations to deepen outreach to and learning from local community development organizations that serve low-income communities and people of color. Community Innovations has a three-pronged goal: to enhance the Network’s understanding of how best to support local organizations’ cross-sector efforts; to connect local organizations to other peer organizations and the larger national dialogue, resources, and tools; and to embed capacity within organizations to undertake health strategies and engage with healthcare.

Download full RFP here.

Download Application Template here.

Watch the Community Innovations informational webinar.

Background and Overview

The roots of poor health and poverty are the same. For decades, healthcare and community development have been working in the same places, sometimes with the same people, and often not together. Since 2014, the Network has been connecting sectors through convening, translating, training, and highlighting common aims. Through our work, we have found many organizations in each sector ready to engage with the other. Those organizations with the greatest amount of capacity and support have been most able to access the resources and network needed to accelerate that collaboration. Meanwhile, many smaller and lower-resourced community development corporations have not been included in the national dialogue, resulting in less access to the tools and networks that can facilitate developing a cross-sector strategy or capacity to engage healthcare in their neighborhood investment efforts.

Community Innovations is designed to reach smaller cities in low-resourced areas. Community development corporations that serve low-income communities and communities of color are invited to participate in order to identify needs, connect to both the national dialogue and peers with aligned goals and provide access to tools and resources needed to successfully engage healthcare investment partners in the social determinants of health (SDOH). Organizations focused on advancing health equity, racial equity, and SDOH as defined in Glossary of Terms below are encouraged to apply.

About Build Healthy Places Network
The Network is the national center at the intersection of community development and health. Launched in 2014, our mission is to shift the way organizations work across the health, community development, and finance sectors to collectively advance equity, reduce poverty, and improve health in neighborhoods across the United States. We achieve our mission by connecting leaders and practitioners, curating resources and examples of what works, and building the knowledge base for cross-sector collaboration.

Community Innovations Opportunity


Community Innovations is an 18-month program available for up to eight eligible organizations motivated to engage healthcare partners in their neighborhood revitalization work. Selected organizations will be awarded up to $40,000 to support staff or a consultant to lead healthcare engagement, $60,000 of in-kind technical support provided by the Network, and facilitated connections to a national network of peer support. Please refer to our Eligibility guidelines and Glossary of Terms below to determine if this program is a good fit for your organization.

The Network will award up to $40,000 over an 18-month period to build awardee internal capacity to successfully engage healthcare. Final amount of the award is based on the number of organizations awarded. Funds can be used to support existing staff or to hire a consultant to support development of the healthcare engagement strategy, defined in Glossary of Terms below. If the awardee elects to hire a consultant, the awardee can choose a consultant already known to their organization and community who will then receive training from the Network, or select from the Network’s trained pool of consultants.

Technical Support
The Network will provide each awardee with robust and tailored technical support valued at approximately $60,000, which includes specialized training, resources and tools, and capacity building for building sustainable partnerships. Technical support is available in the following areas: conducting a market scan of potential healthcare opportunities and partners, identifying likely entry points for collaboration, developing a “pitch deck” for awardee to use with local healthcare partners, and participating in at least one call or meeting to facilitate collaboration. Please see more examples of technical support the Network and/or consultants can offer in the Menu of Services to Advance Collaboration with Healthcare below.

Facilitated Connections
The Network will curate a set of virtual “salons” to connect awardees with peer organizations who have aligned goals and/or activities, and to national organizations and other leaders collaborating across the community development and health sectors. In addition, the Network will work with awardees to make initial introductions to potential health partners including those stakeholders identified through the market scan, in order to foster discussions about collaboration. The program will also include travel for one person from each awardee organization to attend an in-person convening alongside a national conference (conference TBD).

Our Commitment to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
Achieving this mission demands that race, equity, diversity and inclusion are at the core of our work – in both processes and outcomes. We know that persistent discrimination and bias against people due to race, ethnicity, income, gender, sexual identity, and other attributes lead to unfair and avoidable health and economic inequities.

We believe that integrating equity into policy, funding, and programs will help narrow these gaps for all neighborhoods and communities. Being inclusive of all people means that we acknowledge that an individual’s perspective is shaped by their personal and professional experiences. This understanding is applied across the Network and in the development of this opportunity. We commit to continuous learning, working together, and valuing individuals with lived experience to cultivate equity, diversity, and inclusion.

Key Dates