Dogwood Health Trust announces request proposals for policy and advocacy work

Press release from Dogwood Health Trust:

In an effort to strengthen policy and advocacy organizations in Western North Carolina – and to ensure better representation of WNC voices in state-level policy conversations – Dogwood Health Trust has announced a new request for proposals (RFP) from nonprofit organizations working on policy issues that align with Dogwood’s Strategic Priorities.

Nonprofit organizations interested in advocacy within the Qualla Boundary and Dogwood’s 18-county service region or increasing the representation of WNC issues on a statewide level may apply for two-year grants ranging from $50,000 to $250,000. Dogwood is interested in funding both local organizations as well as statewide organizations.

“While Dogwood funds work that focuses on community equity and increasing access to economic opportunity, education, health and wellness, and housing, we understand that we can’t grant our way out of the region’s most challenging problems — we must also focus on policy change that complements the vital work of our strategic partners,” said Dr. Susan Mims, CEO of Dogwood Health Trust. “Realizing our collective goals requires thoughtful examination of the underlying causes of disparate health outcomes in our region. We’re investing in advocacy because such examinations often reveal policies that don’t serve the people of WNC who are experiencing the most challenges.”

With this RFP, Dogwood is seeking to fund organizations engaging in a range of advocacy activities including:

Research, writing, data collection and/or analysis
Coalition building
Public and/or decisionmaker education
Civic engagement

As a private foundation, Dogwood Health Trust is not permitted to fund lobbying efforts.

“Rather than a specific issue, Dogwood is focused generally on policies that relate to and impact progress in our four strategic priority areas,” said Emily Quinlan, director of public policy for Dogwood Health Trust. “We want to help organizations increase their capacity so they can better achieve their own policy goals. We also want to help these partners align on the state and local levels. While some relationships already exist, we want to galvanize those connections and strengthen their work.”

The Policy and Advocacy application will be available on April 1, 2024, with responses due by 5:00 p.m. ET on April 26, 2024. Award notifications will be made by July 2024, with funds distributed in September 2024. Organizations interested in learning more are encouraged to attend a virtual information session webinar on Monday, March 25 at 12 p.m., ET. Webinar registration is available by clicking this link, and more information can be found on Dogwood’s website. For specific questions, please contact Emily Quinlan at

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