Request for Proposals: 2024 Mental Health Peer Policy Fellow Grants

2024 Mental Health Peer Policy Fellow Grants

Key Dates (all times are Central Time)
Grant Coaching (Optional) Through Friday, March 1, 2024 or until available requests are filled.
Webinar Video Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2024, 10:00 am
Webinar Questions Posted Feb. 19, 2024
Grants management system (Fluxx) registration deadline Friday, March 1, 2024 
Proposal due date  Monday, March 11, 2024, 11:59 pm

The Hogg Foundation for Mental Health invites eligible organizations in Texas to respond to this RFP to fund peer policy fellow positions. The goal of this initiative is to increase the number and capacity of individuals with lived experience and organizations centered on and empowering the voices of lived experience engaging in mental health and substance use policy and advocacy in Texas.

The foundation is piloting a topic-focused policy fellow cohort. The foundation will be selecting and funding organizations engaged in or wanting to engage in state-level policy and advocacy work aimed at supporting child, youth, and family mental health and well-being.

Download Full Request for Proposals

Depending on the quality of proposals received and funds available, the foundation plans to award up to five grants to eligible 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations, governmental entities, or higher education institutions. Please read the following information carefully before submitting your proposal. Any additional information about the RFP will be posted on this webpage. It is the applicant’s responsibility to refer to the website for the most current information. 

To assist proposal development, applicants will be offered up to 2 hours (including document review) of feedback and coaching provided by consultant, Doug Smith (free of charge). Coaching sessions are limited to the first 50 requests for both the policy fellow and peer policy fellow RFPs. Sign up here to ensure availability and secure your session. Read our blog post, Grant Coaching for Better Storytelling, to learn about this approach.  This service is completely optional and utilizing this service does not impact our rating of proposals.

 

Note: An additional Request for Proposals (RFP) for the Mental Health Policy Fellow Program is being released simultaneously with this RFP. Organizations are permitted to submit proposals for both.


Questions and Answers

Please send questions by email to Hogg-grants@austin.utexas.edu. Foundation staff will not accept individual emails or phone calls regarding proposals. 

When are proposals due to the foundation? 

Proposals will not be accepted after Friday, March 11, 2024, 11:59 pm Central Time. 

When will the grants be awarded? 

The foundation plans to notify applicants in April 2024. Grant funding is expected to begin July 1, 2024.  

How long will the funding last? 

The funding is expected to last from July 1, 2024- June 30, 2026. 

Is grant coaching required? Will utilization impact my proposal’s selection? 

No, grant coaching is free and optional. Participation in grant coaching will not have any impact on your proposal’s rating. Coaching is provided on a first come, first serve basis to the first 50 applicants that request the support. The 50 openings are for both the policy fellow and peer policy fellow RFPs. 

Is webinar attendance required? 

No, webinar attendance is optional. A recording of the webinar will be provided on the website. 

What does “peer” mean? Is there a difference between the policy fellowship and the peer policy fellowships? 

The foundation recognizes that individuals with lived experience are essential in informing legislative and administrative policy discussions and decision-making. The peer policy fellow is willing to share their experiences to advocate within the policy and advocacy workspace. There is no differentiation between the two fellows or grant programs once selected but ensures different perspectives within the cohort.  

The Hogg Foundation defines “lived experience” as someone who has personal or familial experience of receiving and/or coordinating mental health and/or substance use services within various systems in Texas (for example, state hospitals, the public mental health system, child welfare, schools, juvenile justice, etc.). 

What degree of autonomy do grant partners have in hiring their fellow?  

We want to give the grant partner autonomy in their decision making and more flexibility in the recruitment and hiring process of their fellow. Historically, the RFP funded a fellow with peer certification, but this has been broadened. An organization can consider personal or familial experience in hiring their peer policy fellow and a degree or certification is not required. We do not have any authority or involvement in the recruitment or hiring of the fellow unless requested. 

We recommend organizations applying for this grant consider their available personnel and/or resources to support individuals with lived experience or varying educational and employment experiences. The intent is for the individual to be prepared to succeed in the fellowship.  

If my organization currently has a Hogg-funded fellow, or has had a Hogg-funded fellow in the past, are we eligible to re-apply? 

Yes, organizations who currently have a Hogg-funded fellow or have had one in the past are welcome to re-apply for a new policy fellow grant. Organizations have had Hogg-funded fellows more than once.  

