Closing Racial Disparities in Birth Outcomes

Every expectant family in Forsyth County deserves a healthy birth outcome for their newborn– regardless of their race or economic status. That’s how children begin to thrive, right from the start. But too often, there are disparities in birth and maternal outcomes. At the state level, Black children are more than twice as likely as white children to die in their first year of life. In Forsyth County,  Black and Hispanic infant mortality rates are higher than infant mortality rates for whites. This funding opportunity is intended to help address disparities and ensure healthy birth outcomes for all families.

Steps to Apply



Narrow racial disparities in infant and maternal mortality.


Conduct broad-based communications, community education, and advocacy efforts that advance goals.

Build community, network, organizational, and individual capacity so that historically marginalized populations, particularly Black, immigrant, Indigenous, and other leaders of color can drive community and health improvement efforts.

Convene, facilitate, and coordinate stakeholders to collectively address goals. This could include better coordination within and across systems and regularly convening community partners.

Timeframe for Applications

Call-by date: September 20, 2022
Application deadline: October 13, 2022

Geographic Focus

Forsyth County

Next Steps

If you think you are a fit, assess your eligibility below and then contact us to apply. Or, view all funding opportunities here.


North Carolina and Forsyth County are making progress on efforts to promote healthy birth outcomes and reduce infant mortality rates. The NC Department of Health and Human Services announced that in 2018 the infant death rate reached its lowest point in 31 years, decreasing for a third straight year. Still a task force convened by the North Carolina Institute of Medicine notes that our infant mortality rate ranks 39th nationally. And racial disparities stubbornly persist. At the state level, Black children are more than twice as likely as white children to die in their first year of life. These racial disparities are reflected in Forsyth County rates where Black and Hispanic infant mortality rates are higher than infant mortality rates for whites. Overall, infant mortality rates are steeper in Forsyth County than the state average. The state Early Childhood Action Plan makes reducing the statewide infant mortality disparities a top priority.

The aim of the Great Expectations initiative is to ensure that children in Forsyth County enter kindergarten ready to learn and leave set for success in school and life. To achieve these aims it is critical to support healthy births and birth justice. The Trust works with partners statewide to promote Medicaid expansion and enrollment in Affordable Care Act insurance policies. We know that mothers gaining access to insurance before pregnancy improves birth outcomes. Studies show that Medicaid expansion states are better able to close disparities in infant mortality rates.

Locally, the Trust is supporting organizations to convene and develop community-informed action plans for closing racial disparities in infant and maternal mortality rates. The goal of this work is to identify opportunities and gaps for what is needed to effect lasting change in Forsyth County. The Trust is interested in hearing from organizations implementing action plans. Efforts could include communications and advocacy campaigns, community engagement and public education work, capacity building, and convening partners. It could also involve grassroots groups working with health care delivery systems to address barriers to care. Organizations responding to this opportunity should have been involved, or show a willingness to get involved, in planning and convening with other community groups.

The Trust may support several approaches to meeting this goal. Applicants could include, but are not limited to, advocacy or legal service organizations, groups with experience convening or organizing Medicaid beneficiaries, or other nonprofits with expertise in Medicaid and patient engagement. The purpose of this opportunity is to directly engage the families most impacted by Medicaid transformation.

The purpose of this funding is to help grassroots nonprofits and networks develop sustainable organizations adept at skills such as action planning, communications, and data literacy to advance systems and policy change efforts that improve equitable health outcomes in identified regions. These efforts should also provide opportunities for grassroots organizations to lend community voice to state level initiatives, task forces, and advisory councils. The goal is to improve local systems, especially for systemically marginalized people and communities of color, and to create ongoing feedback loops between state and local health improvement efforts.

Technical assistance groups should have deep connections in rural regions, experience working with marginalized populations, and knowledge about organizational capacity building. Applicants should also know state policies and systems impacting local and regional health improvement initiatives.

Eligibility Requirements

Before applying, consider the following questions and requirements:

  • Is your organization or work a good fit with the Trust?
  • Are you located or operating in North Carolina?
  • Does your work focus on improving quality of life and health for North Carolinians with low incomes?
  • Do you primarily support populations experiencing poverty?
    • These populations include: individuals living at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level; the uninsured; and those eligible for Medicaid and/or the free/reduced school lunch program.
  • Are your clients (or focus population) residents of North Carolina? If yes, then you may fit our geographic criteria.

Organizations the Trust WILL fund:

  • Nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations
  • Governmental entities

Organizations the Trust WILL NOT fund:

  • Individuals
  • Faith-based organizations without 501(c)(3)
  • Type III supporting organizations
  • Organizations providing pass-through funds to an ineligible organization

Eligible? Contact us to schedule a consultation.


Back to all funding opportunities.

Ready to apply? Contact us.

If you have read the above eligibility requirements and think you are a good fit, use the form below or email Alison Duncan to schedule a phone consultation.



View all funding opportunities.