Available Funding and Funding Priorities for Maryland & Greater Washington, DC Markets

Deadline: Friday, November 10, 2017

Notification of award: January 15, 2018

Grant period: February 01, 2018 - December 31, 2018


Founded in 1938, the mission of the March of Dimes is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth, and infant mortality. We do this by funding research to understand the problem and discover answers, helping moms have full-term pregnancies and healthy babies, and supporting families and comforting them when their baby needs help to survive and thrive.

Premature birth is the leading cause of newborn death worldwide. Even babies born just a few weeks too soon can face serious health challenges and are at risk of lifelong disabilities. In 2003, the March of Dimes launched the Prematurity Campaign to address the crisis and help families have healthy, full-term babies. The campaign funds research to find the causes of premature birth, and to identify and test promising interventions; educates health care providers and women about risk-reduction strategies; advocates to expand access to health care coverage to improve maternity care and infant health outcomes; provides information and emotional support to families affected by prematurity; and generates concern and action around the problem.

As part of this effort, the Community Grants Program is designed to invest in priority projects that further the March of Dimes mission, support campaign objectives, and further our strategic goal of promoting equity in birth outcomes. One of the evidence-based interventions that March of Dimes supports is CenteringPregnancy®, a multifaceted model of group prenatal care. CenteringPregnancy integrates the three major components of care – health assessment, education, and support – into a unified program within a group setting. Centering is an evidence-based innovation that has been nationally recognized by leading healthcare experts because of the improved outcomes for important maternal child health factors including preterm birth rates, low birth weight rates, small for gestational age, breastfeeding rates, and immunization rates.

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The applicant organization must be an incorporated not-for-profit 501(c)(3) or for profit organization or government agency. The March of Dimes does not award grants to individuals. Applicants must disclose any conflict of interest due to representation by their organization on the Maternal Child Health Committee or the Market Board of Directors.

The March of Dimes does not fund billable health care provider services. The March of Dimes community grants also do not fund scientific research projects. For information about research grants funded by the March of Dimes national office, please go to marchofdimes.com/research.

All grantees must  (i) certify  that they are not  presently listed on the Federal Excluded Party List,  debarred or suspended from the award of any federal or state contracts,  or excluded from participation  in any governmental  medical reimbursement programs;  and  must (ii) attest that they /will comply with all laws and regulations (to include  federal, state and local  laws and regulations).  Additionally, March of Dimes grantees may be screened to ensure that they are not debarred or suspended by the Federal Government and/or local State agencies. 

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Applicants must provide services in Maryland and/or the District of Columbia. In 2018, it is anticipated that the community grants program will fund three – four grants ranging from $10,000 to $25,000 each. Priority will be given to projects that are evidenced-based, promote equity in birth outcomes and include measurable outcomes. Projects may focus on consumers and/or health care providers. The March of Dimes does NOT fund billable health care provider services.

Resources permitting, smaller community awards of $3,000 or less will also be funded. A separate application is available for community award submissions. Please contact Anne Eder at aeder@marchofdimes.org for this application.

Funding priority areas for 2018 are as follows:

  1. Enhancing care through a group prenatal care model such as Centering Pregnancy.
  2. Reducing tobacco use among pregnant women.
    • Preference will be given to prenatal health education and information/referral services that utilize the "5 A's" counseling approach.  For more information, go to the American Congress of Obstetrician and Gynecology website.
  3. Increasing use of progesterone for women with a history of prior preterm birth.
  4. Educating women about preconception and interconception health and the importance of spacing pregnancies at least 18 months apart.
  5. Implementing community programs that aim to promote equity in birth outcomes.  This may include March of Dimes programs like Stork’s Nest® and Becoming a Mom/Comenzando bien®.

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+Applicant Instructions

Interested applicants must submit a proposal by the date listed above. Late submissions will not be reviewed.

  • Applications must be no longer than 15 double-spaced pages (excluding Supplemental Information).
  • Font size must be 12 point and margins must be 1 inch.
  • All applications must include a Project Overview, Narrative (including Abstract), Budget Form and Objectives/Activities/Outcomes Form. The Narrative section must include all required components, addressing each bullet listed. 
  • Applications for potential funding of new CenteringPregnancy sites must include a completed Site Readiness Form from the Centering Healthcare Institute.
  • Application forms and all attachments must be compressed into one document (pdf format) in the order stated in Appendix A.  Grant applications and related documents will be posted on the website, http://marchofdimes.org/marylandmetrodc.org
  • Attachments may be included; however, all information requested under each of the required components must be provided within the proposal narrative, observing page limitations.

Applications, with all necessary attachments, must be received by email submission no later than 4:00 p.m. on November 10, 2017. The email submission are to be sent to Anne Eder at aeder@marchofdimes.org.  Late applications will not be accepted. 

A completed, signed original application and four copies must also be mailed by the November 10, 2017 deadline date to:

Anne V. Eder, MCH Director

March of Dimes MD-Greater Washington DC Markets

175 West Ostend Street, Suite C-2

Baltimore, MD 21230

Applications received after the deadline date will not be accepted. 

