**Important Note on General Support for Advocacy (GSA) Grants in 2017:
Started in 2004, the GSA program has provided flexible funding to strengthen health advocacy organizations and ensure grantees are able to respond to health policy issues in a timely and systemic way. Currently, the MFH Board of Directors, Community Advisory Council, and staff are reviewing the Foundation’s approach and strategies to support health advocacy and policy in Missouri. In light of this review and strategic refresh of how to strengthen MFH’s advocacy and policy work even further, we have decided to not offer an open call in 2017 for new GSA grantees. However, current GSA grantees with an award ending in 2017 will be invited to apply for a one-year GSA grant.
This one-year grant will allow current grantees to continue their health advocacy work while we determine our future approach to supporting health advocacy, which we will officially launch in January 2018. These one-year grants will then align with the other cohort of GSA grantees that also have grants ending in 2018. Depending on the strategy work being completed by the Foundation, this enables MFH staff time to launch a new or revised advocacy funding program next year. Communication on changes to our advocacy and policy strategy will continue throughout the end of 2017 and into 2018. Thank you for your understanding and for the important work that you do on behalf of vulnerable Missourians.
MFH recognizes the significance of advocacy efforts in creating system-level change that will improve the health of the uninsured, underinsured, and underserved in Missouri. MFH aims to strengthen health advocacy in the state by providing GSA grants to eligible nonprofit organizations engaged in health advocacy work.
MFH provides GSA grants as described in IRS Regulation 26CFR § 53.4945-2(a)(6)(i) to tax-exempt nonprofits involved in health-related public policy advocacy work on behalf of Missouri residents. These unrestricted funds are intended to provide financial flexibility for 501(c)(3) organizations to address emerging health policy issues in a timely way and are not earmarked for a specific project or activity.
What is General Support for Advocacy?
GSA is a funding program that provides unrestricted grant funding to organizations engaged in advocacy to affect positive health system changes on behalf of the MFH target population (the uninsured, underinsured, and underserved). It is a two-year flexible grant intended to allow organizations to respond to emerging health policy issues.
What is Advocacy?
Advocacy is a process by which an individual or group aims to influence decisions within political, economic, and social systems as well as institutions. Advocacy may include activities that a person or organization undertakes at the institutional, local, state, or federal level. Activities may also include media campaigns, public speaking, judicial action, direct and grassroots lobbying, educational briefings, testifying at hearings, commissioning and publishing research, and conducting polls. For the purpose of GSA, advocacy does not typically include individual patient advocacy or direct services. For more information click here.
Is My Organization a Fit for GSA Funding?
GSA funding is meant to support organizations working on policy change related to MFH health priority areas (i.e.,infant mortality, childhood obesity, expanding health coverage, oral health, and health equity) that benefit both our target population and our service area. Our service area includes 84 counties and the city of St. Louis.
GSA grantees typically have a successful record of policy change and a deep understanding of advocacy tactics and the policymaking system they are attempting to influence. GSA is not meant to support individual patient advocacy or programmatic endeavors.
Click here for a full list of Frequently Asked Questions.
If your question hasn’t been answered there, please contact Health Policy Officer Sarah Morrow.
MFH works to build the capacity of Missouri nonprofits to provide a voice for the uninsured, underinsured, and underserved in the policymaking process. Learn more about training opportunities here.