Feb 27, 2019

Innovations Fund 2019 Frequently Asked Questions

The Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action has developed a list of frequently asked questions about the Innovations Fund. Find answers to questions about:

General Questions Funding Questions Technical Assistance
General Questions

Who is eligible to apply?

  • Only Action Coalitions or approved organizations affiliated with the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action may apply.
  • All applicants must be a public entity or a non-profit organization that is tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
  • Organizations unaffiliated with an Action Coalition are encouraged to contact the Action Coalition in their state to discuss opportunities for collaboration. Click here to find the contact information for each Action Coalition.

Is a public university eligible to apply for funding?

  • Yes. A public university is a “public entity” and eligible to apply for the award.

When is the application due?

What criteria will reviewers use when determining finalists?

Projects must:

  • Demonstrate a commitment to addressing nursing’s role in building a Culture of Health and health equity.
  • Show evidence of replicable strategies that demonstrate collaboration with diverse stakeholders.
  • Show evidence of sustainability.
  • Partner in meaningful ways with diverse stakeholder organizations.
  • Secure 1:1 matching funds (those with higher matches will be given preference). 

How many finalists will be selected?

  • Up to 10 Action Coalitions can receive the full award of $25,000.

Can an Action Coalition partner, other than a co-lead organization, accept funds on behalf of the Action Coalition?

  • The recipient of the funds must be a public entity or a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization at the time of submission.
  • If the co-lead organizations are not 501(c)(3) non-profits or public entities, the Action Coalition may approve another member organization to accept funds on behalf of the Action Coalition.
  • Action Coalition co-lead organizations must submit letters of support for the designated recipient organization. This letter should be attached as a separate PDF file.

Can we include additional letters of support with our application, such as from key partners we have listed?

  • Only Action Coalitions are required to submit a letter of support for a designated recipient organization, if that organization plans to accept funds on the Action Coalition’s behalf. This letter may be submitted as an attachment that does not count toward the 10 page limit.
  • Should you wish to provide additional letters of support, please ensure they fall within the 10-page application limit.

Is this a cash award or a grant?

  • It is a cash award, not a grant. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation provided the money to AARP Foundation, and the Center to Champion Nursing in America, an initiative of AARP Foundation, AARP and RWJF, is administering the award. AARP will distribute cash awards directly to recipients after a memorandum of agreement is executed.

Will the award be distributed over one or two years?

  • The full award will be distributed to finalists in one lump sum after a memorandum of agreement is executed.

Can an Action Coalition submit more than one proposal and receive multiple awards?

  • Yes, an Action Coalition may submit more than one proposal. However, only one award may be given to an Action Coalition, regardless of the number of proposals submitted.

Can two or more Action Coalitions apply as a team?

  • Yes, Action Coalitions may collaborate and apply as a team. Each Action Coalition could apply separately for a $25,000 award each, then combine the funds towards one project.
  • Two Action Coalitions could apply together for a $50,000 award and divide the funding. Note: a total of $50,000 in non-RWJF funds must be secured.
  • Joint applications must designate one Action Coalition as the primary applicant. The memorandum of agreement will be between AARP and the primary applicant who will represent the other Action Coalition.
  • If more than two Action Coalitions are considering joint applications, follow the guidance for two Action Coalitions submitting jointly. Email questions to NursingInnovations@aarp.org. 

If an Action Coalition received a prior Innovations Fund award, is it eligible for this round of funding as well?

  • Yes. All Action Coalitions, regardless of previous award status, may be considered for this round of funding.

Can a previous Innovations Fund award be used towards a project being proposed for the second round of funding?

  • No. Previous Innovations Fund awards may not be used for any projects other than those outlined in the original memorandum of agreement.
  • Please note there may be an overlap in project timelines, but each project will have separate funding.

Can an RWJF Public Health Nurse Leader (PHNL) and his/her affiliated Action Coalition apply for both the Innovations Fund and the PHNL grant?

  • Yes, a PHNL, along with his/her affiliated Action Coalition, may apply for both funding opportunities but must have separate matching funds for each award.
  • If an Action Coalition chooses to link its Innovations Fund application to a PHNL project, it must:
    • clearly describe the connection to the PHNL project,
    • demonstrate how the PHNL project will contribute to the Action Coalition’s sustainability,
    • and show how new partner organizations will strengthen the Action Coalition.

Can a previously planned project be considered as an Innovations Fund project? 

  • Yes, provided the Action Coalition can demonstrate how that project relates to building a Culture of Health and health equity. 

Will proposals designed to plan a project to target health equity be considered?

  • Yes, proposals designed to plan projects will be considered. However, this is a competitive funding opportunity, and we expect there will be proposals that go beyond planning.

Can your project have multiple alignments with RWJF’s Culture of Health Framework?

