Frequently Asked Questions

Below is a compilation of questions and their answers regarding the CAM RFP submitted through this website and at the in-person information session on March 16th, 2017.

You can download all of the questions and answers and the power point slide deck from the CAM RFP info session here:

  1. SFDPH CAM RFP Info Session Presentation
  2. CAM RFP Question and Answers
Website Inquiries:

1) Do you have recommendations for how an organization may propose activities on a tobacco topic where some relevant policy efforts on that topic may already be underway by the time this new CAM project starts? With uncertainty about how far along the policy process/adoption/implementation may be by the time we reach a July project start date, what might you suggest if major change has occurred between proposal submission and grant start date?

Answer: We encourage the continuation of foundational work, understanding that sometimes community health changes can take several years or require various levels of work.  If there is a major change that impacts the proposed project focus we will work with the selected contractor to develop an appropriate work plan.
2) Can organizations applying for the Implementation Grant propose that they will work in collaboration with another organization that is also applying for a Planning Grant?

Answer: Yes, collaboration is encouraged among projects.  It is essential to discern the responsibilities of each agency in the collaboration, and which single agencies might be responsible for which activities.  Collaboration that involves sharing funds would require clear delineation of activities and budget among the proposed partner agencies.

3) Can emerging community leaders who were formally designated and engaged as “advocates” in a previous SFDPH-funded CAM project also participate in this CAM project?

Answer: Yes, engaging these Emerging Community Leaders in your project is allowable and it is even possible they may serve as natural peer leaders in the newly-funded CAM process.  The project coordinator may need to think about tiered education and responsibilities to best utilize members of the Emerging Community Leader team who have additional capacity beyond introductory skills.

4) Question 9 of the application asks about engaging and educating a decision making body. Do the examples need to be restricted to San Francisco or would you like to see a summary of all of our recent experience regardless of geography?

Answer: Any response that demonstrates agency capacity to engage in policy-systems-environment work is encouraged.  Be certain to delineate WHO was involved in the work, as an Executive Director or Board member serving in this role is different than the agency providing capacity building to youth or community members to take on this role.  If the applicant agency has not previously engaged at this level, Question 9B in the RFP asks for a clear outline about how an agency would accomplish this work.

5) Does the Coordinator position need to be filled by one person or can the role be shared? E.g., 40% one person and 40% another?

Answer:  It is required that the Coordinator positions be filled by one person. This is mandatory minimum staffing requirement that has evolved from many years funding CAM projects in San Francisco.  That experience has demonstrated that sharing staffing among several people does not result in optimal support for Emerging Community Leaders nor successful advancement of projects.

6) Can the San Francisco Study Center be engaged as the fiscal sponsor for an applicant project?

Answer: No.  As applicant agencies will be entering into a subcontract with San Francisco Study Center, it would be a conflict for the SF Study Center to pass funds along to itself to support a project.

7)  What are the names of the nonprofits currently funded or funded in the past for this project or similar projects?

Answer: Over 60 projects have been funded to conduct CAM over the last two decades.  See a complete list of the agencies, primarily ethnic-serving and youth organizations, as part of the appendix of the CAM Case Study published last year:

http://sanfranciscotobaccofreeproject.org/case-studies/community-action-in-public-health/

8) Is there a stronger focus on engaging youth versus adult or senior populations in this RFP?

Answer: No there is not, we encourage applications from all populations and age groups! Tobacco use impacts the health of people of all ages, all genders and sexual orientations, all races and ethnicities, all levels of wealth, and all levels of physical ability.  It takes a concentrated approach as a community to engage a broad stakeholder group to keep San Francisco healthy.

9) Can the planning grant be a continuation of the existing project topic or needs to be a new project topic?

Answer: If your organization is currently funded to conduct a CAM project, it is possible for you to commence a new planning project.  To make your application competitive, the proposal should outline what would make this plan unique, and what changing circumstances and opportunities will inform your approach.

10) Can an organization apply to both grant areas under the same project (for example: Tobacco Littering Project for both Planning and Implementation)? If so, do we submit two separate proposals or just one?

Answer: Yes an organization can apply for funding for both Planning and Implementation projects. It is required to submit two separate proposals, however it will be essential to differentiate the proposals given the different requirements for steps and deliverables.

11) For the Implementation Grant, since it is a two year grant, does the RFP want us to submit different budget projections per year (especially since the CAM timeline notes that certain activities will not happen during certain years ie client recruitment will not happen in 17-18, therefore client recruitment related funds will not be needed in 18-19)?

Answer:  No.  All proposals should include solely a single fiscal year budget for 2017-18.  This budget should span July 2017- June 2018 and match funding requirements related to full time equivalencies (FTE), etc.

