CareFirst COVID-19 Response and Relief Request For Proposal

Funds to Support Community Organizations Addressing Critical Needs Arising From COVID-19

The funding to address Social and Economic Needs is made through an invitation-only Request for Proposals, which will close on Friday, October 9, 2020 by 11:59 a.m.

Communities around the globe are experiencing an unprecedented strain on resources and capacity as a result of COVID-19. This rapidly evolving situation has taxed resources everywhere, particularly among disproportionately disadvantaged communities. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for enhanced public health and social needs programming to support communities most impacted by the crisis.

In a collaborative effort, CareFirst engaged more than 60 organizations to understand the most critical needs arising from COVID-19. During this process, CareFirst enlisted insights from representatives of Federally Qualified Health Centers, hospitals, direct service organizations, community and private foundations, corporate funders, and more. As a result, CareFirst has earmarked an initial investment of $2 million to aid the immediate health, social and economic needs of our communities. In the first round of funding, CareFirst supported 49 nonprofits providing relief to communities’ health and social needs during the outbreak and recovery phases. In this second round of funding, CareFirst will support nonprofits providing relief to communities’ social and economic needs. Only selected organizations will be invited to apply.

CareFirst’s investments in social needs may include, but are not limited to, initiatives that:

  • Minimize food insecurity, especially among school-aged children, their families, and seniors
  • Ensure individuals with greater health risks can quarantine in place by providing pharmacy and medication assistance, transportation, and meals, including medically tailored meals
  • Provide assistance and counseling to individuals in industries impacted by limited and lost wages (i.e. housing counseling, eviction prevention)
  • Address mental health issues in special populations and communities that are disproportionately impacted

CareFirst’s investments in economic needs may include, but are not limited to, initiatives that:

  • Promote workforce development and stabilize employment by providing job training and creating a career pipeline
  • Engage in authentic community engagement around COVID-19 that address structural racism and public mistrust of health institutions
  • Address digital equity for underserved communities by providing internet connectivity, device access, and/or technology training for children and families
  • Lessen the burden of loss of revenue due to cancelled events among direct service organizations
  • Create opportunities for emergency staffing recognizing the decrease in available staff and volunteers for needed services


CareFirst is dedicating $2 million to address the impact of COVID-19 in the CareFirst service area which includes Maryland, the District of Columbia, Northern Virginia (north and east of Route 123), and the Charleston, West Virginia area. CareFirst will support nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations or public health entities working to provide relief to communities’ health, social, and economic needs that continue to arise during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Special consideration will be given to organizations that are led by youth, women, veteran, or Black, indigenous, and people of color intentionally serving historically under-served and under-resourced communities. Applicants must also serve populations disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 (e.g., seniors, individuals with greater health risks, persons experiencing homelessness, populations with limited English language proficiency, structurally disinvested communities, and/or other special populations).

This is a closed Request for Proposal (RFP). Selected organizations will be invited to apply. Applications must be submitted no later than Friday, October 9, 2020 by 11:59 a.m. Invited applicants must use Internet Explorer to access the application site.

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