POLICIES > Strategic Plan
COMMUNITY HEALTHCARE DISTRICT
Community Grants Program
LOS MEDANOS COMMUNITY HEALTHCARE DISTRICT
GRANT APPLICATION GUIDELINES
2002 Request for Proposals
Los Medanos Community Healthcare District (“LMCHD”)
is inviting proposals for its second funding cycle which will be
concluded by July, 2002. The Board of Directors will consider funding
grants to local projects that are within the mission and priorities
described in these guidelines.
The District’s Mission and Source
The mission of the LMCHD is to improve the health
and well-being of the communities and people served by the LMCHD.
The District formed in 1948 to promote the general healthcare needs
of the residents of East Contra Costa County. The District’s
operations are governed by The Local Healthcare District Act, at
California Health & Safety Code Sections 32000, et.seq. The
District receives property tax revenue annually and hopes to disburse
$50,000 to $100,000 in grants this year. Eligible projects must
be within the service area of LMCHD.
The District’s Funding Priorities
In carrying out its mission of improving the health
and well-being of people and communities, the District will evaluate
proposed projects applying a broad definition of personal and public
health rather than a strict medical model. Therefore, it will consider
projects within the full dimension of human physical, psychological,
intellectual, and social development and well-being.
Projects may focus on prevention, education, direct
services, supportive services, and any other forces or factors that
affect the healthy well being of people and communities. The District
is willing to consider requests from a wide range of organizations
and entities provided that the projects being presented clearly
relate in a significant way to improving the health of people and
High priority will be given to projects that:
• have clear goals and outcomes relevant to
community or public health needs;
• avoid or reduce duplication of effort;
• make the best use of limited resources;
• are capable of being sustained; and
• are supported by the targeted community.
The District is interested in innovative projects;
e.g., projects that have the potential for helping underserved,
disadvantaged and special populations to overcome barriers to accessing
health care; respond to the correlation between poor health and
economic status; focus on the healthy development of children and
youth; or focus the community’s attention on an emerging health-related
Grants Available From the District
The District’s grants can finance an organization’s
start-up of a new project or the expansion of an existing project
in response to populations not served. The District is interested
in projects that can attract other funding in collaboration with
its grants. Applicant organizations should possess experience, sound
management, active and diverse boards of directors, qualified staff,
and volunteer resources. The District will not fund on-going operational
overhead for an applicant. The District does not provide long-term
or permanent annual support for any organization or project. Therefore,
agencies funded must have the financial and organizational potential
to sustain a project after the District’s funding has ended.
Grants awarded will be for one year of a project. After completing
one year’s funding and following submission of a final report,
an organization may apply for another year of funding.
The District will make available several types of
grants to achieve the funding priorities described:
||Project Grants which provide funding for
an organization’s focused and realistic response to an
urgent current or emerging problem or issue.
||Collaborative Action Grants which provide funding for
two or more organizations to collaboratively plan and work together
on a current or emerging problem or issue.
||In addition to considering proposals initiated by organizations,
the District will also occasionally initiate its own request
for a proposal from one or more appropriate organizations when
the Board and staff have identified a problem or issue that
needs to be addressed.
General Eligibility Guidelines
The District has two criteria that all funded organizations
• An organization must be a tax-exempt, 501(c)(3),
nonprofit corporation or an entity within the public sector, including
school districts and departments of local government.
• An organization must not engage in discrimination inconsistent
with its tax-exempt status and federal and state civil rights laws.
The District cannot fund any of the following types
• Grants to individuals.
• Grants for medical, scientific or non-applied research.
• Grants for religious activities. This does not exclude grants
for community benefit projects open to the public which are conducted
or sponsored by religious institutions.
• Grants for lobbying or influencing elections.
• Grants that will add to or start an organization’s
• Grants to private or corporate grantmaking foundations.
• Grants for capital campaigns or building improvements.
• Grants for overhead or administrative costs not directly
related to a proposed project.
• Grants to retire a previously incurred operating debt.
The District’s Annual Funding Cycles
In 2002 the District will utilize these guidelines
for the District’s annual grant cycles. Proposal dates will
be disseminated annually.
Proposals must be received at the District’s
office by 3:00 PM on the date proposals are due. Faxed proposals
will not be accepted. A format for what to include in a proposal
and the required attachments is enclosed with these guidelines.
Additional copies are available by calling or coming into the District’s
office. Please note that the Board office is only open on Wednesday
of each week from 7:30 AM to 3:30 PM and the Secretary is only available
The District’s Board is available to meet with organizations
to discuss a proposed project or to review a draft of a proposal
before it is submitted. The review process may include site visits
by the District’s Board members with applicant organizations
to discuss a project in more detail and to meet the people involved.