12) Are food and refreshments (for clients during workshops, during research trips, during presentations for youth, during celebration of action, for example) an allowable line item in the budget?

Answer: Yes.  Community work requires engaging the community.  Food, training, and other expenses like transportation and stipends are an important element community engagement.  Be sure to budget accordingly in your proposal.  Because CAM projects do not provide direct services, please keep in mind activities are centered around “community members” rather than “clients.”

13) Do past implementation grantees qualify for current planning grant?

Answer: Yes.

14) Are existing grantees eligible to apply under the same program area (for example, if we were previously funded for Tobacco Litter, is this RFP interested in supporting an existing grantee to continue doing this work)? What can existing grantees do to ensure their proposal is as competitive as possible?

Answer: Yes existing grantees are eligible to apply in same priority area,   All proposals must demonstrate that they are building upon any past work and lessons learned, experiences in a related area, and/or capacity to engage Emerging Community Leaders in a meaningful way. Organizational track record with past CAM funding will also be taken into account.

15) Are organizations that are current/previous grantees eligible to reapply to support the same project? For example, if we conduct Healthy Corner Store activities in the Tenderloin (currently supported by this grant), are we eligible to apply again? Or are we ineligible and must submit a proposal for another priority area?

Answer: Yes existing grantees are eligible are eligible to apply in same priority area,  However, Healthy Corner Store/ Healthy Retail funding as a specific example will not be eligible for work being done in neighborhoods with an existing Healthy Retail SF program and Coalition (i.e. Bayview and Tenderloin).   All proposals must demonstrate that they are building upon any past work and lessons learned, experiences in a related area, and/or capacity to engage Emerging Community Leaders in a meaningful way. Organizational track record with past CAM funding will also be taken into account.

16) I want to know whether proposals are limited to issues involving tobacco, or whether you are open to all community based proposals. We were considering applying for a grant related to our refugee health initiative, but it is not tobacco related.

Answers: We are seeking proposals that the CAM project be related to tobacco issue, but we encourage programs to find ways to weave in other priority issues relevant to the community you serve.

17) Can other areas of tobacco control be funded by this RFP?

Answer: It is possible that priority areas not listed in the RFP can be funded, however priority will be given to eligible applications that best suit the priority areas indicated in the proposal documents.  The Tobacco Free Project, in partnership with the Tobacco Free Coalition, underwent a comprehensive strategic planning process to determine key priorities for the community in tobacco control for coming years.  The San Francisco Department of Public Health leadership also provided guidance in determining the priority areas.

Info Session Inquiries:
  • Why is menthol the highest priority topic?

Answer: Other flavors were covered by recent FDA ruling, however menthol was left up to local jurisdictions to address. Studies show that menthol advertising targets youth and communities of color making it a social justice issue, and an issue that the Tobacco Free Coalition is interested in addressing.

2) Is there a possibility for more than 1 menthol grant to be funded?

Answer: Yes, it is a possibility, but it will depend on the strength and scope of the applications received.

3) Can a menthol topic be considered for a planning grant?

Answer: Yes, it is a possibility, but it will depend on the strength and scope of the applications received.

4) Is the funding total $100,000 the maximum offered per agency per Implementation grant?

Answer:  This is the maximum amount offered per agency per year per Implementation grant, and $50,000 per agency for each year is the maximum for the Planning grant. Agencies may decide to apply for less funding, but no more will be awarded per agency than the maximum amount per award type.

5) Can you clarify the expected outcomes for the implementation versus planning grants?  For the implementation grant, completing a PSE change in one year seems not feasible?

Answer: For both the Planning Grant and Implementation Grant, Steps 1-3 will be completed in Year 1. Implementation Grantees will complete Steps 4 and 5 in Year 2,  with the goal of some sort of PSE outcome (or action), or reasonable progress toward the negotiated action is the metric for completion of Implementation Grants.

For the Planning Grant at the end of Year 1 the final outcome is a summary report of findings and community assessment. If good progress and plan is shown, there may be an opportunitiy for continued funding to move the Planning Grant into an Implementation Grant cycle for Year 2.

6) Can stipends to the Emerging Community Leaders be direct payment?

Answer: Different agencies may choose to handle the payments/ stipends for the Emerging Community Leaders in different ways. Some past CAM funded agencies chose to handle their payments through cash, gift cards, and others via paycheck. Agencies should include their stipends in their proposed budget, but there are no specific requirements as to payment format, as long as fiscal tracking records are maintained.

7) The RFP application has us choose an area of focus.  Why do we need to “Name the Issue”/“Choose Area of Focus” again in the first Step of the CAM (first 4 months of the project)?

