VCU Massey Comprehensive Cancer Center Community Grants

Level One: Seed Grant (2024-2025)

Massey’s “Seed to Harvest” community grant initiative is a mechanism for community partners to address person-centered care across the cancer continuum, from health promotion and prevention through survivorship, and to reduce suffering from cancer for citizens in Massey's catchment (geographical) area.

The catchment area is the home to 4 million racially, ethnically, geographically, and socio-economically diverse individuals. The catchment spans nearly 19,000 square miles, is approximately 275 miles or 1.5-5 commuting hours to Massey; and is defined as 66 contiguous localities in Virginia's central, eastern and southern areas.

Request for application (RFA) details

As of December 1st, the Request for Applications (RFA) is open for 2024 seed grants.

Download the RFA (pdf)

Details from the RFA can also be reviewed below

Level 1 ("Seed") of the community grant initiative is designed as the first step to germinate and foster community integration between a community organization and Massey's 2021-2025 strategic priorities.

The grant is a $5,000 award over a twelve-month funding cycle. Only one application per organization will be accepted. Once awarded, funding extensions or no-cost extensions are not allowable.

The requirements of Level 1 are to:

  • Organizations applying for the Level 1: Seed Grant 2024, must submit the completed application package, electronically, by 11:59 pm on Thursday, January 18, 2024.
  • The activities need to be sustainable and include ways to disseminate measurable outcomes. Dissemination means the targeted distribution of information and ideas related to the application’s focus to a specified target audience, and Massey especially welcomes the creative dissemination of ideas.
  • Examples of dissemination activities may include (but are not limited to):

    • Public engagement workshops
    • Artistic exhibits or performances
    • Adaptions of materials for different audiences, based on discussion and input from the target audience
    • Using technology to engage communities
    • Curriculum development and/or adaptation
    • Policy or policy briefs
  • Successful applicants are required to submit a mid-term progress report at 6 months and a final evaluative report at the end of the program period.
  • The budget and budget justification sections are reasonable and reflective of the proposed project
  • Priority is given to proposals that include one or more of the following:
    • sensitivity to an emerging need of a diverse underserved population
    • addresses the grant objectives in priority communities in new and imaginative ways
    • directly impact social determinants of health (SDOH) factors
    • proposed plans for sustainability and dissemination are clearly stated

Level 1 ("Seed") is a $5,000 award over a twelve-month funding cycle. Only one application per organization will be accepted. Once awarded, funding extensions or no-cost extensions are not allowable.

Funding priorities are those that include one or more of the following:

  • Implementing evidence-based interventions to eliminate cancer disparities and influence patients’ health outcomes.
  • to develop sustainable cancer health promotion, prevention and survivorship education
  • to promote and amplify efforts targeting human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination, tobacco cessation, screenings for colorectal, breast and lung cancer, prostate cancer awareness and cancer prevention related to obesity and/or physical exercise
  • to increase awareness of racial and ethnic disparities in clinical trial participation, moving beyond the description/definition of the problem and towards deploying evidence-based methods to engage diverse populations in research
  • to assist cancer survivors in increasing their self-efficacy and knowledge
  • to develop and launch policy-changing initiatives at the local and/or state level that will improve cancer outcomes for Virginians

Organizations interested in submitting a proposal must meet the following criteria:

  • address emerging ideas in performance improvement, capacity building and collaborative partnerships that address cancer health promotion, prevention, early detection and/or health equity
  • fully or partially serve Virginia residents who live within the 66 localities served by Massey, defined as the catchment area 
  • be in the state of Virginia and be recognized by the IRS as a non-profit, being either a government agency, a recognized house of worship or an organization exempt from income tax with a 501(c)(3) public charity designation; including community and faith-based organizations, advocacy groups, coalitions, neighborhood associations or service providers
  • not be a political or lobbying organization
  • not discriminate based on age, sex, race, color, sexual orientation, national/ethnic origin or disability
  • be an organization that is not a previous Massey grant recipient; no one named in the proposal has managed a previous Massey community grant-funded project 
  • agree to nominate one person from the organization to serve on the Massey Cancer Community Connection Coalition upon successful selection as a funded project

Applicants requesting funds for event sponsorships, scholarships, publication of books, conferences, dinners, fundraisers, capital campaigns or endowment funds will not be considered.

Massey will host a virtual technical assistance webinar on December 14, 2023 to answer questions for organizations that plan to respond to the seed grant RFA. Interested applicants in rural communities with unstable broadband access may also schedule a technical assistance telephone appointment prior to submission. To inquire about these opportunities, groups may reach out to Massey’s COE team at or (804) 628-0896.  

To attend the virtual technical assistance webinar or to schedule a technical assistance telephone appointment, please contact Michael Gesme at or (917) 880-3710 by 5:00 PM on Wednesday, December 13, 2023.

  • December 1, 2023: Application released
  • Decmber 14, 2023: Technical assistance webinar
  • January 18, 2024: Applications due
  • February 13, 2024: Awardees announced
  • March 1, 2024: Project start date/Grant initiation date
  • September 1, 2024: Six-month progress report due
  • February 28, 2025: Project completion date
  • March 15, 2025: Final written report due

A review panel of Massey’s affiliated community partners, recruited from 501c3 organizations, will review the applications for eligibility, completeness, and merit of the proposed plan. The review committee, under guidance from Massey staff, will operate as an independent volunteer body to provide their recommendations as to which proposals will move forward for funding consideration. Barring a proposal’s disqualification for failure to meet standards set forth in this request for proposals document, the review panel’s decision will be final.