The District’s Board of Directors reviews all proposals and
is solely responsible for the final decisions on all requests for
In conducting the affairs of the LMCHD, the Board
of Directors adheres to the Brown Act and Public Record Act when
meeting and deliberating. Therefore, applicant organizations should
be aware that their proposals or some aspect of their request might
have to be made available to the public when the Board meets to
decide on the grants to be awarded this year.
For more information or to schedule a meeting
with the District’s Board, please call: (925) 432-2200. To
submit a proposal, please address and send it to: Los Medanos Community
Healthcare District, P. O. Box 8698, Pittsburg, CA 94565-8698.
FORMATS FOR PROPOSALS
Prior to submitting a proposal, organizational representatives
are encouraged to discuss their ideas for funding with the District's
Board members. The District limits its grantmaking to the purposes
described in the Grant Application Guidelines. Other projects, however
worthy but not appropriate to these guidelines, will not be considered.
You are required to submit only one copy of your
proposal and its attachments. Please remember, faxed proposals will
not be accepted. Proposals are due in the District’s office
by 3:00 PM on the date due. Proposals may be hand delivered. All
proposals must be organized and signed as follows:
||The first page must be on the applicant organization’s
printed letterhead with the current address and telephone number.
||A proposal should be a maximum of four typewritten pages.
The required attachments are extra pages.
||A proposal should be prepared in the form of a letter addressed
to the District’s Board of Directors and signed at the
end by the President of the board and the Executive Director
of the applicant organization, or other appropriate signers
if applicant is an entity of government. These signatures attest
to the fact that the governing body of the applying organization
or entity is aware of the proposal and its contents and has
approved its submission.
Suggested Format for a Project and Collaborative
Action Grant Proposal
This is a paragraph summarizing the type of grant
requested, the purpose of the project, who will benefit, the expected
health-related outcomes, the organizations involved, the proposed
length of the grant period, and the total cost for the project and
the amount requested from the District. In one sentence please state
clearly why this project relates to the District’s funding
priorities. Also, please state the current total annual budget for
the applying organization and the dollar amount and percentage of
administrative expenses for this project and for the applying organization’s
total budget including fundraising costs.
The Statement of Need and the Population
Please describe the problem or issue to be addressed
by the project and which communities and populations are affected
by it. Describe how people are affected by the problem and how pervasive
it is. Indicate how the applicant organization has an existing relationship
with the population affected. Use statistics if they are current
and relevant to make your case. Quotes from recognized and appropriate
authorities may be used as well. The purpose of this section is
to justify the proposed project and to lay the foundation for the
approach or methods you will use to address the problem.
The Description of the Project to be Conducted
This is the core of the proposal and should include how this project
will be conducted in relation to the problem identified. Details
are important in this section including the kind of staff that will
be needed, activities that are to be conducted, and a direct correlation
between these activities and the desired outcomes from the project.
The design of the project should be well-crafted, feasible and appropriate
in scope to the problem.
This section should also include information that
indicates the organization is qualified and capable to conduct this
project. Describe how the organization’s current work exposed
it to the problem, and how current staff are experienced enough
to take on this new activity. Describe how the organization has
had successful experience in implementing other projects similar
in size and scope to the proposed project.
If this is going to be collaboration among two or
more organizations, please describe all the players and what each
will contribute to the process. Indicate who the lead organization
will be and what the roles and responsibilities of each organization
will be. Describe how you will divide up the funding for the project
based on tasks performed.
The Financial Plan for the Project
Please describe the current and future plans for
funding this project. Indicate all known funding sources as well
as those that you plan to solicit over time. Describe in detail
how you will sustain this project after the District’s funding
has ended. Describe what public or private resources you anticipate
will support the continuation of this work. Describe the current
financial situation of the applying organization and how funding
this project will affect its stability. Please state when you plan
to need the District’s funding in relation to when you will
start the project.
