Kansas has released its phased approach for administering COVID-19 vaccines. Learn more in English or Español.

Kansas Advocates for Equity, Education and Health – NOW CLOSED

PLEASE NOTE: This grant opportunity is now closed.


All Kansas families should live in communities of opportunity, where good schools, healthy environments, safe homes, quality jobs, and access to health care, high-quality goods and services are the norm. We believe education, health care, and children being ready to learn are critical pieces of creating and supporting communities of opportunity. This request for proposals (RFP) focuses on the systems impacting children’s health, early learning, and high-quality education, to shift those in ways that create more opportunities for school readiness and educational success for more Kansas children. In particular, this initiative will support work that benefits Black, Indigenous and other People of Color (BIPOC) and low-income families experiencing the greatest barriers.

We also recognize that the foundation for learning is the physical, mental and emotional health of the child and the family, with the building blocks being established before birth. Research has shown that when children are healthy and ready to learn before they enter kindergarten, it increases their chances of success once they enter the school system. We need to address the environment into which children are being born, particularly for children facing challenges, such as high poverty, chronic stress and lack of resources/supports, to increase their long-term odds for success.

To this end, the Kansas Health Foundation (KHF) and the United Methodist Health Ministry Fund (UMHMF) are partnering to engage three organizations to co-create and implement a shared advocacy agenda focused on children 0-8 designed to reduce barriers to academic success and improve educational outcomes. Because no single policy can effectively increase equity in school readiness or educational outcomes, we want to work with these grantee organizations to advance a multi-prong agenda that recognizes the many issues and systems that impact children and families, including health access and high-quality early care. We believe that by engaging community voice and leadership, and supporting grassroots organizations with technical expertise and strong intersectional partnerships, positive impacts will be made on Kansas public policies in ways that reduce barriers to academic success and improve educational and health outcomes.

Up to three organizations will be awarded up to $300,000 each to be used over a span of three years ($100,000 annually) beginning May 1, 2021 and ending April 30, 2024.

Applications are accepted Monday, February 1, 2021, through Friday, March 5, 2021 at 5:00 p.m. CST.

If your organization has relevant experience and expertise but you question whether or how you should apply, please reach out to KHF Program Officer Chan Brown to discuss at cbrown@khf.org.

Complete information about this grant opportunity can be found in the official Request for Proposals document.


We are asking the three organizations funded through this initiative to engage in advocacy efforts that will result in policy, systems, and environmental (PSE) changes that consider three fundamental questions:

  1. How can we support BIPOC families in ways that create environments for young children that result in increased social, emotional and academic preparedness for entering school?
  2. How can we help our early care and education providers and school districts reimagine their work so that more birth-to-eight age children are reaching their educational potential?
  3. How can we support access to healthcare and support services for families so children have the healthiest possible start in life?

The grantees selected will advocate for PSE improvements to answer the above questions by:

  • Creating more supportive environments that reduce barriers and prepare all Kansas children for a successful learning experience (i.e., increasing school readiness; access to mental health providers in school); and/or
  • Aiding Kansas schools and early care and education providers in designing and delivering equitable education opportunities for children and caregivers using a whole child, two-generation approach to improve educational outcomes (supporting schools in their efforts to create greater achievement for students of culturally and racially diverse backgrounds). Click here to see how we define a two-generation approach: https://ascend.aspeninstitute.org/two-generation/what-is-2gen/ .

Both approaches are intended to lead to PSE changes resulting in more students experiencing success in the classroom.

In reviewing proposals, consideration will be given to the extent to which applicants describe:

  • Their organization’s readiness to effectively implement high-quality advocacy work
  • A clear equity issue area important to improving educational outcomes
  • An authentic working relationship with the BIPOC or other low-income communities prioritized in this proposal and reasonable strategies to center their voice in this work
  • A clear and thoughtful plan on how to engage in the proposed advocacy efforts
  • A compelling vision for bold policy advocacy that will address barriers to educational equity and promote greater student success

Funding is not available for:

  • Construction projects of any kind;
  • Medical research;
  • Contributions to capital campaigns;
  • Operating deficits or retirement of debt;
  • Endowment programs not initiated by KHF, or UMHMF;
  • Vehicles, such as vans or buses;
  • Medical equipment;
  • Real estate acquisitions;
  • Direct mental health services;
  • Direct medical services;
  • Partisan political activity;
  • Candidate endorsements; and
  • Lobbying as defined by the U.S. Internal Revenue Code (IRC), section 4945(d)(1).