A standardized scoring rubric will be used that reflects the following:

  • Merit of the proposed activities
  • Relevance of the proposed project
  • Reasonableness of the budget and budget justification sections
  • Rational of the proposed intent of the project

Applications should be formatted in 11 point font for text with half inch margins. All submission documents must be saved in PDF format.

  1. Project Goals and Objectives:
    What are the project goals and how do they align with Massey’s stated priority area(s). These goals should be SMART: specific, measurable, attainable/achievable, realistic, and time limited.
  2. Assessment of Need / Background
    Provide a baseline summary to include data that explains the stated objective/area of focus for the population/community you seek to impact by the problem addressed
  3. Target Audience
    • Who is the target audience(s) for your project and why?
    • Who are the key stakeholders your proposed project will impact or influence?
    • Who are the key partners and/or advisors that will contribute to your work? Explain the significant contribution.
  4. Project Design
    Describe the planned project and how funds will be spent to accomplish your goals. Include proposed activities that will be funded.
  5. Project Deliverable Schedule
    Include both a table and detailed narrative describing how the project will be implemented over the 12-month project period, including how many people will be reached and at along what timeline.
  6. Evaluation and Outcome
    • Provide a detailed plan describing how the data will be collected and analyzed. Explain how the data design will link to the assessment of need/background section.
    • Describe other measures or metrics for success you plan to collect and report. Include the value that these additional metrics bring to the project.
  7. Sustainability Plan
    Describe the plan on how and with whom you plan to broadly disseminate the results or impact
  8. Budget and Budget Justification
    An essential component of your proposal is the preparation of a budget. Consider your budget items carefully, and please include a detailed justification for each line item within the budget.
    Expense category Description Amount

Additional Documents that can be included, but are not required, if applicable (these are not included in the 5-page limit for the Project Narrative):

  • Letters of Support – any letters that would articulate the nature of partnerships or additional commitments should be included
  • Background on Organization – include one-page maximum description on your organization. Clearly demonstrate your organization’s strengths, experience, expertise, and track record in delivering impactful programs. Highlight relevant partnerships, collaborations or achievements.
  • Resumes – if there are professionals providing a specific service for your project which requires certain qualifications, you may want to include a resume.
  • References


Expenditures Allowed:

  • Personnel / Salary support for staff
  • Supplies and printing
  • Technical assistance
  • Patient support to address barriers to care
  • Community leader/stakeholder stipends if relevant to the project with a detailed justification
  • Domestic travel necessary to carry out proposed project based on institutional travel policies.
  • Meetings & Training expenses (e.g., audiovisual fees, written collateral)
  • Mileage (Driving expenses incurred. Rates of $0.65/s\/mi based on standard IRS mileage rates)

Expenditures NOT Allowed:

  • Vaccinations, screenings, diagnostic or treatment services, and equipment
  • Patient medical expenses (e.g. co-pays)
  • Therapeutic agents (prescription or non-prescription)
  • General equipment (e.g. furniture, phones, vehicles)
  • Construction or renovation of facilities
  • Manuscript publishing cost
  • Computer and equipment maintenance fees
  • Tuition
  • Travel and/or registration/related fees for conferences
  • Travel not essential to carrying out the proposed project.
  • Registration and travel cost for professional development or courses not related to this project
  • Purchasing and binding of periodicals and books
  • Dues and membership fees
  • Recruiting expenses
  • Administrative or institutional charges for services normally considered overhead (e.g., space rental, utilities, building maintenance)
  • Sub-contracts to any institutions not approved by Massey Cancer Center
  • Lobbying

  • Level 1: Seed Grant 2024 will award up to five $5,000 projects for the stated one year (2024 to 2025) grant period. All awards are dependent upon the merit of the project and strength of the application submitted.
  • The official start date of the award and the release of funds will begin after institutional compliance approvals by documentation of a signed memorandum of understanding (MOU).
  • Acceptance of funds implies a firm commitment to provide a brief verbal/email check in progress report 2 times over the one-year grant period.
  • Funds will be divided into two payments at 6-month intervals with the second distribution contingent on submission of a written progress report by the stated deadline. Grantees that do not submit written progress report will jeopardize future Massey-supported awards.
  • Massey expects that the grantee will completely utilize the full amount of funding during the term of the award. Time extensions to complete the awarded project are NOT permitted. All unspent funds at the end of the grant period will be returned to Massey.
  • Projects must start within 45 days of receipt of the Notice of Award (NOA) and signed MOU or funding may be rescinded.
  • All awards, publications, and presentations must acknowledge Massey Cancer Center.
  • Acceptance of funds post notice of award implies a firm commitment to provide the Massey joint project team access to meet the team and jointly give talks to the public.
  • Upon successful selection as a funded project, applicants agree to nominate one person from the organization to serve on the Massey Cancer Community Connection Coalition

  • For any questions, please contact:

    Michael Gesme
    Senior Program Manager


    VCU Massey Community Outreach & Engagement
    (804) 628-0896