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FAQs

Health First Allen County - 2025 Grant Cycle
Are there eligibility requirements an organization must meet to apply for a grant?

Yes. The proposed project/program must primarily serve Allen County residents, as these funds have been designated to each county to serve their residents. In addition, an applying organization must have a legal fiscal agent. (A fiscal agent is an entity that provides financial oversight and management for the organization. The legal fiscal agent can be the organization itself or a third-party agent. Organizations without a legal fiscal agent will not be able to apply.)

What is the 2025 grant application process?

Similar to the 2024 grant cycle, there will be multiple stages in the application process, with each step requiring approval to move to the next stage. The first step is the submission of a letter of intent. This area has been streamlined significantly and will require a few fields to be completed in addition to the submission of an uploaded letter of intent, with specific information to be included in the letter. The letter of intent will be reviewed for alignment with the Core Public Health Services. Projects/programs that are found to be in alignment may then be invited to complete a competitive application. The application process has been streamlined to remove duplicate information for an easier process. If allowed to move on to the application phase, more project/program-specific information will be gathered at that time. If awarded, a contract will be signed, and the organization will become a vendor with Allen County Government.

Is there a maximum or an established average amount of money an applicant/organization can request for the 2025 grant cycle?

For this competitive grant cycle, no limits have been put in place in an effort to find the most impactful projects/programs through the application process. This may change in subsequent years. There may be instances where we might reach out to an organization to discuss an alternate amount if unable to award the entire requested amount. Prescribed mini-grants are an added option this year (see the RFP for more information), and those have a maximum amount that will be funded, based on the project. Organizations must submit a detailed budget and are asked to only request the funds they need for the specific project/program.

How do I apply?

Go to our web portal here: allen-county.portals.zenginehq.com/organization/about. When the letter of intent phase begins June 1, click on "Programs" at the left to select which grant type you would like to apply for.

Helpful preparation resources, including the Request for Proposals (RFP) document, also can be found at allencountyhealth.com/health-first-allen-county.

Can organizations apply for funding under more than one Core Public Health Service (CPHS)?

For the 2025 grant cycle, we are asking that organizations choose the most fitting/relevant Core Public Health Service under which to submit their request, and choose only one. If the project/program request will "touch" more than one CPHS, that is absolutely acceptable, and we ask that you do your best to explain the cross-connection among CPHS areas, but only apply under the one that appears to be the closest match.

What is the difference between a competitive grant and a mini-grant?

This year, we are pleased to offer two different grant application options: a competitive Health First Allen County grant and/or a prescribed mini-grant. The competitive grant is the same program we offered for the 2024 grant period in which applicants submit projects/programs to improve health outcomes in one of the state-identified Core Public Health Service (CPHS) areas. This award is very competitive and goes through an external review, in addition to an internal review process. The prescribed mini-grants are pre-defined projects in specific CPHS areas for which organizations apply.

Can an organization apply for more than one grant?

For the 2025 grant cycle, we are asking organizations to choose the most applicable Core Public Health Service under which to apply and only submit one competitive grant application, per organization. In addition this year, though, an organization may submit an application for both a competitive grant and a prescribed mini-grant.

Will you be funding mental health education (in schools, or in general), related to childhood trauma, grief or other, similar, mental health issues for the 2025 grant cycle?

Funding for mental health was removed by the legislature from the Health First Indiana funding. The money was given to the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA) for stand-alone programming for emergencies and for various centers. Further, the Indiana Department of Health has funding and programming for these areas as well. No monies were provided to local health departments for mental health programming or issues, specifically. That said, it does not mean these types of projects won’t be accepted for consideration by the Allen County Department of Health if the project/program closely aligns with one of the identified Core Public Health Services (CPHS) or Key Performance Indicators, but there must be close ties and clarity on how the proposed project/program would work toward the outcomes required under the CPHS area chosen.

Can these funds be used for food and drink?

THIS IS STILL BEING DISCERNED FOR THE 2025 GRANT CYCLE. Early indications we have received from the Indiana Department of Health state that we MAY be able to allow some food/beverage expenditures for direct programming that require these items for the specific health outcomes under the project/program. Further details and the full list of funding preclusions can be found in the Request for Proposals (RFP) on our website, allencountyhealth.com/health-first-allen-county. Information about this particular issue will be updated when more specifics are provided to us.

Can these funds be used for "infrastructure" items related to projects/programs?

The Health First Allen County grant funds, once awarded, can be used for approved staffing costs (for those positions conducting work under the approved project/program), supply costs, some equipment costs, and other contractual costs for services, depending on the nature of the project/program. The list of funding preclusions can be found in the Request for Proposals on our website at allencountyhealth.com/health-first-allen-county.

Are there any items these funds can not be used for?

The full list of funding preclusions can be found in the Request for Proposals (RFP).