KHF is interested in reaching organizations who have authentic connections to families with prenatal to age eight BIPOC children and those experiencing poverty to ensure these organizations have the opportunity to apply. Nonprofits who identify as tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code can apply. Eligible applicants are tax-exempt organizations qualified under Sections 509(a)(1) or (a)(2) of the Code.


All proposals must be submitted through KHF’s online grantmaking portal.

To access and submit a proposal, applicants must have a current user account for the portal. If they do not have a current user account, applicants can create one by registering here.

Please note, KHF has recently updated our online grantmaking portal to offer an improved user experience. Most importantly, if you have a current user account, your username is now the email used to create your original account. Your password has not changed. Any questions can be directed to grants@khf.org or by calling (316) 262-7676.

Within the proposal, applicants will respond to the following prompts and questions:

  1. Project title
  2. Requested grant amount
  3. Contacts for applicant organization
    • Person authorized to sign a grant agreement if funded
    • Person responsible for completing the proposal
    • Person who will be responsible for managing project
  4. Applicant organization’s mission and how this proposal is related to that mission.
  5. Describe applicant organization’s capability and resources to ensure timely start-up and implementation of the proposed activities.
  6. Briefly, when you think about educational outcomes for Kansas children, what concerns you the most?
  7. How did the events that occurred in 2020 (the COVID-19 pandemic, recession, election results and racial justice movements) shape your organization’s thinking regarding addressing the root cause of inequitable outcomes for Kansas students and families? What new policy approaches do you consider to be important that may not have been considered previously?
  8. What equity issue area related to educational outcomes do you intend to advance through this initiative? How will it increase long-term educational equity?
  9. What bold policies would your organization promote to reduce education gaps for BIPOC children and those experiencing the greatest barriers to academic success? What policies would you envision to accomplish the following:
    • Support BIPOC families and those experiencing the greatest barriers in ways that create environments for young children that result in increased social, emotional, and academic preparedness for entering school.
    • Help school districts and early care and education providers reimagine their work so that more children birth to age eight are reaching their educational potential.
    • Increase access to healthcare and support services for families so children have the healthiest possible start in life.
  10. Describe your planned approach and potential activities for developing a collective policy agenda that advances policy, systems and environmental changes for improved educational equity that is driven by community input. If applying on behalf of an existing partnership or coalition, identify those key partners and what their role will be in advancing this work.
  11. Project Budget
  12. Required attachments
    • Acknowledgement of agreement review (form to be provided by KHF)
    • IRS Form 990
    • Most recent unaudited financial statement (balance sheet)
    • Financial Statement of Activity
    • Statement of Cash Flow


An informational webinar was held on Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2021, to answer questions about this initiative and the application process.

We recorded the live webinar for those who could not attend the event. That webinar recording can be viewed here.


Applicants Webinar: February 9, 2021, 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. CST
Proposals Due: March 5, 2021 by 5:00p.m. CST
Grant Awards Announced: By April 17, 2021
Grant Term Begins: May 1, 2021

Please note, this timeline is subject to minor changes but will be updated on this webpage.


Further details about the Advocates for Equity, Education and Health Initiative can be found in
the one-page overview and the official Request For Proposals document. We also encourage applicants to review the Frequently Asked Questions document before applying.

Any questions can be directed to the following KHF staff members:

  • For programmatic questions, contact Chan Brown, program officer, at cbrown@khf.org/(316) 491-8450
  • For questions about the portal, contact Gina Hess, grants associate, at ghess@khf.org/(316) 491-8411
  • For technical questions, contact Candace Malone, program assistant, at cmalone@khf.org/(316) 491-8405 or Blair Weibert, grants officer, at bweibert@khf.org/(316) 491-8413


Connect With Us

Sign Up for KHF's Electronic Newsletters

Learn more about the latest Foundation news, grant opportunities, stories and health articles by signing up for KHF’s e-newsletters. Join today!