Evaluation of the Project
Please describe how the design and implementation
of the project and the outcomes will be evaluated. Indicate how
people in the community, who are affected by the problem and participated
in the program, will be involved in the evaluation process. In evaluating,
the District seeks to understand not only what was successful about
the project but also what did not work and why. The District will
seek to review measures by which the success of the project can
The following attachments must be submitted with
all types of proposals:
||The Application Cover Sheet
||A copy of the organization’s final 501(c)(3)
determination letter from IRS.
||A list of the organization’s current board members with
their professional, business and community affiliations.
||Letters of commitment from all other organizations collaborating
on the project or technical assistance, including statements
of their financial, organizational and staff commitments.
||The budget for the proposed project or technical assistance
which includes all known and projected sources of revenue and
anticipated expenses. Please include footnotes to each line
item with the budget. If possible, please present a project
budget in a twelve month cash flow format.
|| The organization’s current total annual budget approved
by the board of directors.
||The organization’s most recent year-end audited financial
statements. If the organization does not have audited statements,
then please provide the last year-end unaudited statements,
including a balance sheet and statement of income and expenses
which were reviewed and accepted at a board meeting where a
quorum was present.
||Any other printed materials; e.g., an annual report, brochure,
etc., which would describe your organization and its programs
in relation to the community.
The District’s Board of Directors is available
to discuss your project and proposal with you. The LMCHD is a local
public agency and local nonprofit organizations are our partners
in carrying out our mission of improving the health and well being
of the people and communities we serve. We are interested in meeting
representatives of local nonprofit organizations, so please invite
us to visit your organization.
For more information or to schedule a meeting
with the District, please call (925) 432-2200. To submit a proposal,
please address and send or deliver it to: Los Medanos Community
Healthcare District, P. O. Box 8698, Pittsburg, CA 94565-8698.
Please place this completed cover sheet over the first page of your
Name: ________________________________________ 501(c)(3) Yes __
Director: ________________________________________ Phone #
(Or designated contact person & title for governmental entity)
FAX # ____________ E-Mail Address _______________ Fiscal Year
SUMMARY OF PROPOSAL
On the line next to the type of grant requested
please state the amount requested:
$____________ Project $ ____________Collaborative
Total cost for the project or
technical assistance $ ____________
Organization’s total annual budget $ ____________ Current
year $ ____________ Prior year
When will the project begin ____________ and end
Title and summary of the proposed project or technical
Describe all the characteristics of the population(s) to be served
by the project; e.g., ages, gender, ethnicity, economic status,
medically uninsured or underinsured, etc.
What geographic area will the project cover:
Describe the problem to be addressed & the anticipated outcome
from the project or technical assistance:
Describe the personnel to be involved:
Summarize how the project or technical assistance will be evaluated:
Describe the funding plans to continue this project after the grant
period is completed:
GRANT EVALUATION AND SELECTION
1. Does the project meet the mission and goals of the District?
2. Is the proposal presented clearly and concisely? Has all the
required information been submitted in the order and format requested?
3. Are the costs for material and services reasonable? What other
funds and in-kind contributions are available to you?
4. Does the project respond to significant needs and conditions
in the community?
5. Is the applicant qualified to undertake and carry out the project?
Does the project duplicate existing programs in the community?
6. Are the objectives of the project realistic? How will you meet
your project goals within the grant period?
7. How can the proposed project be considered a good investment
for the District?
8. Can the project be segmented for partial funding?
9. What happens to the project when the grant funds are exhausted?
GRANT MAKING PROCESS
1. The Board will eliminate applications deemed unacceptable according
to the basic criteria.
2. The Board will create a grid containing all the
proposals along with a ranking sheet for each proposal.
3. Board members will read each proposal and complete
a ranking for each of them.
4. All the rankings will be summarized and a summary
will then be created with recommendations for all the proposals.
5. The amount of grants will be determined each
year by the annual budget. A set of questions or issues to be discussed
with each organization receiving a site visit will be prepared.
6. The Board will create a schedule for all site
7. Site visits will take place. Board members will
prepare their conclusions from the site visit information gained
and make their funding recommendations.
8. All information from the site visits and final
recommendations for the amount of grants will be submitted for approval
at the monthly Board meeting following the conclusion of all site
9. The Board will respond in writing to all proposals
submitted, both those approved for funding and those not recommended
PROPOSAL RANKING FORM
Board Members Form to Rank Proposals
When Board members receive their copies of the proposals,
they will also receive a form for ranking each proposal and giving
any comments or information they think important. The proposals
will be listed numerically within problem areas.
Tools for Evaluating Proposals
The Board will use three items or tools (which are
included herein) for evaluating proposals:
1. A list of ten points which make up a Framework
for Evaluating Proposals.
2. The Corporations Grant Application Guidelines and Format for
3. A summary of the major issues or focus areas that were identified
as a result of the needs assessment performed pursuant to SB 697.
Preparing for Site Visits
The Board will use the attached Site Visit Checklist
as a guide in preparing for and conducting site visits.