Can my organization apply for both the policy fellow grant and the peer policy fellow grant? Can an organization be granted both? 

Eligible organizations are welcome to apply for both grants. While nothing would prohibit an organization from being awarded both, it’s unlikely as the foundation intends to award grants to 10 different organizations (5 for the policy fellow grant and 5 for the peer policy fellow grant). 

What does “Texas-based” mean?  

The Hogg Foundation for Mental Health only awards grants within the state of Texas. If the applicant is part of a national or international organization, the applicant must be the office, chapter, or affiliate in Texas. 

Can any organization across Texas apply? 

Applicants across the state are eligible to apply. Due to this grant and the related legislative and policy-focused activities, organizations located in the Central Texas area will be given preference.  

Applicants should consider their ability to provide the time and support to their fellow and mentor(s) to meet the expectation of participation in meetings held in and around Austin area when applying.   

Does my organization need to have a history of engaging in policy?  

No, organizations are not required to have a history of engaging in policy. However, applications will be rated on how policy engagement fits into the organization’s mission and vision, current work, and if the mentor(s) can provide sufficient mentoring in policy to the fellow.  

Does my organization need to be a mental health organization?  

No, organizations do not have to be a mental health organization. Organizations may have a desire to expand their work into mental health and/or substance use. This may include organizations focused on child welfare, education, juvenile justice, perinatal and infant health, early childhood, or other systems that would benefit from expanding their work into policy and advocacy on the intersection of these systems and mental health. 

Applications will be rated on how engaging in policy work addressing child, youth, and family mental health aligns with the organization’s mission and vision, current work, and if the mentor(s) can provide sufficient mentoring in mental health to the fellow. 

How much time should my organization expect the mentor(s) to dedicate to the fellow/program? 

While the foundation does not require any tracking or accounting of the mentor’s time, there are minimum expectations to ensure the fellow receives adequate mentoring.  At the discretion of the organization, mentor(s) should provide dedicated time with the fellow for sufficient mentoring in both mental health and policy.  

Applicants should consider that an expectation of this grant is for both the fellow and the mentor(s) to actively participate in all cohort activities during the two-year period, including active participation in the Hogg Mental Health Policy Academy. Academy activities include monthly meetings, trainings, retreats, etc. These activities are scheduled in advance to give the organization and mentor(s) sufficient time to plan for the employee’s time out of the office, travel, etc. 

Does the grant limit the policy issue(s) the organization/fellow can work on? 

The foundation does not dictate what policy issues can or cannot be worked on. However, the foundation is piloting a topic-focused cohort. The foundation will be selecting and funding organizations engaged in, or wanting to engage in, state-level policy and advocacy aimed at supporting child, youth, and family mental health and well-being.  

If awarded a grant, is the selected fellow candidate classified as an employee or contract labor? 

The fellow is classified as a full-time employee of the organization, receiving the same benefits as other full-time employees. The fellow is not an employee of, and does not represent, the Hogg Foundation. 

Is it possible to apply for the grant and take the funds to an organization?  

No, grants are not awarded to individuals. Grants are only awarded to organizations to employ fellows.  

Is the fellowship required to be in-person?   

Aspects of the fellowship are anticipated and expected to be in-person, such as Academy meetings and Legislative session participation. However, we understand organizations have flexible work arrangements and allow discretion to the grantee partner on where and how their work is completed. We do ask applicants to consider the extra support fellows may need if working virtually. Please include any anticipated flexible work arrangements, and how the fellow will be supported in your proposal.  

What is the total amount of the grant awarded? 

The total amount of the award depends on the salary paid to the fellow and their fringe benefits. The policy fellow salary is expected to be between $50,000 – $60,000 per year plus fringe benefits. The foundation funds 95 percent of the fellow’s annual salary and 100 percent of the fringe benefits. Additionally, the grant includes a $5,000 mentor stipend, $2,000 for the fellow’s professional development, $6,500 for Academy-related travel to Washington, D.C. and one overnight trip in Texas for the fellow and a mentor, and 10 percent overhead. 

How much flexibility is there in the project budget? 

Most of the budget is pre-determined and funds cannot be transferred from one strategy to another. The only variables in the budget for the applicant to determine are the fellow’s salary and the fringe benefits.  