Will you be providing issue-related data (such as ZIP codes or census tracts) to allow for organizations to target funding requests to areas of need?

The Allen County Department of Health does not have a great amount of data of that sort in the Core Public Health Service areas for which funding may be sought in the 2025 grant cycle. Nearly all those services were previously overseen by the Indiana Department of Health (IDOH) or others. We look forward to learning from the experts currently working in these areas regarding their data sets, known areas of need for which they feel projects/program are needed, and are currently working to obtain any public data sets from IDOH or others to build our repository.

Will adult literacy fall under the school health CPHS area?

It is difficult to answer that question until a project/program is submitted so that we may assess its relevancy and alignment with the defined Core Public Health Services and Key Performance Indicators. In general, this would likely need some very close ties to the KPI’s required under the chosen CPHS area.

Can the funds be used for "growth and collaboration efforts"? (e.g. Using funds to hire a contractor to do gap analyses of Core Public Health Service areas or to discern the need for collaborations, coalitions or more efficient service delivery methods.)

This is possible but will depend on the process, topic, timeline and overall alignment with the needs of the specific Core Public Health Service area objectives for 2025. In general, we are looking for projects/programs that begin actual work in the defined CPHS areas. We encourage submission of projects/programs for consideration so we may view the specifics of the plan being requested.

Is there a required funding match to receive the funding? Does it assist with the application's likelihood of being funded to note current matching funds being put forth on a given area/project/program?

There are no required matching funds to receive HFAC funding awards at this time. We encourage organizations to share any relevant information on current dollars now being put forth or received to support the efforts so that we have that information to consider when deciding upon funding for projects/programs. The grant application itself will request certain budget information like this.

Is this funding geared more toward sustainment of current programming, or growth of programming?

It will depend on the Core Public Health Service area as well as the project/program in question. It is possible the funding can support either of these needs. However, the hope for use of this funding (especially in this second year of funding) will be focused on growth, expansion, and reaching more people with needed services vs. sustaining existing staff/programs that were otherwise funded. We will carefully consider each application to ensure the best fit, the widest reach, and the best alignment with the needed goals of the funding in its initial stages.

What if we would like to submit a project that is not a full-year project? How does that affect the quarterly reporting structure that was mentioned?

If a project is awarded that is not operational year-round, it is likely that a more tailored metrics and reporting structure would be created for that specific project.

I am a startup and have no historical operational budget/tax documents. Can I still apply?

For this grant cycle, due to the importance that has been put upon the completion of the required Core Public Health Services and Key Performance Indicators, a strong emphasis will be put on existing organizations with an existing track record of success in similar areas. That said, organizations can still submit a letter of intent and their submissions will be reviewed and provided with feedback.

What are the timelines associated with the grant process?

The full list of applicable dates and deadlines can be found in the Request for Proposals (RFP) document.

Who do I contact with questions?

Email DOHGrants@allencounty.us. Other technical assistance information will be provided as needed to those who move beyond the letter of intent phase.

To whom do I address the formal letter of support?

Health First Allen County Grants Team, or HFAC Grants Team

Do we have to upload our organization's full operational budget?

No. We are only interested in the budget for your proposed project/program. We are looking for specificity regarding how the requested funds will be used. We have created a budget template to streamline the budget submission. The budget template can be found HERE. There is a space at the top of the budget template to enter your organization’s full operational budget as the template contains a calculation of the percentage of your overall operating costs this project/program will account for. The rest of the fields are project/program-specific.

The RFP states a preference for "project/programs that express plans for expansion and/or additional services vs. a continuation of pre-2024 existing programming or requests..." Does this mean I can't reapply for 2025 with the same project/program?

The following might help clarify the meaning of this clause in the RFP:

1.) The intent for the Health First Allen County public health grant funds is to fund expansion of either existing and new/promising projects/programs that will improve public health outcomes as specified. It is not to allow shifting of funds within an organization to simply continue with the status quo. The intent of the legislature of providing money to local health departments was to expand services, work toward public health betterment, and to allow the public health system to “do more” proactive work than has been done. So, it’s our intent to state that our preference is funding programming and projects that were newly created with the funding via an award in 2024 (and with evidence it is doing well) that can keep moving forward or plan to expand, or to fund promising projects that are new to an organization that will essentially provide “more services” to the community. In other words, if you seek funding to continue an existing program/project that was in place prior to the 2024 grant program’s inception without growth/expansion to reach more people with services, it will possibly receive lower preference than others which are aimed at going beyond the status quo (this decision will be very situation-specific).

2.) Likewise, the intent of the funding is to assist directly with funding programs, projects, services and their dedicated staffing, supply and direct operational needs. The intent is not to offset organizational costs to fund existing positions that are not instrumental to carrying out the specific project/program.