FUND PROPOSAL MAJOR FOCUS
The current needs assessment has identified the following major
focus areas from among a number of problems (keep these in mind
when thinking about your project):
Youth and Teen Issues: Violence
prevention, substance abuse, drop-out and truancy rates, and health-related
Frail Elderly Issues: Independent
living, avoidance of premature institutionalization, health care,
and substance abuse.
Cancer-Related Issues: Support
for efforts to explain or address Contra Costa County's high incident
Family Health Issues: Health education,
preventive care, perinatal health, and immunization programs for
Chronic Disease Management Issues:
Arthritis, osteoporosis, tuberculosis, cancer, heart disease, diabetes,
FRAMEWORK FOR EVALUATING
1. SCREENING FOR ELIGIBILITY: Has the organization
provided basic documentation (IRS determination letter, IRS Form
990, and financial statements) as well as a clear and concise proposal
summary to allow you to determine its eligibility for consideration?
Does the request meet the legal requirements and the interests of
2. ORGANIZATION STRENGTH: Is this
a credible organization, especially in the program area in which
funds are requested? What is its mission? What is its professional
standing within its community? What is its track record? Who is
served and are there similar programs in the same geographical area?
Is there evidence of community support? What are the distinctive
merits of this organization?
3. PEOPLE: Do key personnel have
the necessary expertise to undertake the proposed program? Who provides
leadership and vision for the organization. Is the management efficient
and well organized? Does the board composition reflect an appropriate
diversity of skills and backgrounds?
4. FINANCIAL CONDITION: How does
the agency meet day-to-day operations? Is there a broad base of
support? If it is a deficit operation, how does the agency intend
to meet the deficit? Does the program budget make sense? Is it inflated
5. PROBLEM OR NEED TO BE ADDRESSED:
Has an important problem of workable dimensions been presented and
data been given to substantiate the problem or have needs to be
met been presented and documented?
6. PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: What will
be accomplished with the proposed funding? Are the objectives realistic
and measurable? Do they relate to the stated problem or need? If
this is a new activity or approach, what has been learned from research
or similar programs?
7. METHODS: Are the plans sufficiently
detailed? Is there evidence given as to why the methods should bring
about the desired results? Is the timetable for implementation realistic?
Is staff adequate and capable enough to reach objectives?
8. EVALUATION: Is there a procedure
designed to measure accomplishment of objectives? For pilot or model
programs, what plans have been made to share the results with others
and implement the findings?
9. FUTURE/OTHER FUNDING: What other
funding sources have been identified? If the program is to be continued
beyond the grant period, is a verifiable plan presented for future
10. LANGUAGE AND FORM: Is the proposal
clear and logically presented? Has the writer avoided making unsupported
assumptions? Is there extensive use of jargon and verbiage?
SITE VISIT CHECKLIST
As a wise grantmaker once said, "You can tell good grantmakers
by how many pair of shoes they wear out in a year." It is true
that grantmaking goes beyond reading the written proposal. Grantmaking
involves getting out of your office, visiting prospective grantees
and asking difficult questions. What follows are suggestions about
questions you may want to ask when making site visits and delving
beyond the written word.
Be certain to receive a copy of the IRS Determination/Ruling
letter. Note whether the organization is a private foundation, public
charity or operating foundation. Understand the expenditure responsibility
which needs to be taken if a private or operating foundation. Due
to the complicated nature of the law, receive all reporting instruments
for organizations which undertake lobbying efforts. If there has
been a provisional ruling by IRS, check when the advance ruling
period ends. If there has been a name change, find out why and if
the IRS and other appropriate agencies have been notified, and ascertain
if the tax status remains unaltered. Does the organization being
considered fall under an umbrella organization as is the case with
many Catholic charities and university-related programs; if so,
receive a copy of its ruling.
Do not shy from subjective responses and have no
hesitancy to meet and interview anyone associated with the organization.
Be certain to meet with administrative, program support, and the
In meeting with Administrative/Management personnel,
you want to get a sense of the leadership; how he/she relates to
people and whether he/she is an effective communicator of ideas.
Does the person reflect a proprietary interest or is the position
viewed as a job? How long has the person been in the present position
and what is the previous experience? Has there been a change in
program emphasis with staff changes? What is staff relationship
and involvement with the governing board and who is ultimately responsible
for meeting the budget and for program expansion/curtailment? What
is your sense of the person's ability to respond under pressure
and to deal with critical problems as they may arise?
Ask similar types of questions of Program Staff.
Check for nuances as goals may differ from the organization's plan.
What is the size and make-up of support staff? Is the organization
overloaded with professionals or is it understaffed for program
efficiency? Look at the growth pattern of the staff checking for
signs of instability such as a high turnover rate or sudden changes.
