Oral Health 2020

Grant Seekers: Submit Concept

Grant Seekers: Submit Concept


We are pleased that you’re considering the DentaQuest Foundation as a potential partner in your work. Please read through this diagram (click on each icon for more details) to fully understand how to submit your concept. Information available on this website and on this page should help you make a determination about whether your organization is a potential partner.

Proposal Steps

  • Concept/idea
  • Proposal
  • Outcome
  • Concept/idea

    Before completing this form, please thoroughly review our website to understand our current investments, our approach to funding, and our statement of purpose. If you believe that your idea, project or proposal aligns with our strategic focus and fits within our guidelines, please complete a concept form. The DentaQuest Foundation grants team will review your concept and may reach out with questions so that we fully understand your organization and your intent.

  • Proposal

    Based on your concept submission, we may request a full proposal. We encourage you to interact with us as you develop your proposal so that we can build a shared understanding of how our partnership and investment can help each of us to achieve our goals.

  • Outcome

    Final decisions regarding funding will made based on the fit of the proposed activities with our goals, the clarity and practicality of the proposed activities, the potential to accomplish the intended results, an understanding of the community that the proposal is impacting, and location. All grant proposals are subject to a rigorous review process and final approval of our Board of Directors. We are grateful to all who accept the challenge of improving oral health.

  • Before completing this form, please thoroughly review our website to understand our current investments, our approach to funding, and our statement of purpose. If you believe that your idea, project or proposal aligns with our strategic focus and fits within our guidelines, please complete a concept form. The DentaQuest Foundation grants team will review your concept and may reach out with questions so that we fully understand your organization and your intent.

  • Based on your concept submission, we may request a full proposal. We encourage you to interact with us as you develop your proposal so that we can build a shared understanding of how our partnership and investment can help each of us to achieve our goals.

  • Final decisions regarding funding will made based on the fit of the proposed activities with our goals, the clarity and practicality of the proposed activities, the potential to accomplish the intended results, an understanding of the community that the proposal is impacting, and location. All grant proposals are subject to a rigorous review process and final approval of our Board of Directors. We are grateful to all who accept the challenge of improving oral health.

Funding Opportunities

Oral Health 2020

DentaQuest Foundation’s Oral Health 2020 investments are structured around the realization of a vision for improved oral health: “to eradicate dental disease in children and improve oral health across the lifespan.” By pursuing a set of shared goals with specific targets through partnerships with oral health stakeholders across the country, this unified approach is designed to create lasting systems changes through the power of collective action. These investments will connect, organize, and mobilize oral health leaders at the local, state, regional, and national levels around the achievement of the shared goals for oral health improvement across the lifespan, ultimately reshaping public policy and creating a new social norm in this country about what it means to be healthy.

Please read the Statement of Purpose

Proposal Types

DentaQuest Foundation will offer three different types of grant partnerships as part of Oral Health 2020: Strengthening the Network, Partner Organizations, and Environmental/Policy Analysis opportunities. Applicants are encouraged to explore how their concepts align with these proposal types.

  • Strengthening the Network

Proposals in this category should focus on strengthening and/or leveraging networks for systems change aligned with Oral Health 2020 goals and targets. The Foundation will consider community, statewide, regional, and national network-supporting proposals. Applicants should either explain their role in connecting and mobilizing traditional and nontraditional stakeholders around a shared vision for their geographic area of focus, or how they will add to the collective sets of tools, resources, and knowledge necessary to support networks in their promotion of systems change. For more details on our approach to networks, please review the Strengthening the Network section below.

  • Partner Organizations

Proposals in this category will be available to organizations that can demonstrate a national reach, and are interested in expanding their engagement in oral health improvement. Organizations should indicate the scope and nature of their capacity for impact, any previous experiences working to improve oral health, and opportunities for strategic integration of oral health into their existing focus.

  • Environmental/Policy Analysis

Proposals in this category should focus on building the knowledge and baseline necessary for partners across the country to identify appropriate strategies as they work to achieve the Oral Health 2020 goals and targets. Applicants should detail their capacity to analyze the environmental context around the goals and targets to increase the oral health community’s understanding of current status as well as identify strategic opportunities to promote change.

If you are invited to submit a full proposal to the Foundation, we will ask that the proposal components align with our core principles as detailed below.

  • Strengthening the Network

Applicants invited to submit a full proposal should include a description of the role of the proposed activities to support and grow a network of interconnected individuals, groups, and organizations. This can occur by facilitating a collective effort undertaken by a diverse and inclusive collaborative infrastructure organized around promotion of changes aligned with selected goals and targets. However, equally important is the contribution partners make to the collective sets of knowledge, tools, and resources necessary for partners to achieve their work together. Both strategies are essential to network strength and priorities for the Foundation in its grantmaking. Interconnected networks share a common agenda, freely and regularly exchange information, and engage in mutually reinforcing activities. Those characteristics improve networks’ capacity to bring about systems change through collective impact. The collective impact of networks is necessary to create lasting change in policy and new social norms.

Networks typically progress through a continuum of interconnectedness from scattered clusters to an interconnected core that continually engages and brings new members from the periphery into the core over time. The core, in turn, shares knowledge and resources necessary to support a collective impact much greater than individual network participants can achieve on their own. Proposals for strengthening the network should specifically address the role of activities to strengthen and/or weave the network towards an interconnected core either by generating necessary tools and resources for the network, or by facilitating collaborative action.

  • Health Equity

Promoting health equity in outcomes across multiple factors, such as income and socioeconomic status, geographic access, and race/ethnicity is an essential component of oral health improvement that is socially just and truly improves the oral health of all. The Foundation strongly believes that, without the intentional application of a health equity lens, proposed activities may not achieve intended results or may unintentionally end up maintaining or worsening disparities. Applicants invited to submit a full proposal should be prepared to explicitly describe the impact that their activities will have in the promotion of health equity.

While the promotion of health equity entails a focus on multiple traditionally underrepresented or disenfranchised populations, the most profound disparities exist across racial/ethnic demographics; evidence indicates the least progress has been achieved in improving these gaps in health status. Proposals focused on the promotion of health equity through a specific focus on racial/ethnic health equity are highly encouraged.

Although diversity is an element of equity, the promotion of racial/ethnic health equity goes beyond working to achieve diversity. Proposals should describe the ways that component activities will foster inclusion and result in greater racial/ethnic equity in outcomes.

Examples of the ways that proposals can demonstrate use of a health equity lens are: use of data disaggregated by race/ethnicity (or another demographic) to plan and assess outcomes of strategies and practices, analyzing policy priorities through a health equity lens, and messaging your work in a way that builds support for health equity.

  • Innovation

Innovative strategies are necessary to address the many significant barriers that are faced by individuals and groups working to improve oral health. Applicants invited to submit a full proposal should be prepared to explicitly describe the innovative context of the proposed activities in relation to the Foundation’s model of innovation. The description should place the activities as a sustaining, evolutionary, revolutionary, or disruptive innovation by addressing the characteristics and questions associated with the specific type of innovation proposed in the model.

Proposed concepts for activities that can be characterized as disruptive (what we can do that is different) are highly encouraged. Please be sure you have read through these guidelines before you submit a concept. We will ask that the proposal components align with our core principles as detailed above.

Eligibility & Guidelines

The DentaQuest Foundation makes grants to a variety of organizations that are engaged in improving oral health. The Foundation does not make grants directly to individuals. Applicants must have 501(c)3 non profit status. Search our Grants Database for examples of current and past projects.