Building Together FAQs

Updated: July 10, 2024

Thank you for your interest in the Building Together: Equitable Systems for Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Mental Health RFP. Perigee Fund is sharing our responses to frequently asked questions that apply to a wide number of potential applicants. If you have a specific question about your group or organization, please don’t hesitate to email our team. You can reach us at

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1. Does a proposal need to address the full continuum of prenatal-to-age-3 mental health, or does the group simply need to work within this age range?

Perigee expects to receive and fund proposals from groups whose projects are focused solely on one part of the prenatal-to-age-3 mental health continuum (e.g., maternal mental health). In an ideal world, there are some groups that work across the continuum (including maternal mental health and infant and early childhood mental health), but that is not an expectation for applications to this RFP. Any group focused on expanding access to some aspect of prenatal-to-age-3 mental health through systems change is eligible to apply.

2. If a coalition’s systems change agenda includes maternal and infant mental health, but has a much broader range of priorities (childcare, early intervention, etc.), would they still be eligible to apply?

Yes, definitely! The coalition is still eligible to apply. Maternal mental health or infant mental health does not need to be the exclusive focus of the coalition. The group can be doing a broad range of activities, as long as some aspect of prenatal-to-age-3 mental health is part of their focus.

3. If a group is advancing change to support families from prenatal-to-age-5, is their work benefiting children older than 3 completely excluded from the grant support?

The core focus of Perigee’s work is from prenatal-to-age-3, but Perigee understands that groups working to support young children often focus on a broader age range. An application from a group focused on a bigger age range would be eligible. Perigee would want to hear how the group would robustly include a focus on prenatal-to-age-3 mental health in their proposed work.

4. If a group aspires to strengthen their family voice work but doesn’t have a robust prior history, are they still eligible to apply? Could they use some of the funding to strengthen family engagement?

The most competitive applications will be from groups that are already engaging families. Competitive applications will clearly center family perspectives and leadership in the group’s structure and goals. All eligible groups should have some track record of engaging families. That said, if a group would like to expand or augment their family engagement efforts as part of their systems change strategy, grant funds can certainly be used for that purpose.

5. Could provider voice be a substitute for family voice?

Perigee believe that provider perspectives are important, and we hope that collaboratives are engaging and working with providers and families. We hope to see both provider and family leadership within the collaboratives. However, provider voice is not a substitute for family voice. The maternal mental health and infant and early childhood mental health workforce does not always reflect the cultural and linguistic diversity of prenatal-to-age-3 families. Families should be at the table to share their perspective and priorities.

6. Should the government partner be one of the members of our group, or should they be a partner that is outside of our group?

Either structure is possible. You can have a collaborative, group, or coalition where one or more government partners are members at the table and regularly participate. That’s a great structure and one we see has been successful in many settings. You might also have a more advocacy-oriented collaborative, group, or coalition, and in that case the group’s organizing entity might partner closely with government entities, but the government partners might not be part of the group’s structure. What matters most for this RFP is that you have government partners engaged in your systems changes efforts for prenatal-to-age-3 mental health in a way that works for your coalition. There are several effective ways to engage government partners. Given that structure is often driven by setting, we are open to a range of possibilities if the government partner engagement is genuine, substantive, and moving towards structural systems change for prenatal-to-age-3 mental health.

7. Could you provide more detail on what qualifies as a public sector or government partnership?

There is a wide range of government or public sector partners that groups might be working with in their systems change efforts. Groups could be working with leaders from their state, county, city, or tribal government agencies, or with their legislators or other public officials. What is most important is that the public sector or government partnership is contributing towards the systems change efforts in which the group is engaged.

8. What kinds of nonprofit institutions can receive these funds? And do all collaborative partners need to be nonprofits, or just the lead organization?

A wide range of nonprofit organizations are eligible for funding, including nonprofit universities and nonprofit foundations. State, county, city, or tribal government agencies are also eligible. 

Not all collaborative members need to be nonprofits. Only the lead organization needs to be a nonprofit or government agency. We expect many collaboratives will have a diverse array of members, and we know this may include private businesses and other types of organizations.

