NORTH DAKOTA (KXNET) — The Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota (BCBSND) Caring Foundation is going to provide a limited amount of one-year annual grants to North Dakota communities and organizations.

According to a news release, the grants will be up to $50,000 and will be given to those undertaking efforts to support wellness and prevention in communities.

The goal of the CaringForCommunities SPARK (Strengthening People, Access, Resources, and Knowledge) grants is to enhance effort and community involvement to create change that lasts.

Where you live impacts your health and determines what services are even available. That’s why these grants were designed, to enhance healthy lifestyles, address service gaps, and promote health equity in communities.

“Our goal with these grants is to invest in community-based initiatives that will lead to improved habits and healthier lifestyles; strengthen capacity for effective collaborations; and expand efforts by local communities to improve health equity and access,” said Caring Foundation Executive Director, Pam Gulleson.

If you want your organization to be considered, it must support initiatives that:

  • Encourage health and well-being in the state
  • Exhibit collaboration with community stakeholders
  • Align with evidence-based best practices and principles
  • Grow to be sustainable and a priority for the community

Some examples include:

  • Lower use of tobacco/nicotine/vaping products
  • Raise awareness for behavioral health or suicide prevention
  • Host community gardens and farmers markets for easier access to fresh produce
  • Encourage physical activity by improving bike trails and adding mileage signs

Those who are interested in applying must submit a Letter of Intent by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, February 15 for the 2023 Spring Cycle. Organizations must be North Dakota-based 501(c)(3) nonprofits, municipal entities, or school systems.

The foundation will be in contact within two weeks to let them know if they are invited to fill out a SPARK Grant Application. Those apps will be due on March 15.

Letters of Intent and Grant Applications must be emailed to

The foundation will review all letters and applications. The staff will reach out with the next steps if an organization is accepted.

Recipients of the 2023 Spring Cycle will be announced on April 1.