Systems Improvement and Innovation Responsive Grants Program

Program Description

The SIIRG program provides opportunities for either one-year planning grants up to $30,000 or implementation grants of up to $50,000 per year for one or two years.

The Systems Improvement and Innovation Responsive Grants (SIIRG) program focuses on creating change that is responsive to community identified health needs at the system and organizational levels, with a major emphasis on ensuring that the community of focus has a meaningful and ongoing voice in shaping improvements and innovations that address their barriers to health equity.    The program provides funding for organizations to improve health and access to care in four strategic priority areas: rural health, aging/older adults, behavioral health, and maternal and child health.

The SIIRG program was developed and established as a compliment to MeHAF’s Community Responsive Grants (CRG) program, launched in 2019.  The CRG program supports projects that align with MeHAF’s goals and advance health equity, by funding community-led organizations responding to community-defined health needs.  The CRG program grew out of the recognition that those closest to a given problem are often closest to the potential solutions. We also recognize that some community health services and access to care needs require action by systems and organizations – “the providers” of care.

MeHAF experience suggests that the most successful projects with the longest staying power after grant funding ends are those tailored to be responsive to community and cultural needs, focused on reducing inequities, and designed to leverage local resources, talents, and opportunities.  Projects that propose simple replication of models and best practices without meaningful community participation may not be successful and are less likely to be funded.

Organizational Eligibility

A 501(c)(3), local, state, or tribal government entity or educational institution. Applicants must be organizations based in Maine. If your organization is not eligible to apply independently, and you need to apply via a fiscal sponsor, please contact MeHAF before applying so that we can assist you with the steps. Individuals and private foundations are ineligible.

 

Dates to Remember

Informational Session:

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) posted:

Letter of Inquiry Due: Tuesday, December 14 at 4 PM

Invitation for Full Proposals Released: Friday, January 21

Informational Session for Invited Applicants: Wednesday, February 2

FAQs for Full Proposal Posted: Friday, February 4

Full Proposals for Invited Applicants Due: Monday, February 28 by 4:00 PM

Applicants Notified of Award Status: Tuesday, May 3

Funding Guidelines

System Improvement and Innovation Responsive Grants program funding may not be used for:

  • General operating support or “gap” funding;
  • Direct care costs;
  • Public awareness campaigns focused on a specific disease or health condition;
  • Fundraising efforts;
  • Capital expenditures;
  • Academic or graduate research; or
  • Grants or scholarships to individuals.

 

Questions?

For questions regarding the Systems Improvement and Innovation Responsive Grants program, please email Senior Program Officer Charles Dwyer.

For Questions regarding MeHAF's online application system, please email Grants Manager Holly Irish.

 

Responsive Grants Program Background

MeHAF’s vision is that communities across Maine will thrive when all people in Maine are able to lead healthy, productive, and purposeful lives. In this vision, all voices are heard, and all people have what they and their families need to be healthy and well.

Over the past few years, MeHAF has heard clearly from its nonprofit partners, that there is a desire for MeHAF to provide more open, responsive funding opportunities outside of our competitive grants cycles or focus areas. Reflecting MeHAF’s principles within its current strategic framework, the Community Responsive Grant (CRG) program builds upon the Foundation’s long commitment to its mission, as well as emphasize a commitment to advancing health equity. Over time, our experience suggests that the most successful projects with the longest staying power after grant funding ended were those tailored to be responsive to community and cultural needs, focused on efforts to reduce inequities, and designed to leverage local resources, talents, and opportunities. In addition to providing grant funding, this program supports MeHAF’s efforts to build relationships, thus further developing our organizational appreciation and understanding of the scope of challenges communities are working hard to address, as well as the varied forms of expertise and experience they utilize to carry out their work most effectively.

We also recognize that some community health services and access to care needs require action by systems and organizations – “the providers” of care and services. In 2020, MeHAF established the Systems Improvement and Innovation Responsive Grants (SIIRG) program as a complement to CRG. The focus of SIIRG is to support innovations taking place in the health services sphere and create change at the system and organizational levels, with a major emphasis on ensuring that those who are meant to benefit from the work have a meaningful and ongoing voice in shaping improvements and innovations that address their needs. It is anticipated that the grant cycles for these two sister programs will operate on an annual basis beginning with a summer/winter release of their respective RFPs, and continue for the foreseeable future.