Frequently Asked Questions

Challenge Award Information: 

What is the MRC Challenge Award?:

The Challenge is a competitive award that aims to focus innovation towards areas that are aligned with national health initiatives that are also significant at the local level. The MRC Challenge Award will ask units to design a proposal for a project that aligns with one of the four focus areas: Community Resilience, Chronic Disease Prevention, Partners for Empowered Communities, Mental and Emotional Wellbeing

What are some ideas for Challenge Award projects?

Unfortunately, as part of the review process, we are unable to weigh in on potential Challenge Award projects. Please see examples from the last two years of winners for some ideas of where to start. 

Can I collaborate with another unit for my Challenge Award application?

Yes, you are able to collaborate with another unit(s). If you choose to partner with another unit, only one unit can submit an application that unit must agree to be the fiscal manager of the award. 

How many Challenge Awards will be issued?

Up to 160 Challenge Awards will be issued. 

How much are the awards?

The Challenge Award amount will be up to $15,000.

Why are there no Capacity Building Awards?

As the third year of the MRC Challenge Award begins, the MRC network continues to grow in the face of federal and local budget cuts. In response to the changes in funding and the demonstrated success of the Challenge Awards, NACCHO and the MRC Program Office can better serve the MRC community by fostering innovation through MRC unit projects that can demonstrate the MRC's capability to enhance the resilience of local communities. This can bee seen through the blog profiles from previous Challenge Award winners. These units have seen great success and support for their work in their communities. Moving to a Challenge Award structure better illustrates the diversity, capability, and capacity of the MRC to other units around the network, amongst partners, and funders. 

Are there any additional sources of funding to replace the Capacity Building Awards?

Visit the MRC Program Office’s website to learn more about additional funding sources. 

Important Timelines and Proposal Preparation: 

What are the major milestones for the awards process?

  • Prospective MRC units must be registered and have a unit number through the MRC Program Office by December 31, 2015.
  • The application will open for Challenge Awards on January 5, 2016, and will close on February 2, 2016.
  • The Request for Application (RFA) will be live on November 9th. This will allow units enough time to review application requirements and to learn more about the focus areas for the Challenge Award before the application officially opens on January 5, 2016.
  • Notification of Awards and contract documents will be distributed the week of March 23, 2016. Units can expect to receive an email from the MRC Award website. A general announcement will also be made via listserv once the emails have been sent. Units will be able to download and print their award application(s) and budget(s), award notice, and contract document.
  • MRC Award contracts are due to NACCHO by June 30, 2016.

What are the minimum eligibility requirements for the Challenge Award? 

  • MRC units must create an account at NACCHO’s MRC Awards website,
  • Applicants must have fully updated their Unit Profiles on the MRC website ( between October 1st and December 31st, 2015.
    • A fully updated unit profile is one in which all questions have been answered or updated (particularly unit leader contact information, numbers of volunteers, and activity reports, if applicable). The MRC Program Office strongly encourages units to update their unit profiles with any previously unreported activities for the calendar year, as well as new activities.
    • All information on the unit profile must be current as of December 31, 2015.
  • Applicants must be eligible to receive federal funds through their housing/sponsoring agency or be a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
  • New MRC units applying for an FY2015-16 Challenge Award must be registered with the MRC Program Office by December 31st. Likewise, prospective MRC units who are interested in applying for NACCHO’s MRC Awards must follow the MRC Program Office's registration process, have submitted their prospective unit’s application for registration, and have been confirmed by their Regional Coordinator no later than December 31st to be eligible.
  • A prospective MRC unit is considered to be in the registration process after it has completed and submitted the online MRC registration form found on the MRC website (
  • A prospective MRC unit which has applied for a NACCHO MRC Award will not be awarded funding until it is an approved and registered MRC unit.

How can I prepare for the awards process?

NACCHO has developed several resources that units can review now to familiarize themselves with the proposal writing, project planning, and budgeting process. NACCHO also held a Challenge Award webinar with past award winners who will provide insights into their experiences, tips for planning a project, and answer questions about their funded projects. The webinar was recorded and is avialable for review on demand.

The MRC Award application questions are on the site for unit leaders to review in advance of the application opening. Encourage your unit leaders to review the previous Challenge Award winners to learn more about the units and the types of projects that were funded. Unit leaders should also gather their stakeholders (Community partners, unit leadership, volunteers, and housing organization representative, etc.) to consider the requirements of the award, review the challenge focus areas, and consider the community needs. 

Accessing the MRC Award Website: 

Do units need to re-register to the MRC Awards website?:

No. If a unit completed a MRC Awards application last year, their accounts on the MRC Awards website are still valid. Units creating an account or applying for the first time should register to the website using their 4 digit unit number as their username for the account. There is no set deadline for new/prospective units to register to the MRC Awards website. Please note that it is imperative that unit leaders sign-in/register to the MRC Awards website as directed.  Any accounts that are created with alpha characters or are not a verified 4-digit unit number will be deleted without notice and any associated applications will not be scored. 

There have been staffing changes within my unit and there is a new unit leader. What do they need to do to access the website?

If the person who was associated with the account when it was registered is no longer connected with the unit, NACCHO can go in and update the email address linked to the account, as well as reset the password. The Unit ID number will always stay the same. New unit leaders who need to update email addresses of existing units can contact us at with their unit number and we can facilitate the change. 

I am a unit leader managing multiple units. Can I combine my units within one profile?

Because of the frequent changes that occur with Unit Leader positions, the MRC Awards website is built around individual MRC units. If you are a Unit Leader managing multiple units, each unit must have an individual profile and each unit profile must be linked to different email addresses. This minimizes confusion and enables us to effectively and efficiently manage unit applications and send unit specific communications around the awards. 

NACCHO’s MRC Award funding may not be used to purchase promotional items/giveaways or food and beverages.