Answer: Though the topic area is chosen by your agency, the first Step of the CAM (approximately the first 4 months of the project) is important for the new Project Coordinator and new Emerging Community Leaders to make it their own as a team.  For example, focusing the topic even further based on the interests of the Emerging Community Leaders and the need of the community you serve – an example is the focus of “buy one get one free” promotions within the “Minimum Retail Sales Price or Limiting Promotions” topic area, which ould have been referred to in the application as “setting a minimum price for tobacco” more broadly.

8) Is it mandatory to have a 0.5 FTE for the planning grant or a 0.8 FTE for the implementation grant?  What about a 0.3 FTE who works on another project, or two 0.4FTE staff as co-leads?

Answer: It is required that the Coordinator position be filled by one person, minimally at .80 FTE for Implementation, or .50 FTE for Planning. This is mandatory minimum staffing requirement that has evolved from many years funding CAM projects in San Francisco.  That experience has demonstrated that sharing staffing among several people does not result in optimal support for Emerging Community Leaders nor successful advancement of projects.  Staff who are funded part time at .5 FTE or .8 FTE through CAM certainly may be engaged in other agency work for the remainder of available work time during the week through other funding sources.

9)   Do you only have to enter a Problem Statement if choose/check “other issues”?

Answer: Yes, only if you choose/check “other issues” do you have to provide a Problem Statement. This is because the Tobacco Free Coalition prioritized issues through an extensive research and collaborative process, and is cognizant that not all priorities have been chosen. The Tobacco Free Project team always looks at what tobacco-related issues are important to communities, and are happy to learn more about the specific priorities of other issues that the local, state, or federal agencies have not yet thought of. Agencies should be as specific as possible when submitting a Problem Statement for other issues not previously identified as priorities by the Tobacco Free Coalition.

10) When writing about our agency’s expertise and experience, can we discuss efforts done regionally and statewide, not just in San Francisco?

Answer: Yes, your agency may discuss your experience and skills that have been done outside of San Francisco.

11) Are there any required qualifications of the Project Coordinators that would be hired?  Is the expectation that the Project Coordinator have an understanding of research methods or have a background in conducting research?

Answer: It is NOT a requirement for the Project Coordinator to have research experience.  The Tobacco-Free Project provides a good deal of ongoing training and technical assistance to the Project Coordinators and Emerging Community Leaders with the goal of building capacity of community.

12) Is the timeline/start date of the first step of the CAM set in stone (July-October 2017, 4 months)?

Answer: Yes, we expect a start date to be July 1st, 2017.  The funded CAM projects/agencies will be working together as a cohort, so deviations from the timelines could put your agency behind in the CAM process.  Though the 4-month range is intentional, we understand that flexibility is needed with hiring timelines and the time it may take to recruit your Emerging Community Leaders.  We highly recommend starting the Project Coordinator hiring process as early as possible.

13) Attachment B: Workplan is difficult to plan so far ahead of time and it could dramatically change once the project starts – is this okay?

Answer: Yes, it is acceptable if your Workplan changes once the CAM project starts.  The point of the Workplan submission in the proposal is for your agency to demonstrate an understanding of the activities and appropriate timelines your agency will undertake meet to achieve your project focus.

14) What is the difference between a general and specific activity?

Answer: A General Activity is an activity that Emerging Community Leaders aim to complete as part of their deliverable.  For example, conduct a survey of 100 Tenderloin residents.  A Specific Activity is a step that helps accomplish the General Activity.  For example, conduct a training on survey development.

15) Are there specific demographic communities that are intended to be funded by the CAM?

Answer: There is not a specific breakdown of funding goals or amounts for specific demographic communities; in general we are looking for a range of projects that work with communities most impacted by tobacco.

16) Is there an ideal split of grant funding outcomes such as X% of youth agencies, y% of senior agencies?

Answer: There is not a specific breakdown of funding goals or amounts for specific communities,

17) Does the Project Coordinator need to be fluent in the English language?

Answer: The Project Coordinator does NOT need to be fluent in the English language; however, the PC needs to have enough English skills to take on and complete the roles and responsibilities. PCs will provide verbal and written communications to TFP staff (i.e. emails and reports); communicate and collaborate in monthly CAM partner group meetings and trainings; and engage and inform stakeholders about their project.

  • Is a background in health education, community organizing, and/or PSE experience a requirement for hiring the Project Coordinator?

Answer: It is NOT a requirement for the Project Coordinator to have a background in health education, community organizing, and/or PSE experience.  These skills are suggestions/recommendations for when your agency hires a Project Coordinator.