Creating Safe, Equitable and Thriving Communities Fund

Contact Us

For more information on the Creating Safe, Equitable and Thriving Communities Fund, please contact Rachel Rockwell.


Rachel Rockwell
Program Officer

The Creating Safe, Equitable & Thriving Communities (SET) Fund was established in 2018 through a partnership with the City of Cedar Rapids, Linn County, and the Cedar Rapids Community School District to address inter-relational factors that lead to youth violence in Cedar Rapids. Grants from this fund work toward creating a safe, equitable and thriving community. The fund has supported programs that approach systemic causes of economic, racial, and academic disparities and/or aims to avoid, reduce, or stop high risk behaviors that can lead to involvement with the criminal justice system. Since its inception, the fund has granted $408,000 in support of 21 community-based programs and projects.

Focus and Strategy
In 2020, the SET Fund received a grant from an anonymous donor to increase the funding pool for local nonprofits and implement Group Violence Intervention (GVI) in Cedar Rapids. GVI, developed by the National Network for Safe Communities (NNSC), is an evidence-based approach that creates a network of care for those most impacted by violence.

The GVI strategy brings community members together with law enforcement and social service providers to focus an antiviolence message on highly active street groups. GVI focuses on the groups at highest risk for violent victimization and offending, with the intention to keep them alive, safe, and out of prison. The GVI partnership, which includes law enforcement, community representatives, and social service providers, communicates directly with group members, conveying a powerful community message about disapproval for violence and in support of community aspirations; concrete opportunities for both immediate and longer-term assistance and support; and clear prior notice of the legal risks associated with continued violence. The partnership then delivers swiftly on these commitments.

Request for Proposals
A Request for Proposal (RFP), including scope of work and scoring criteria was released July 15th, 2021. We anticipate funding up to three organizations/collaborations to launch, implement and sustain the support and outreach components of GVI including:

  • Antiviolence Messaging Components (30-40% of overall funding)- Support and outreach providers deliver a credible moral message against violence and make a genuine offer of help for those who want it.
  • Case Management Components (30-40% of overall funding)- Collaborates with GVI stakeholders, Support & Outreach Workers and Social Service Providers and provides case management for residents who are at very high risk of violent victimization and offending by gun violence.
  • Training and Development Components (15-25% of overall funding)Provides training around trauma informed care, cognitive behavioral therapy, culturally responsive care, restorative practices, multi-sector collaboration/coalition building for GVI stakeholders. Strategic and technical assistance accessing local, state, and federal funding to sustain GVI components.
  • Crisis Response Components (5-15% of overall funding) GVI trained staffing of 24/7 Hotlines, Helplines, and Mobile Crises Unit response.

Proposal Planning
Because this RFP is seeking to address the complex issue of community gun violence, the Community Foundation, National Network for Safe Communities, and SET partners have provided over 50 hours of training, technical assistance and learning supports in 2020 and 2021. For a deeper understanding of the GVI Model and its implementation, we recommend utilizing the following resources:

  • National Network for Safe Communities Group Violence Intervention Model – click here.
  • Center for Disease Control and Prevention Technical Package – click here.
  • Iowa Ideas – Closing Keynote with David M. Kennedy – click here.
  • Iowa Ideas – Panel on GVI Support & Outreach – click here.
  • 2020 Grant Prep Sessions 1, 2, & 3 – click here.
  • Community Learning Series: Working Together to Reduce Youth Violence – click here.
  • SET Network E-Newsletters – click here.
  • RESET 2020 Documentary: When You Pick Up a Gun – click here.

We strongly encourage potential applicants to join us as we do a deep dive into the support and outreach components of the GVI Model and work to help foster understanding and collaborative efforts between public, private, grassroots and nonprofit organizations.


  • Organization representatives (Board members, employees, volunteers, etc.) should already have strong foundational and actively growing knowledge of GVI obtained through GVI trainings and learning supports offered in 2020 and 2021.
  • Priority will be given to organizations who have not only engaged in GVI focused trainings but who are currently engaged in GVI support and outreach work through regular participation in Support & Outreach Workgroup Team Meetings, Custom Notifications, Call-ins, Shooting Reviews, and Support & Outreach Case Management.
  • The Community Foundation accepts applications from nonprofit organizations with a 501(c)(3) status and governmental organizations.
  • Organizations that are not 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations should contact Rachel Rockwell for further discussion at
  • Collaboration between public and nonprofit organizations is required. Multiple organizations may submit a joint application for a collaborative project.

Ineligible Activities

  • Fundraising events and activities
  • Religious activities: contact program officer for clarification
  • Expenses for projects and programs that have already occurred or will occur during the RFP review process

Funding Available
For this grant cycle, $200,000 is available for up to three organizations who wish to implement and sustain essential GVI support and outreach components within their organizations and through collaborative engagement with GVI stakeholders.

Duration of Contract 
12 months

Tuesday, October 4, 2022 at 4:30 PM

Grantmaking Equity Statement
The Community Foundation is committed to ensuring equity in our grantmaking strategy. Review the Grantmaking Equity Statement adopted by the Community Foundation’s Board of Directors here.

Download The Creating Safe, Equitable & Thriving Communities (SET) Fund Application Packet
Download The Creating Safe, Equitable & Thriving Communities (SET) Fund Budget Template

Questions? Contact
Rachel Rockwell, Program Officer, at or at 319.200.4007.

To learn more about the Creating Safe, Equitable & Thriving Communities Fund, click here.

NOTE: The Community Foundation maintains strict standards to uphold the integrity of the grantmaking process. Our conflict of interest policy applies to grant committees, board and staff requiring recusals in cases of conflict of interest. The Community Foundation review processes are methodical and transparent, with scoring tools for competitive grant applications available in the online applications.