Community Solutions to Prevent Maternal Mortality (RFA # 35375)


Thank you to all of the applicants for submitting their proposals for the Community Solutions to Prevent Maternal Mortality RFA. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment received ten applications. The applications were scored by the Community Grant Review Committee who recommended two organizations to receive the available $50,000 in funding. 

Congratulations to Glowmundo and Elephant Circle for being awarded funds! Glowmundo will use funds to provide two behavioral health peer support programs to pregnant and parenting young people in a high school setting. Elephant Circle will expand and improve doula programs while continuing to integrate community voice into conversations about birth justice. The department looks forward to watching these organizations support the health and well-being of pregnant and postpartum people. 


Maternal mortality, defined as the death of a person while pregnant or up to twelve months after giving birth, has increased in the United States. It is an essential indicator of the health equity and wellbeing of a community. Each case is a tragedy that is often preventable, defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as instances where there was at least some chance of the death being averted by one or more reasonable changes to the patient, community, provider, facility, and/or systems levels. 

While Colorado’s rate and the number of deaths are lower than the national average, the state’s rate has nearly doubled since 2013. Between 2014 and 2016, there were 94 deaths, seventy-two of which (76.6%) were determined to be preventable by the state Maternal Mortality Review Committee. Mental health and substance use contributed to nearly six out of every ten deaths, with Native American populations experiencing the most disproportionate impact in Colorado.(1)

(1) Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (2020). Maternal Mortality in Colorado, 2014–2016. Accessed at:

The circumstances under which deaths occur range from individual factors and quality of care provided by health care facilities and personnel to social and environmental factors. The burdens of these deaths, however, aren’t evenly shared. Significantly worse outcomes exist for Indigenous, Black or individual people of color, those with limited or low socio-economic means and educational opportunities, and those living in communities where structural and systemic inequalities (racial, social, economic, health, and environmental) have persisted, and in many cases, been deliberately perpetuated.


This Request for Application (RFA) launches a three-year (2022-2024), community-responsive initiative and funding opportunity in the Maternal Mortality Prevention Program (MMPP) at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE). Through extensive community conversations, review of Colorado data, research on best community-driven approaches, and consultation with key partners in 2019-21, the MMPP identified three major pathways through which maternal mortality can begin to be addressed:

  • Increasing social connectedness and the ability of pregnant and postpartum Coloradans to feel connected, supported and a sense of belonging.
  • Increasing economic security or mobility among pregnant and postpartum Coloradans.
  • Increasing the community’s collective capacity (people, resources, or infrastructure) to care for and support pregnant and postpartum individuals, formally and informally.

Estimated Project Budget and Funding

FY 2022

02/01/2022 – 9/29/2022

8-month award(s) for

Year 1 implementation

Up to two (2) awards $50,000 maximum combined

FY 2023

09/30/2022 – 9/29/2023

12-month awards (s) for

Year 2 implementation

Up to two (2) awards $50,000 maximum combined

FY 2024

09/30/2023 – 9/29/2024

12-month award(s) for

Year 3 implementation

Up to two (2) awards $50,000 maximum combined

Total Funding (3 years)


Up to two (2) organizations that are rooted in communities and driven by the people most affected by maternal mortality will be selected to implement Year 1 of the initiative. Additionally, this RFA seeks to address structural power inequities in piloting a community-responsive approach, where institutions are working in tandem with individuals and communities most affected by the issue, rather than for or to.


CDPHE will accept applications from Colorado-based, organizations, groups, collaboratives, or individuals who provide programs and services to pregnant and postpartum individuals in a community-based, non-institutional setting. 

Funding is not intended for local public health agencies at this time, but applicants are encouraged to collaborate with local government agencies (health, social services, education, etc.) or other institutional entities such as higher education or foundations. Proposals to conduct clinical health care services and human subject research are also excluded. 

Priority will be given to applicants with the following characteristics and qualities: 

  • Not traditionally, financially and primarily supported by institutional entities (such as another state agency, an academic institution, a hospital system or a foundation). 
  • Demonstrated long-standing history and association as a community anchor for, of and by its members (in which they propose to do work under this RFA).
  • Focus of current and proposed work is on under-invested communities with higher populations of Black, Indigenous and people of color, OR in non-urban and non-metro areas.
  • Efforts led by individuals or groups that are more likely to experience or be impacted by morbidity and/or mortality during pregnancy and the postpartum periods, including low-income individuals; individuals with less education; people with diverse physical and mental abilities; immigrants, refugees or migrants; LGBTQ+ individuals; and Coloradans living in rural or frontier communities.
  • A record of authentic and effective collaboration with community members, residents, or constituents, up to and including installation of those individuals as formal or informal leaders.
  • Demonstrated understanding and articulation in movement building with the impacted audiences, or demonstrated experience in empowerment approaches as part of providing services.




Time (MDT)

RFA published on RFA website


September 15, 2021


Informational webinar for interested applicants (optional) Recording, Powerpoint slides


September 22, 2021

12:00 PM - 1:30 PM

Technical assistance session #1 (optional)
NOTE: This session had no attendees, therefore there is no recording available.


October 5, 2021

12:00 PM - 2:00 PM

Technical assistance session #2 (optional)



October 20, 2021

5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Deadline to submit questions and request technical assistance


October 22, 2021

5:00 PM

Answers to submitted questions, technical assistance questions, and any changes to the RFA published on the RFA website


Technical assistance ends 


October 29, 2021

5:00 PM

Application submission deadline


November 12, 2021

5:00 PM

Application review period, including interviews with top applicants if needed

November 15-30, 2021


Notification of Award (estimated)


December 15, 2021


Contract Effective Date/Work begins (estimated)


February 1, 2022




A Community Grant Review Committee will review the applications in November 2021 and select up to two (2) applications to be funded for Year 1. Notification of awards will take place by December 15, 2021 and work will begin on February 1, 2022. Applications will be scored based on the extent to which an applicant clearly describes the rationale for the following: 

  1. A statement of the need or problem to be addressed by the proposed project (15 points)
  2. The community-driven proposed solution(s) and how it/they best align to pathways to decreasing maternal mortality (social connectedness, economic security/mobility, community capacity) (20 points)
  3. Budget (15 points)
  4. Anticipated challenges or technical assistance needs for implementation (10 points)
  5. Learning, reflection or evaluation plan (15 points)
  6. Skills, qualifications and experience (20 points)
  7. Administrative requirements (5 points)


RFA #35375 - Community Solutions to Prevent Maternal Mortality. - Revised 10/15/2021
**PLEASE NOTE: The above link is to a revised version of the RFA posted on this website on October 15, 2021. The word ‘non-profit’ has been removed prior to the word ‘organization’ under the description of Eligible Entities (Section III, page 6).

Applications due by November 12, 2021 at 5 pm MDT.





The deadline to submit questions and requests for technical assistance has passed. General inquiries can be sent to the Maternal Mortality Prevention Program.