DASH Community Funding

DASH community funding programs are meant to support community partnerships that tackle racial justice and health equity challenges in their community by building community capacity to form multi-sector collaborations, inclusive of community and resident leadership, that share and use data to work toward improved health equity. To that end, DASH provides funding, operational support, peer learning, strategic planning, technical assistance, and training.

Asset-Based Community Development Cohort

In 2022, DASH will be working with community collaborations who are convening community members, institutions, and organizations to identify interventions to combat health disparities in underserved areas. Underserved & historically excluded communities refers to populations sharing a particular characteristic, as well as a common geography, that have been systematically denied a full opportunity to participate in aspects of economic, social, and civic life.  DASH support includes:

  • Participation in a learning cohort with up to 11 other communities from around the United States.
  • Funding of $20,000 to support the work of the collaboration, especially resident engagement costs.
  • Training and coaching on using Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD) principles and tools to engage all the assets of the community in addressing health equity issues.

This cohort is designed for organizations and organizers that are highly interested in developing their work through an Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) program design, which prioritizes local strengths and assets, especially grass-roots community leadership. To learn more about the basic principles of ABCD, check out the ABCD Institute website. Cohort participants will be guided through a curriculum, engage directly with trained faculty, receive 1-1 coaching, and participate in peer learning opportunities on how to use principles of ABCD.

On November 16, 2021 an introductory webinar described the program and the essentials of ABCD.

Questions, reflections, and clarifications

Eligible Collaborations have participants from many walks of life, who have a history of working together to promote health equity and are interested in an intensive convening process that will increase understanding of community data infrastructure as an asset to leverage (among others) to achieve their goals.  One participant must be an institution capable of accepting the award funding who agrees to distribute it as the collaborative decides.  If your collaboration does not have this kind of governance in place yet, please indicate on the application what organization you think might be able to fulfill this role in the key contacts and discuss your challenges in question 3 of the application (describing the stakeholder groups).

Creating the cohort is a 2-part process, each supported by funding from DASH. The initial application was the start, and was meant to be descriptive of  existing collaborations. Qualified applicants were invited to participate in the first phase of the process. The self-designated “lead applicant” will receive a $2,000 honorarium for an estimated minimum of 4 days’ self-guided work during December and January.  This was intended to support the anticipated level of effort needed to prepare the community showcase and work with the other finalists, faculty, and program office staff to define the final cohort. We are interested in designing the cohort award ($20,000) budget template together with applicants to learn more about how institutions can let community members take the lead in decision-making, including wielding the power of the purse. Participants in the cohort will engage with the program office and ABCD programming for a few hours a month, with the expectation that learnings will be applied locally through regular collaborative convenings.

What we’re hoping to learn and share

DASH is building this cohort in a way that we hope may help combat systemic racism inherent in many institutions, including philanthropy.  We hope to build CBSS capacity to engage with community members to collectively play a more empowered role in their partnerships with healthcare organizations and local governments, public health and social services, and other sectors as those organizations, together, use data to improve equity and local health outcomes. We are practicing ‘leading by stepping back’ and support community based change-makers defining their own best outcomes and strategies.  The project is using a participatory grantmaking process that we hope will result in awards more centered on equity, and characterized by leadership from community organizations and organizers from Black, Latinx, Indigenous and other groups that have borne the health costs of systemic racism.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Melissa Moorehead at mmoorehe@mphi.org and our team will work to get you the information you need.  We are welcoming comments that will help us improve accessibility and diversity of applicants as well.


December 13, 2021 Initial Application due
December 20, 2021 Finalists notified
January 14, 2022 Finalist showcase presentations due
January 28, 2022 Award letters sent


  • Welcome to the Cohort: Required Readings and Kickoff Meeting (Virtual)
  • Identifying Strengths & Sustainable Communities: Deep Dive into Community Transformation 
  • Community Building Principles & Action: Creating Asset Map & Workgroup, Understanding the Data Infrastructure 
  • Community Building Principles & Action: Identifying Actionable Steps
  • Community Engagement & Partnership: Developing Strategic Action Plan
  • Brave Spaces & Capturing Stories: Staying Rooted in the Community and Developing Sustainability and Data Infrastructure Plan
  • Shifting Power & Taking Action: Enacting Change and Next Steps with Operationalizing Budgets
  • Reflecting with Joy: Generating Communications and Enthusiasm for Next Steps