RFP for Commercial Tobacco-Free Communities Grant Program - Commercial Tobacco Prevention and Control - Minnesota Department of Health

Request for Proposals for Commercial Tobacco-Free Communities Grant Program

The Minnesota Department of Health requests proposals to create community-driven changes to policies, practices, systems, and environments to reduce commercial tobacco use and secondhand smoke exposure among populations experiencing commercial tobacco-related disparities.

The purpose of this Request for Proposals is to fund projects that create community-driven and culturally responsive strategies that work to change community norms related to harmful commercial tobacco, and that result in sustainable changes.

Request for Proposals for Commercial Tobacco-Free Communities Grant Program (PDF)

Note: While technical assistance and training (TA) grants are not part of this RFP, TA opportunities to support community grantees are forthcoming.

Historically, technical assistance and training, as well as community grant opportunities, have been combined into one RFP. With multiple commercial tobacco-related grant programs, and simultaneous planning efforts, MDH is considering the best structure to serve all our grantees and partners. MDH does not anticipate a gap in the TA services supporting communities, nor does MDH anticipate significantly eliminating any aspect of TA services offered.

Commercial tobacco products are tobacco products manufactured and sold by the tobacco industry and include products like cigarettes, e-cigarettes, cigars, and chew. Commercial tobacco is different from traditional or sacred tobacco, also known as Cansasa, Asemaa, or Kinnikinnick, and which are used by American Indian communities for sacred purposes.

Key Dates

Monday, April 18, 2022 RFP posted
Monday, April 25, 2022 Informational Webinar
Watch the recording below.
Monday, May 2, 2022 Notice of Intent due
Strongly encouraged but not required.
Friday, June 21, 2022
4 p.m. Central Time
Last day to submit questions
Answers will be posted every Friday until Friday, June 24, 2022.
Wednesday, July 6, 2022
4 p.m. Central Time
Proposals due
Late August 2022 Anticipated awardee selection
Tuesday, November 1, 2022 Anticipated grant start date

Informational Webinar Recording

Submit Your Proposal

Proposals must be received no later than 4 p.m., Central Time, Wednesday, July 6, 2022. Late responses will not be considered.

Submit Your Proposal

Documents and Forms

To complete and submit:

For reference:

Questions and Answers

Responders are encouraged to reach out with questions. The last day to submit questions is Friday, June 21, 2022, at 4 p.m. Central Time. Answers will be posted every Friday until Friday, June 24, 2022.

Submit a Question


Posted May 6, 2022

We are a national nonprofit organization that has staff who operates in and continues to serve cities and populations throughout Minnesota. However, our organization is based out-of-state and is not headquartered in Minnesota. Are we eligible for a grant award knowing all resources (i.e. staff) for this initiative would be in Minnesota and any award would only be used for this Minnesota initiative? We meet all other eligibility standards. If not, would we be eligible for a grant award, if we partnered with an eligible primary local community based organization (i.e. headquartered in Minnesota), and serve as a secondary or co-applicant?

Eligible applicant organizations must be located within Minnesota. An organization based out-of-state may apply as a partner with an eligible organization located within Minnesota.

Posted April 22, 2022

Is one organization eligible to receive both a TFC community grant and a TFC TA grant?

If an applicant receives a Commercial Tobacco-Free Communities grant, they may be eligible to apply for and potentially receive future grants, including technical assistance grants.


Posted May 6, 2022

It is vital that grantees pay living wages and provide adequate benefits for their employees, not only to achieve equity but also to retain people in their positions for the length of the grant. While we understand that there are limited funds allocated for this program, why is the funding amount still limited to $150,000 per grantee?

There are many commercial tobacco-related disparities and inequities, as well as overwhelming and broad interest in this funding from groups and communities across the state.

We strive for balance and to make funding available to as many communities as possible while still ensuring the work is impactful. Funding decisions also take into account past grant funding levels, funding needs, and scope of work.

Proposal Content

Posted June 17, 2022

Is there a youth focus or requirement?

There is not a youth requirement.

Does the work plan cover all 4 years? Does the budget cover 1 year only?

Both the work plan and budget should cover the first year of the grant only: November 1, 2022 – October 31, 2023.

Posted May 27, 2022

May applications include attached letters from intended community partners about participating in the proposed grant activities?

Letters from intended community partners are not required, nor requested, as part of this application. Do not provide any materials that are not requested in this RFP, as such materials will not be considered nor evaluated.

Posted May 6, 2022

Would an applicant be considered for funding if the application content focused on both the dangers of tobacco and marijuana secondhand smoke or would this initiative focus mainly on tobacco secondhand smoke?

The focus of this RFP is on reducing commercial tobacco use and secondhand smoke exposure, not marijuana secondhand smoke exposure.

Proposal Instructions

Posted June 17, 2022

Can citations to resources be embedded as live links in the body of the application response, or would you prefer footnotes? Will citation footnotes be counted in character count for each section?

Applicants should provide in-text citations as needed (see question below). Formatting constraints within the online application will not allow for footnotes.

Posted June 14, 2022

Will the online application form allow citations to data sources to be embedded as a live link in the body of the response? If so, is that the preferred citation method or do you require citations to be in footnote form?

Applicants should provide in-text citations as needed. Please do not include live links or footnotes. It is best to use either a parenthetical citation within the body, such as “it has been shown that… (Author, Date)” or narrative citation where the author and date are referred to in the body, such as “Author (Date) found that…”

Posted April 29, 2022

We would like to apply for tobacco grant but we are still waiting to receive a DUNS number. How should we complete our application?

An organization can apply if they are still waiting for a DUNS number. Applicants waiting on a DUNS number (now called a Unique Entity Identifier, or UEI number, as of April 4, 2022), they can enter “pending” in the DUNS number field. An awarded applicant must have a DUNS or UEI number before a grant agreement can be finalized.

Visit SAM.gov for more information about DUNS/UEI numbers.

Scope of Work

Posted May 20, 2022

Must a proposal for a community-based strategy use only the listed strategy options on p. 13 of the RFP? For example, would a proposal to work with middle and high schools/school districts on creating best practice commercial tobacco-free grounds policies be an eligible community-based strategy?

Community-based strategies must be selected from the list on page 13 of the RFP. However, work with middle and high schools, or school districts, on creating best practice commercial tobacco-free grounds policies could fall under the following strategies:

  • Work with community organizations, businesses, or events to refuse tobacco industry advertising, promotion, and sponsorship, and add this language to any internal organizational policies;
  • Work with community organizations, businesses, places of worship, etc. to create commercial tobacco-free grounds and spaces, or;
  • Create and protect commercial tobacco-free community outdoor spaces (e.g., city or county parks, recreational fields, large-scale community events spaces such as fairgrounds or powwow grounds).

Work with schools or school districts should be as comprehensive as possible.

Learn More

Updated Friday, 17-Jun-2022 09:29:38 CDT