Identifying the Next Phase of Leadership and Management for the RWJF Culture of Health Prize

2020 Call for Proposals

    Release Date: March 4, 2020 | Application Deadline: Fri, 31 Jul 2020


This request seeks an entity to re-imagine, lead, and manage the next two-year phase of the leadership and management of the national RWJF Culture of Health Prize. This call for proposals provides background on the RWJF Culture of Health Prize and outlines responsibilities for an organization selected to take on the next phase of leadership and management.

A Culture of Health recognizes that where we live—such as our access to affordable homes, quality schools, good jobs, and reliable transportation—affects how long and how well we live, and that improving health and well-being requires collective efforts to create the conditions to ensure all residents have a fair and just opportunity for health. The coronavirus pandemic, recent police violence, and growing inequity across the nation underscore the importance of community conditions and collective efforts for all residents to have a fair and just opportunity for health. As the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) works to build a Culture of Health with partners across the country, the RWJF Culture of Health Prize (the Prize) is one way that RWJF lifts up examples of communities working at the forefront of advancing health, opportunity, and equity. The Prize elevates the compelling stories of community members and leaders across the country who are working together to transform neighborhoods, schools, businesses, and more—so that the opportunity for better health flourishes for all.

Eligibility and Selection Criteria

Important qualities of organizations invited for this opportunity include:

  • Commitment to improving health and equity, including understanding the multiple and structural determinants of health and engaging with and lifting up the voices of diverse places, cultures, and partners.
  • A clear track record of successful engagement with diverse constituencies in local communities and across different types of communities and cultures. Understanding and experience with
  • influence strategies, strategic communications, campaigns, and/or prize philanthropy as mechanisms for creating social change.
  • Complex project management expertise and experience working collaboratively in a complex program, with multiple components and collaborators, in ways that build relationships and facilitates decision-making between multiple parties.
  • Experience running competitive selection processes and providing logistical support for these processes, such as producing site visits, managing and facilitating reviewers and advisory group meetings, and providing reimbursements (e.g., stipends) to community organizations and reviewers.
  • Willingness to tolerate ambiguity and to adjust processes and activities as learning occurs, including uncertainty brought on by the coronavirus pandemic or other events affecting communities.
  • Willingness to bring experience and new thinking to bear and provide guidance based on those experiences, while recognizing the national Prize is, and will continue to be, branded in a way that ties directly to RWJF’s vision.
  • Commitment to budgeting and managing funds in a manner that reflects responsible stewardship of resources, including the ability to enter into and manage subcontracts.

Applicants may be public entities; nonprofit organizations that are tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code; or for-profit organizations.

Applicant organizations must be based in the United States or its territories.

While we are seeking the most qualified applicant to complete this work, competitiveness of rate structures also will be taken into consideration. To be able to accurately compare various bids, we ask that you supply billable rates for the various staff members included in your proposal. The Foundation will not accept fixed-price contract proposals.

Key Dates

  • June 19, 2020 (1:30 p.m. ET)
    View the applicant webinar recording and the slides (PDF).
  • July 31, 2020 (3 p.m. ET )
    Deadline for receipt of full proposals.
  • Early October 
    Virtual discussions with selected finalists.
  • February 1, 2021
    Contract start date

Total Awards

  • One contract (February 1, 2021 through December 15, 2023, up to $4M) will be provided to the selected entity to provide leadership and management of the Prize for the 2022 and 2023 cohorts, in line with the responsibilities outlined in this Call for Proposals. The lead entity is expected to have designated milestones that would determine success of planning and demonstrated readiness and capacity to take on implementation; RWJF may decide to end the contract should milestones not be met. Milestones will also help RWJF determine renewal of this contract for cohorts for 2024 and beyond.
  • RWJF will award, directly, prizes in each Prize cohort (2022 and 2023). RWJF will also provide separate funds to: (a) contracted communications firms to support strategic communications efforts and (b) contracted evaluation firms to support external evaluations related to the program. These funds are intended to complement the capacities of the lead entity selected through this Call for Proposals.
  • The selected entity may be invited to join Prize celebration and learning events in advance of their contract start date, as way to understand the program to date.


Application is Now Closed

Application closed as of:
July 31, 2020, 3:00 p.m. ET

RWJF Culture of Health Prize

Great Strides Toward Better Health

The RWJF Culture of Health Prize honors and elevates U.S. communities working at the forefront of advancing health, opportunity, and equity for all.

Learn more