Why is only 95 percent of the fellow’s salary funded?
The foundation supports 95 percent of the fellow’s salary to allow time for, at the grantee organization’s discretion, lobbying activities. Selected grantee organizations are expected to follow their own lobbying restrictions. The foundation does not require any tracking or accounting of the fellow’s time. It is the grantee organization’s responsibility to fund the additional 5 percent of the fellow’s salary. 

Can you provide clarification on what is meant by “10 percent overhead”? 

The overhead is 10 percent of the combined total of the salary, fringe benefits, mentor(s) stipend, travel, and professional development to be used at the grantee organization’s discretion. Overhead will be calculated automatically in the budget template after the salary and fringe benefits are entered.  

Are letters of support required or just recommended? 

Letters of support are only required if an organization is partnering with another organization, such as contracting with a mentor external to their organization. The letter is needed as evidence that the external partner has agreed to the expectations of the grant. 

How many applications do you typically get? And how many awards do you make? 

In the past we have received approximately 20 to 30 applications. We expect to award up to five grants.  

For an organization to apply, is there a requirement for the number of years it has held 501(c)3 tax-exempt status?  

No. 

Who should I contact if I have additional questions? 

Please send questions by email to Hogg-grants@austin.utexas.edu. The foundation’s communications with potential applicants are limited to email correspondence and the website. Foundation staff will not accept individual emails or phone calls regarding proposals. 

For either of these grants, does a program already have to be in place, or can this be used to help develop a program?  

An organization is expected to already be in existence, but organizations are not required to have a history of engaging in policy or have a “policy program.” Applications will be rated on how policy engagement fits into the organization’s mission and vision, current work, and if the mentor(s) can provide sufficient mentoring in policy to the fellow.   

Can you clarify whether 501(c)(4) organizations are eligible to apply for the Policy Fellows grants? The RFP mentions 501(c)(3)s but also includes advocacy organizations in the description of eligible entities.   

501(c)(4) are not eligible to receive this grant. The Hogg Foundation endowment funds cannot be used to support lobbying activities/efforts. Collaborative approaches are eligible for this project and organizations without a 501(c)(3) designation may partner with a 501(c)(3)-designated organization, a government agency, or an academic institution to serve as a partnering organization and the fiscal agent for the grant application.   

Is this fellow intended to be an entirely new hire?  

This grant is meant to create a new position within an organization to hire and mentor a policy fellow. While hiring from within an organization is not prohibited, it is the intent of the fellowship to add capacity to the organization, not to supplant an organization’s current structure or staff. 

Can you clarify the policy fellow job description? 

The job description serves as an example of the job post during recruitment; however, we understand this may change from the time of application to posting.  

How are you defining youth?  Is there an age range? Do young adults (18-24) count?  How about if its to prepare and support them as they age out of youth-serving systems? 

We do not define youth within a specific age range and would consider policy supporting the mental health and well-being of transition-age youth to fit within the intention of this cohort.  

Does the foundation prefer that applicants have a very clearly defined policy agenda, or can we leave this somewhat open to be developed in partnership with the fellow we hire? 

Please keep in mind that this cohort is topic-focused, and the foundation will be selecting and funding organizations wanting to engage in state-level policy and advocacy work aimed at supporting child, youth, and family mental health.  

Proposals may reflect specific areas of mental health/substance use policies that will be addressed by the fellow or may indicate a more general policy agenda. There is no preference for one over the other. If a broad policy agenda is proposed, it is certainly appropriate for the fellow to be included in topic discussions once hired. 

Can you speak more about how you define the intersection of systems and mental health policy? For example, would the Foundation see something like raising the age of criminal responsibility as linked to youth mental health? 

Organizations may have a desire to expand their work into mental health and/or substance use. This may include organizations focused on child welfare, education, juvenile justice, perinatal and infant health, early childhood, or other systems that would benefit from expanding their work into policy and advocacy on mental health. In this example, it would be the applicant’s responsibility to demonstrate how the issue impacts youth mental health or how youth mental health is impacted by the issue. 

 Can the fellow’s salary be adjusted within the range? For example: our application requested a fellow salary aligning with our internal policy of holding a master’s degree, but our best candidate holds a bachelor’s degree. We would want to align the fellow’s salary with our organization’s internal salary structure. 

Yes, if the salary remains within the range of $50,000-$60,000, it can be adjusted.  

Is there a deadline to ask questions? 

The foundation will answer questions until the RFP closes on March 11, 2024.  

We do, however, recommend asking questions prior to the date of closing and cannot guarantee they be answered after business hours on that date.