  • Yes. You can indicate as many area(s) of alignment that is applicable for your specific goal.

Do we need to identify a principal investigator for this proposal and a biosketch or CV?

  • We encourage you to identify key staff and their qualifications in the budget narrative.

If we want to include numbers or additional information in an appendix, does that count toward the 10-page limit of the application?

  • The only items accepted in addition to the 10-page limit are:
    • Letter of support from an Action Coalition, if applicable.
    • Confirmation letters from the funders that are approving matching funds for this project.
  • All other supporting materials must fall within the 10-page application limit

What is the project start date?

  • Applicants will be notified of funding decisions in mid-March 2019.
  • Awards will be disbursed after memorandum of agreements are signed.
  • Projects should start no later than April 1, 2019.

What are the reporting requirements?

  • Awardees must provide a progress report at the end of 2019, and a final report at the end of the funding period. 

What font and size should be used for the application?

  • Use Arial 11 font. 

Will there be another future Innovations Fund award?

  • CCNA will evaluate the success of this funding round and may consider future opportunities for 2020.
Funding Questions

How much is the Innovations Fund award?

  • Selected Action Coalitions may each receive up to $25,000.

What is the matching fund requirement?

  • Action Coalitions must secure a 1:1 match.
  • Matching funds may come from any source and preference will be given to Action Coalitions that secure higher matches.
  • In-kind support is encouraged but will not count towards the match.
  • Matching funds must align with the project timeline; if there are timing conflicts, they should be explained in the application.

Can RWJF funds be used as matching funds?

  • Matching funds must come from sources other than RWJF. 

Where may an applicant seek matching funds?

  • Matching funds may come from organizations such as independent and private foundations; family and community foundations; corporations and business partners; religious groups; local charities; coalition member organizations; from city, county, state, and federal funds, including block grants; or from individuals.
  • Federal grants are permitted.
  • Matching funds from multiple groups may be combined to meet the requirement.

Should matching funds be “in hand” at the time of submission, or will commitment letters from funders suffice?

  • Applicants should have either matching funds or letters of commitment from funders “in hand” at the time of submission.
  • Letters of commitment from funders must include the award recipient name, amount of funding, purpose of funding, funding period of the award, the date on which funding will be dispersed, and any special conditions.
  • Preference will be given to Action Coalitions that secure at least $25,000 or more in matching funds.

Is there a limit on the letters of commitment from funders an Action Coalition can submit?

  • No, there are no limitations on the number of commitment letters from funders that may be submitted.

What if an Action Coalition does not secure matching funds or commitment letters from funders by the time the application is due?

  • If there are circumstances that will delay the process, provide an explanation on the application.

Can matching funds be used for a specific focus of the project as well as for overall use?

  • Yes. Matching funds may be used for either general or specific purposes.
  • Applicants should describe in the budget narrative how the funds will be used.

Can matching funds be used for staffing, personnel or consultants?

  • Yes, matching funds may be used for staffing, personnel, and consultant costs.
  • Include a detailed explanation in the budget narrative for how the funds will be used. 

What constitutes an indirect cost? Should a grant supervisor/manager be listed in the section for personnel costs or indirect cost?

  • Indirect costs are overhead expenses incurred by the applicant organization as a result of the project but that are not easily identifiable with a specific project.
  • Indirect cost consist of;
    • Administrative expenses that are related to overall operations and are shared among projects and/or functions.
    • Executive oversight, accounting, grants management, legal expenses, utilities, and facility maintenance are all examples of indirect costs.

If an Action Coalition receives ongoing support in a general fund from different organizations, can these funds be used towards the match?

  • General funding from outside organizations may be considered towards the match. However, applications that provide evidence of matching funds specific to this Innovations Fund will be viewed as stronger than those using pre-existing general funds. 

Will funding secured from a non-RWJF source for a current project unrelated to the Innovations Fund be considered as matching funds? 

  • Previously secured, non-RWJF funding may be considered as matching funds, but must be used for the proposed Innovations Fund project.

Can an Action Coalition apply for funding less than $25,000?

  • Yes, Action Coalitions may apply for any amount of funding up to $25,000. However, applications with a $25,000 or more match will be viewed as stronger than those securing less than $25,000.

Can Innovations Fund applicants apply for RWJF grants, including the Public Health Nurse Leader (PHNL) grant?

  • Action Coalitions are always encouraged to apply for RWJF grants. The Innovations Fund is a cash award, not an RWJF grant.
Technical Assistance Questions

What technical assistance will be offered to awardees?

  • Awardees will receive a social media toolkit with materials to announce their award across multiple platforms. They may also receive assistance with stakeholder engagement, coalition building and fundraising.

Are unsuccessful applicants eligible to receive technical assistance?

  • All applicants, regardless of funding status, may receive technical assistance for stakeholder engagement, coalition building, and fundraising.
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