9. Some of our collaborative member organizations have been with us for less than 2 years, but others have more experience working together. Could we still apply?

If the collaborative has at least two years of history, yes. We understand that members often come in and out of groups. years of history, yes. We understand that members often come in and out of groups.

10. Are national organizations eligible to apply?

Not unless they are applying as part of a collaborative working on systems change at the state, tribal, region, or U.S. territory level. Perigee does resource other grantees working at the national level through different mechanisms.

11. When you say working at the regional level, is a region defined as several states or could it be a large metropolitan area?

We define a region as a large area within a state, or even across state lines, with a population of at least 1 million people. It might be a large county, large city, or a group of counties (particularly across more rural areas).

Key Terms & Definitions

12. How does Perigee define prenatal-to-age-3 mental health?

Please see Section 4 of the RFP, page 12, for key definitions, including prenatal-to-age-3 mental health.

13. How does Perigee define collaboratives?

Please see Section 4 of the RFP, page 12, for key definitions, including collaboratives.

14. Can you provide examples of what you mean by trauma? How broadly do you view the term “trauma”?

Perigee is not an expert on trauma. We look to a variety of experts for guidance on what constitutes trauma, such as the National Child Traumatic Stress Center. The definition and examples we provide here are directional. We honor and accept that some communities and collaboratives may define trauma differently than Perigee, and some may choose not to use this term. Your group does not need to have the same definition as Perigee. We are looking for alignment and a shared aspiration to support prenatal-to-age-3 families impacted by trauma. 

At a high level, Perigee understands that trauma is often caused by events that are dangerous, violent, or frightening, whether those events are experienced or witnessed. Natural disasters, domestic violence, and community violence are all examples of traumatic events. Perigee also thinks broadly about trauma as occurring in a historical and collective context. Many generations of Black, Indigenous, and other communities of color in the United States have experienced and continue to experience trauma because of structural racism. We believe it is important to acknowledge that the original Adverse Childhood Experiences, or ACES, are “Atrocious Cultural Experiences,” as explained by Dr. Chandra Ghosh-Ippen and Dr. Markita Mays. These traumatic cultural or community experiences include colonization, slavery, removal of property/land, and forced family separations.

Funding Use & Goals

15. How will the funding be distributed? As reimbursement or as cash?

Funding will be distributed as one lump sum payment at the end of 2024.

16. Does the funding need to be evenly distributed across the two years?

No, funding does not need to be evenly distributed across the two years. We encourage participants to consider how funding can best be leveraged across the two years to support the systems change effort they are pursuing.

17. What kinds of activities can this grant funding support?

Please see page 8 of the RFP for details on activities that can be supported by this grant. In general, a wide range of activities can be supported by this grant funding if they contribute to the overall systems change effort that the group is pursuing. Whether those activities include paying staff salaries, engaging families, lobbying, training, convening, communications, or something else, they must be in service of the systems change goals.

18. What activities are considered direct service by Perigee? Can funding be used for indirect services like mental health consultation?

Any services that are provided directly to families, as well as services that are considered indirect but offer support to families (like mental health consultation), are considered direct service by Perigee Fund. Because this is a two-year funding opportunity, it is not a sustainable source of funding for direct services.

19. Is a collaborative disqualified if they offer direct services?

Offering direct services does not disqualify the group from applying for this systems change opportunity. We understand and celebrate that many groups are engaged in a wide range of activities! The only restriction is that grant funding cannot fund the direct services and should support systems change efforts led by the group.

During the Grant Period

20. What are the reporting requirements for this funding?

Perigee will look forward to getting to know all grantees and to partnering with them during the grant period. We hope to connect with grantees regularly to hear about their work and learn how we can be a supportive partner. 

Our formal reporting requirements are to submit an interim report at the half-way point of the grant, and a final report after the grant ends. These reports have both a narrative and a financial reporting component.

21. Does the funding need to be split between all partners who are part of the collaborative?

No. Decisions about how to use the funds across partners are under the purview of the group.

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