State and Local Policy Campaign Grant Funding Opportunity

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Since 1971, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) has been America’s food and health watchdog. CSPI envisions a healthy nation with reduced impact and burden of preventable diseases and an equitable food system that makes healthy, sustainable food accessible to all.

Bloomberg Philanthropies has awarded CSPI a grant to lead a national advocacy initiative to secure state and local food and nutrition policies that improve public health and provide models that can be replicated and scaled. As a part of that initiative, CSPI is soliciting applications from state and local advocates to advance innovative policies to measurably improve the food environments in schools, restaurants, grocery stores, and federal, state, and local programs to support public health, especially for low-income families and communities of color.

Unhealthy food and beverages are the leading contributors to death in the United States, causing more than 600,000 premature deaths each year, primarily through heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes, and stroke. The typical American diet is low in fruit, vegetables, and whole grains and too high in sugar-sweetened beverages, red and processed meat, full-fat dairy, refined grains, sodium, and saturated fat. These new grant programs will accelerate CSPI’s work to support healthy eating, ensuring that progress extends equitably across the population.

What We Are Funding: 

We have several open opportunities in this funding cycle. Applications must be specific to one of the priority areas detailed below and focused on one state or local geographic location. For certain opportunities, in addition to the local policy work, funded policy campaigns are also encouraged to help build support for federal legislation related to the issue area. Specific funding amounts available for each opportunity can be found on each campaign specific document by clicking the Learn More links below.

Current Opportunities: 

  • Exploring new strategies for strengthening the nutrition and public health impacts of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Learn More
    • CSPI is seeking to fund organizations both to build consensus and pass policies focused on promoting health through SNAP in their state and localities. There are two grant opportunities in this area: 1) leading community engagement activities to build consensus among stakeholders, and/ or 2) leading campaigns to pass public policies.
  • Campaigns that aim to ensure healthy, equitable school meals for all students. Learn More
    • Please see our campaign priorities for a list of our priority states.
  • Campaigns that aim to ensure healthy, equitable restaurant kids’ meals for all. Learn More
  • Campaigns to extend restaurant menu disclosures to improve nutritional quality of restaurant purchases. Learn More

Timeline: 

We are currently accepting applications for grants of up to 13 months, starting January 1, 2021. All grant activity for this cycle of funding must be completed by January 31, 2022, but pending funding we hope to be continue supporting promising state and local campaigns in future years. 

We will review applications on a rolling basis, but please submit your application by no later than December 31st 2020 at 5pm EST. 

We will inform applicants of the next steps in the process by within two weeks of receipt of an application (excluding holidays).

CSPI staff will be hosting webinars for organizations interested in getting more information about each current opportunity. These will be recorded and posted here if you are not able to attend. 

Application Process:  

Applications will be accepted via the Common Grant platform. A brief instructional video on how to complete the application can be found here.

To apply for a policy campaign for any of the issue areas listed above:

  • First time user registration link.
  • If you have previously submitted an application on Common Grant, log in here.

To apply for leading community engagement activities to build consensus among stakeholders for promoting health through SNAP:

  • First time user registration link.
  • If you have previously submitted an application on Common Grant, log in here.

Note: If your organization is interested in applying for more than one campaign opportunity, please submit separate applications for each (general organizational information will carry over to subsequent applications).

 If you have further questions about the application process and/or have questions for CSPI about a specific campaign idea, please email Noelle Battle at nbattle@cspinet.org

 

Key Application Priorities: 

We are specifically looking to fund applications that:

  • Include community or field organizing and grasstops engagement.
  • Incorporate a strong focus on equity in all aspects of the campaign.
  • Are from diverse organizations who are either representative of the population for which a policy is focused, or are directly partnering with individuals and or community organizations representing the population.
  • Include a robust media and public communications plan (if applicable).
  • Sufficiently assess potential obstacles to achieving project goals and provide mitigating strategies.
  • Include identification of possible policy champions within state and local government.

Available Resources:

CSPI is excited to serve as a partner with grantees and expand our network of community-based organizations around the country. At CSPI, we have several ways which we aim to support grantees, including:

  • Sharing of and collaboration on toolkits, messaging research, and communications materials.
  • Providing staff and some additional financial support for digital engagement and paid media.
  • Technical assistance on policy and science as well as support from staff as spokespeople with the media, testimony, and articles.
  • Support with grassroots organizing, grasstops engagement, and coalition building.
  • Support with state and federal lobbying.

Terms: 

To be eligible, applicants must be tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code or have a fiscal sponsor; demonstrate a proven track record of passing state/local policies; and a clear and compelling strategy for success. 

A portion of grant funds can be utilized for both direct and grassroots lobbying. For most subgrants, this will be up to 20%, but some exceptions may be permitted to meet specific campaign needs. Separate budgets should be submitted for lobbying and non-lobbying activities per instructions that are provided on the budget template and a guidance document on subgrant funding for lobbying available on the Common Grant portal. Grant funds cannot be used to support or oppose candidates for elected office. 

CSPI reserves the right to reject any and all applications. Nothing contained in this application creates any contractual arrangement between CSPI and the applicant. CSPI will negotiate final contract terms upon selection. All contracts are subject to review by the organization’s legal counsel. The project will be awarded upon signing of an agreement or contract, which outlines terms, scope, budget and other necessary items.