Incomplete applications will not be considered for review.

No application will be accepted by facsimile.

If you have questions regarding the March of Dimes Maryland-Greater Washington DC community grants application, please contact Anne at aeder@marchofdimes.org.

Members of the March of Dimes Maternal Child Health Committee will review proposals. All applicants will be notified in writing of their application’s status in January 2018.

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+Proposal Templates

The full proposal template can be found in Appendix A. Applicants should answer all questions and include all components in submitted proposals. Submitted proposals with incomplete information will not be reviewed.

  • Project Overview
  • Project Abstract
  • Project Narrative
  • Project Objectives/Activities/Evaluation Methods/Outcomes Template
  • Budget Form and Justification
  • Optional Supplemental Information

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+Grantee Requirements

Upon notification of grant award, grantee must sign the March of Dimes Grant Agreement. If you are interested in reviewing the March of Dimes Grant Agreement ahead of time, contact Anne.


March of Dimes CenteringPregnancy grantees are required to submit group data through a March of Dimes online reporting system. In addition, all March of Dimes grantees, including CenteringPregnancy grantees, are required to report on project progress and results six months into the grant agreement and at grant end (12 months from grant award).


Grantees must also get written approval from the March of Dimes MCH Director for any changes in project design or implementation, variance from the submitted budget, or changes in staff overseeing the project.

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+Primary and secondary purpose categories

Primary purpose category (select one):

  • Interconception education and healthcare
  • Preconception education and healthcare
  • Prenatal care services
  • Prenatal education and social support

Secondary purpose category (select one):

  • Becoming a Mom/Comenzando bien
  • Early entry into prenatal care
  • Education materials
  • Group prenatal care/education (CenteringPregnancy®)
  • Interconception education
  • Preconception education
  • Prenatal education/incentive (Stork’s Nest®)
  • Preterm labor prevention
  • Preterm birth recurrence prevention education (about 17P)
  • Preterm birth recurrence prevention education (other than 17P)
  • Risk reduction education/services (ex. smoking cessation)

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+Additional information about project objectives and outcomes

Project objectives should be specific and measurable. For example:

  • One measurable objective of this project is to increase the percentage of pregnant women enrolled who have a prenatal visit in the first trimester of pregnancy from 40% (baseline) to 50% as measured by medical records review.
  • One measurable objective of this project is to decrease the percentage of preterm births among women enrolled in the project from 18% (baseline) to 16.5% as measured by medical records review.

Outcomes are benefits to clients from participation in the program, yet are often mistaken with program outputs or units of services such as the number of clients who went through a program. Outcomes for March of Dimes projects are usually in terms of changes in knowledge, behavior, or birth outcomes. To measure outcomes, baseline data is needed for comparison with data collected during and after project implementation. Below are sample objectives to give you ideas for content and wording about outcomes. Please notice the references to baseline data.

  • Knowledge Change - By MM/YY, 60% of program participants will demonstrate an increase in the perinatal knowledge test as measured by pre/post-tests.  (Baseline will come from pre-test results.)
  • Intent to Change Behavior - By MM/YY, 80% of participants will agree to make at least one positive behavior change as a result of attending the prenatal classes as measured by client interviews.  (Baseline will come from intake interviews.)
  • Behavior Change - By MM/YY, the number of women accessing adequate perinatal care (at least 13 prenatal visits beginning in the first trimester of pregnancy) at XYZ Health Center will increase from 125/year (baseline) to 150/year through the services of a Patient Navigator as measured by a review of client records.
  • Change in Birth Outcome - By MM/YY, decrease the percentage of preterm births among women enrolled in the project from 18% (baseline) to 16.5% as measured medical records review.

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+Allowable and non-allowable costs

Allowable Costs Include:

  • Salary - grant funds may be used to cover salaries for project-related employees, but cannot be used to pay salary costs for employees who are already employed full-time. Exceptions may be made in circumstances where a specified position is supported primarily by grant funds and the applicant can demonstrate that the requested funds would replace existing grant funds.
  • Consultant fees.
  • Materials and supplies (e.g. office supplies, health-related materials, refreshments).
  • Printing and travel that are reasonable and necessary for project implementation.  March of Dimes funds may NOT be used to pay for first class travel.


    Non-Allowable Costs Include:

  • Salary costs for staff who are already employed full-time by their organization (see exceptions above).
  • Construction, alteration, maintenance of buildings or building space.
  • Dues for organizational membership in professional societies.
  • Tuition, conference fees or awards for individuals.
  • Billable services provided by physicians or other providers.
  • Permanent equipment (e.g. computers, video monitors, software printers, furniture) unless essential to project implementation and not available from other sources.
  • Educational materials from non-March of Dimes sources if comparable materials are available from the March of Dimes.
  • Indirect costs for grants under $25,000.
  • Advertising materials and purchase of media time/space: Budget costs relating to these items may not be allowable depending on project specifics. Please consult with the chapter contact listed in this application regarding whether proposed items are allowable.