What use is made of part-time and volunteer support? If there is
a dependence on volunteers, is there any difficulty meeting program
needs at certain times of the year? Who is responsible for the coordination
of volunteer activities?
The Governance of an organization is critical: the trustees/directors/members
of the governing board. Try to get a sense of commitment; are rubber
stamp approvals given or are needs thoroughly examined? Why are
the members serving? To lend professional expertise, as a civic
duty, due to personal experience in the field, or at a friend's
or colleague's request? Is there a strong or reluctant willingness
to fundraise? How often does the board meet and what is attendance?
Who are the pivotal members? If the board is set up by committee,
what is the meeting/reporting/action procedure for each? What staff
representation is present at board/committee meetings and does staff
have a formal vote? Check for imbalances on board; e.g., too many
with professional expertise and no accounting or legal background.
Note the possible discrepancy between a working board and an advisory
one; too often the latter lends prestige without input. What is
the board's relationship with staff? Is there awareness or problems
or an unwillingness to get involved? What controls are placed on
the administrator in regard to expenditure responsibility or extraordinary
expense approval. Is the board being well-used?
As you enter and walk through the facility, be conscious
of its location and its physical space. Is the location easily accessible
to the organization's constituency and is it able to attract and
accommodate clients? What factors determined this specific location:
availability, outreach or drop-in services? Does the physical space
appear to be up to code? Are there any signs of visible needed repairs/improvements/deferred
maintenance? Is the space conducive to productivity; e.g., adequate
lighting and sufficient room? Are there limitations or observable
deficiencies to meet program/service requirements? Is too much hardware
visible; e.g., is the Xerox machine used exclusively or is it unnecessary
equipment? Do proper office systems/procedures appear to be in place;
e.g., if healthcare agency, medical records confidentiality--is
filing system accessible by too many or too few?
What are stated goals and purposes of organization
and does it appear they are being met? What constitutes "community"--local
neighborhood, community-at-large, or regional or national direction?
Has the organization bitten off more than it can chew? Has a lesser
scale been tried and proven? Are there inconsistencies in goals?
What are the basic program components/services which will always
be provided and what projects are dependent on funding? What internal
monitoring system has been established to assess programmatic and
administrative problems and successes? How does organization judge
its program performance and by what standards? What is the frequency
of the review process? Note that program accountability is often
superficial while hours can be spent on fiscal control/reporting
or vice versa. What means does organization have to avoid duplication
of services/programs with other community agencies? Is it unaware
of similar work or is there a willingness to coordinate efforts?
What documents are available to look at; e.g., staff reports, board
documents, or administrative memoranda?
Look carefully at the Current Operating Budget and
assume the following built-in biases: underestimate expenses and
overestimate income (particularly true of cultural organizations).
Scrutinize the basics (hard dollar items): rent/mortgage and salary--are
they reasonable, too high or too low? Check for disproportionate
costs and hidden costs; e.g., deferred maintenance. Look at program
needs, the flexible/soft dollars: duplication with hard-core items;
use of consultants and why; are travel expenses necessities--for
whom and why? Where can budget cuts be made if necessary? Who is
ultimately responsible for balancing the budget? Get answers from
both the staff and board. How is the proper use of funds assured?
In checking income, weigh percentages of government grants/private
funding and other sources, such as fees-for-service of admission
fees. Is there a dependence on a few major donors to sustain the
organization? Is it desirable to alter such a skewed position and
methods of correcting same? Is public charity status jeopardized
by a major long-term commitment? Ask for the audit of the previous
year; if not available, look at previous budgets and have someone
you rely on give an outside opinion.
All organizations should have a Master Plan, a three-to-five-year
forecast. If not available in written form, it should be succinctly
verbalized and the organization encouraged to develop a written
statement. Does the plan simply include a built-in inflationary
spiral or does it reflect a realistic growth pattern? What increases
are legitimate? Does the plan get reviewed periodically? How often
and by whom? What changes have been made in the plan during the
past year? Why? It's all right to dream, but working plans should
be obtainable. If the claim toward self-support is made, is it achievable?
Is growth in revenue-producing services consistent with programs
goals? If self-support is not attainable, what alternatives have
been considered? What willingness is there to curtail services?
There are certain pitfalls to be reckoned.
Does dependence on government grants cause cash-flow problems? Has
the government or private funding caused the organization to reorder
its priorities to meet the donor's criteria; e.g., has the opportunity
for funding influenced the organization's direction? Are reporting
requirements burdensomely time-consuming?
TT - GRANTS (Rev. 4/10/02)