Available Funding and Funding Priorities for Virginia

Deadline: Wednesday, November 22, 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.

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 Virginia 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.

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Programs that address racial disparities and geographic areas with highest preterm birth and infant mortality rates will be given highest priority.

For 2018, requests for funding will be limited to organizations that address the following funding priorities:
· Established group prenatal education programs such as Baby Basics Moms Clubs (up to $5000 per program)
· Programs that aim to reduce tobacco and/or other substance use by pregnant women.
· Programs focusing on improving access and utilization of "17P" (17α hydroxyprogesterone  

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All community grants are approved for one year only. March of Dimes only awards funds for one year at a time (maximum three consecutive years). Funding for a second or third year is not guaranteed. An application must be submitted and funding decisions will be based upon March of Dimes review of previous progress, expenditures and the availability of funds.

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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 12 double-spaced pages (excluding Supplemental Information).
  • All applications must include a Project Overview, Narrative, Budget Form and Objectives/Activities/Outcomes Form. The Narrative section must include all required components, addressing each bullet listed. 
  • Application forms and all attachments must be compressed into one document (pdf format) in the order stated in Appendix A. 
  • 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 Wednesday, November 22, 2017. The email submission must be sent to Marie Pokraka at mpokraka@marchofdimes.org.  Late applications will not be accepted. 

A completed, signed original application and five copies must also be postmarked by Wednesday November 22, 2017 and mailed to Marie at the address listed on the cover sheet. Incomplete applications will not be considered for review. Applications may not be faxed. If you have questions regarding the March of Dimes community grants application, please contact Marie Pokraka at mpokraka@marchofdimes.org.

The Virginia multi-disciplinary Maternal and 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.

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+Grantee Requirements

Upon notification of grant award, grantee must sign the March of Dimes Grant Agreement.


Grantees must also get written approval from the March of Dimes chapter 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 adjunct services
  • Prenatal education and social support
  • Professional education and training
  • Quality improvement
  • Other (please specify)

Secondary purpose category (select one):

  • Becoming a Mom/Comenzando bien
  • Care coordination (case management, patient navigator, medical home, etc.)
  • Chronic disease management in pregnancy (hypertension, diabetes, obesity, etc.)
  • Coming of the Blessing
  • Early elective delivery prevention
  • Early entry into prenatal care
  • Education materials
  • Fertility treatment education
  • Folic acid
  • Genetic services for pregnant women
  • Genetic services for non-pregnant women
  • Group prenatal care (CenteringPregnancy®)
  • Group prenatal care (other than CenteringPregnancy)
  • Home visiting
  • Interconception education
  • Maternal/Child Health (MCH) program enrollment (getting women into WIC, Medicaid, CHIP, etc.)
  • Newborn screening
  • Post-polio activities
  • Preconception education
  • Prenatal education/incentive (Stork’s Nest®)
  • Prenatal education/incentive (models other than Stork’s Nest)
  • Preterm labor prevention
  • Project Alpha
  • Preterm birth recurrence prevention education (about 17P)
  • Preterm birth recurrence prevention education (other than 17P)
  • Risk reduction education/services (alcohol and drug use)
  • Risk reduction education/services (smoking cessation)
  • Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) prevention
  • Other (please specify)

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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, incentives) necessary to accomplish the specific objectives of the proposal that are usually "used up" in the course of the project. Incentives are items used to enable or ensure participants are able to take advantage of services provided by grantees, for example metro or bus cards to assist women in attending prenatal care appointments or educational sessions.
  • 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.
  • Facilities - rental costs associated with using a physical location for an activity necessary to accomplish the specific objectives of the proposal are permitted.
  • Indirect costs are allowable for grants of $25,000 or more only and cannot exceed 10% of total costs. 

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.
  • Cash stipends 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 that do not meet the quality or evidence-based standards provided by 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.