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2020 RWJF Culture of Health Prize

Awards to USA Communities to Recognize
Efforts to Improve the Health of Local Residents

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute

Conf. Date:


LOI Date:


Deadline Date:

01/16/20 3:00 PM ET


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Prizes of $25,000 and other award benefits to USA and territories local governments, tribes, regions, and nonprofits representing communities that have prioritized health. Initial applications must be submitted prior to the final deadline. Funding is intended to recognize communities that are working on the forefront of advancing health, opportunity, and equity for all.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Culture of Health Prize elevates the compelling stories of community members throughout the country who are working together in new ways so that everyone can live their healthiest life possible, regardless of who they are or how much money they make. A Culture of Health recognizes that where people live—such as access to affordable homes, quality schools, and reliable transportation—affects how long and how well they live. 

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Culture of Health Prize (the Prize) recognizes communities working together to transform neighborhoods, schools, businesses, and more—so that the opportunity for better health flourishes for all.

To be competitive, it is imperative that Prize applicants showcase the breadth of work and collaboration happening across the entire community.

There are characteristics shared by communities that catalyze and sustain positive change. Because the Prize recognizes whole communities, applicants must think beyond their own individual organizations and initiatives to what has been accomplished across the community. Applications will be judged based on the criteria below.
  • Defining health in the broadest possible terms
  • Committing to sustainable systems changes and policy oriented long-term solutions
  • Creating conditions that give everyone a fair and just opportunity to reach their best possible health
  • Harnessing the collective power of leaders, partners, and community members
  • Securing and making the most of available resources
  • Measuring and sharing progress and results

More details about the criteria can be found at

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 175672

Number of Grants:

The RWJF Culture of Health Prize will be awarded to up to 10 communities.

Estimated Size of Grant:

Winning communities will:
- Receive a $25,000 cash prize;
- Receive customized communications materials about their community including videos, photos, and stories captured by journalists and other communications professionals;
- Receive strategic communications guidance leading up to, during, and in follow-up to the Prize winner announcement to make the most of their Prize recognition;
- Receive national and local promotion of their stories and successes to inspire others’ efforts, including outreach to media, policy stakeholders and organizational networks; and
- Engage in opportunities to build knowledge with other national and community leaders working to build a Culture of Health, including past Prize winners through the Prize Alumni Network.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Applicants must meet the definition of a community: A “community” must be a geographically defined jurisdiction within the United States that falls into one of the following categories:
- County, parish, borough, city, town, village, or other municipality with a publicly elected governing body
- Federally-recognized tribe or a state-designated Indian reservation
- Native Hawaiian organization serving and representing the interests of Native Hawaiians in Hawaii
- Region defined as contiguous municipalities, counties, and/or reservations

Communities within U.S. territories are welcome to apply. Communities in places that may have unique governance structures (such as U.S. territories, Alaska, and Hawaii) should contact the Prize program with eligibility questions well in advance of the application deadline.

Applicants must provide primary and alternate contact people for the application, preferably from two different organizations. Each individual will indicate one of the following organization types with which they are affiliated, such as:
- Business
- Community coalition, grassroots, advocacy, or resident group
- Hospital or health care organization
- Local foundation
- Government agency or department
- School
- Non-profit community-based organization
- Community development organization

Applicants must designate a local U.S. governmental entity or tax exempt public charity operating in its community to accept the $25,000 Prize on the community’s behalf, should they win.

The RWJF Culture of Health Prize honors U.S. communities; submissions representing the work of a single organization will not be considered. With the exception of previous Prize winners and 2019 finalists, all past applicants are eligible to reapply for 2020 (2019 finalists may reapply in 2021).

Neighborhoods and states are not eligible to apply.

Pre-proposal Conference:

RWJF Culture of Health Prize 2020 Call for Applications Informational Webinar

This informational webinar will explore the 2020 RWJF Culture of Health Prize Phase I Application, including the selection criteria and online application process. The webinar will be hosted by staff representing both the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute

September 24, 2019 from 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. ET.

A recording of the webinar will be posted within a week on the Foundation's website.

For more information and to register go here:

Pre-Application Information:

Here are the major milestones from initial application through winners' celebration event:

Phase I
- November 4, 2019 (3 p.m. ET): Phase I Applications (for all applicant communities) due.

Phase II
- December 9, 2019: Invitations extended to select applicant communities to submit Phase II Applications.
- January 16, 2020 (3 p.m. ET): Phase II Applications (for invited communities) due.

Phase III: Site Visit Phase
- February 28, 2020: Invitations extended to finalist communities to participate in the Site Visit Phase.
- April-May 2020: Site visits with finalist communities.

Recognition Phase
- Fall 2020 : National announcement of winners and celebration and learning event

The RWJF Culture of Health Prize application process has three distinct phases:
- Phase I Application: Applicants are asked to submit a brief essay to introduce their community and showcase accomplishments.
- Phase II Application: A select group of Phase I applicants will be invited to compete for a finalist slot by submitting a Phase II application.
- Phase III Site Visit: Up to 16 Phase II applicants will advance as finalists in the competition and be invited to host a site visit.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Online application:

For more information on the RWJF Culture of Health Prize, please contact:
Carrie Carroll, Deputy Director

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

USA Territories: American Samoa (USA)   Guam (USA)   Puerto Rico (USA)   Virgin Islands (USA)   Northern Mariana Islands (USA)

USA Compact Free Associations: The Federated States of Micronesia (USA)   Marshall Islands (USA)   Republic of Palau (USA)