239921 Practice and potential of catalyzed minigrants for democratic community health

Monday, October 31, 2011

Christine M. Porter, PhD , Division of Kinesiology & Health, University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY
Peggy McCrackin , Division of Kinesiology & Health, University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY
Disseminating community health minigrants—from $50 to $5000—offers a promising means to tap citizen expertise and generate “grassroots” community action. However, conventional granting mechanisms are unlikely to engage people currently excluded from health policy and planning tables. Building on a review of the small literature on minigrants and though examination of several case studies of community health minigrants in practice, this paper proposes and illustrates strategies for garnering applications from and generating action in communities not accustomed to writing grants and yet who are most affected by unhealthy community environments. Strategies include employing “animators” or “catalyzers” to recruit applicants and providing flexible application modes (e.g., oral). Examples discussed will include how a $500 grant enabled collaborations that installed gardens in several Head Start preschools and how $3000 seeded a new summer market at a historically African-American community center in Ithaca, New York. This paper closes by outlining the minigrant strategies five community food initiatives in the US are employing and presenting preliminary results from their experiences.

Learning Areas:
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs

Learning Objectives:
Participants in this session will be able to identify strategies both from the literature and from examples presented here for mobilizing “grassroots” action for community health using minigrants.

Keywords: Community Participation, Community Development

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: The presenter has a PhD in community nutrition and has been involved with and has researched several community health initiatives that have used a number of minigrant strategies, some successful, some not, to stimulate community action for health.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.