Health Equity

The Vermont Department of Health (VDH) has been awarded a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) COVID-19 Health Equity grant to address the persistent and disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on populations at higher risk and populations that are underserved. Together, the Vermont Department of Health (VDH) and the Vermont Community Foundation will administer the grant program.

The Vermont Department of Health acknowledges that racism is a public health crisis as demonstrated in its COVID-19 data. Therefore, priority will be given to efforts that are working to address this crisis. Additionally, Vermont will extend this opportunity to include:

  • Black, Indigenous, Persons of Color (BIPOC)
  • People living in rural areas/internet deserts
  • People experiencing homelessness or insecure housing
  • Essential and frontline workers
  • People with disabilities
  • People experiencing substance use disorders
  • People who are justice-involved
  • Refugees/Immigrants/multilingual communities
  • Migrant workers
  • LGBTQIA+ people
  • People experiencing poverty
  • People experiencing mental illness

What the program will fund

The Health Equity Capacity Building grants will support organizations doing current work and/or looking to build additional capacity for future work to address persistent health disparities and inequities. The scope of available funding aligns with the following CDC grant goals:

  • Build community capacity to reach disproportionately affected populations with effective culturally and linguistically tailored programs and practices

  • Build and implement partnerships to align public health, healthcare, housing, transportation, and social service actions to decrease risk for COVID-19

  • Build community capacity with partners (e.g., community health workers, churches, transportation providers, social workers) to reach disproportionately affected populations with effective culturally and linguistically tailored programs and practices for testing, contact tracing, isolating, vaccination, and healthcare strategies

  • Establish collaborations to disseminate scientifically accurate, culturally, and linguistically responsive information and facilitate access to health-related services

Applications to the program will be accepted using the Vermont Community Foundation’s Online Grants Manager (OGM). The Health Department will distribute the funds to selected organizations. In addition to supporting community-based organizations with creative programs and activities that minimize COVID-19 health disparities, a portion of the funds will be for technical assistance to facilitate smaller, newer organizations to build capacity inside their organizations.

Funding and technical assistance will be offered in two tracks:

  • Track One Funding: The minimum level of funding per organization will be $25,000. The average grant funding per organization will be $150,000. This funding will be available on a reimbursement basis only. This track is for nonprofit organizations with existing infrastructure to manage state and federal grants as follows:
    • Certificates of Insurance; (see Appendix E of RFP for details)
    • Recently signed W-9; and
    • Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) number (note: The UEI replaces the DUNS number as of April 4, 2022).

Please note: an applicant without requirements 1-3 in place are welcome to apply with a fiscal agent that does have these requirements in place.

  • Track Two Technical Assistance: Organizations in Track Two will be offered tailored technical assistance, including:
    • Assistance in capacity building to receive state and federal funding, for example:
      • Finance management and accounting
      • Obligations of subrecipients, and necessary administrative capacity
      • Organizational/strategic planning
      • Grant writing
    • Assistance in establishing a partnership with an umbrella organization and/or fiscal agent with the necessary infrastructure and ability to issue smaller grants
  • For full grant details please review the Request for Proposal (RFP) here.
  • View the program FAQ sheet here for additional information.

What the program will not fund

A full list of activities that are not eligible for funding may be viewed in the RFP, Appendix B.

Who May Apply

Community-based organizations (CBOs) will receive priority for these funds. For the purpose of this grant, the Vermont Department of Health defines CBO as an organization or entity which is composed or representative of a population at higher risk and engaged in creating desired improvements to this population’s social health, well-being, and overall functioning. Non-CBOs are welcome to apply, however they must show partnership and engagement with their community and priority populations.

Deadline and Notification

The first deadline for TRACK ONE applications is midnight on May 1, 2022. Applications must be received by this time to be considered in the first cohort. We expect applicants in the first cohort to be notified of grant decisions in early June. Additional applications will be accepted on a rolling basis as available funding permits. 

Applications for Track Two will open on June 1, 2022. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis. Organizations that complete Track Two may be eligible in the future for Track One pending availability of funds.

Application Process

Before applying, we strongly recommend interested applications to review the full RFP to confirm which track is appropriate for your organization. You may also review the program FAQ sheet here for more information.

All applications must be submitted electronically. Visit our Online Grants Center page to learn how and to register for a new account. Or click here to access your existing account. You may contact Karen Scott, grants specialist, at with any questions you have about the application process.

If you request accommodations to fill out the application and/or translation into another language, please contact Al Belluche at or 802-388-3355 ext. 247.

To help you prepare, a sample of the application may be viewed or downloaded below. Please note that this is a PDF sample and not the actual application. To view and begin working on the application, login to the Online Grants Manager (OGM), which can be accessed at

  • View the Track One sample application, here.
  • The Track Two application will be similar to the Track One application. A sample is not yet available. Please check back later for more details.