Public Education Efforts to Increase Solid Organ Donation

This announcement solicits applications for the Public Education Efforts to Increase Solid Organ[[]1] Donation Program.

Qualified public and non-profit private entities are eligible to apply.  This grant program is administered by the Division of Transplantation (DoT), Healthcare Systems Bureau


(HSB), Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), U. S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).  The mission of this grant program is to educate the public about the need for solid organ donation and to encourage positive deceased donation decisions, documentation, and family discussions.  The specific purpose of this two (2)-year grant program is to promote broader implementation and evaluation of interventions that increase public commitment to solid organ donation.

All projects funded under this grant program are intended to support public education and outreach strategies to:
(a) increase the number of individuals who make a commitment to become a deceased organ donor or (b) increase knowledge among parents/guardians, and minors if age appropriate, about the need for transplantation and organ donation among minors, and willingness of parents/legal guardians to authorize organ donation for a minor child in the event of death.

All components of the proposed interventions must be evaluated, as described below.  Funds under this grant program shall not be used for projects that educate about and/or promote living donation.  Two types of projects may be funded under this grant program, both of which must include an evaluation component:  Category 1:  Replication of Empirically Validated Interventions.  Numerous interventions have been shown to be effective in increasing donor designation or in changing other types of health behavior.  Applicants may replicate in their own areas specific interventions that have been demonstrated through research studies to increase public commitment to deceased donation, or may adapt strategies or components of interventions that have demonstrated effectiveness in promoting behavior change in other disciplines.  A replication should be conducted in a geographic area that is different from the original and should closely resemble the original study.   Projects proposed under this category must have strong evaluation components as described below.

Category 2:  Combined Community Outreach Interventions.  In recognition of the well demonstrated link between behavior change and carefully designed outreach strategies consisting of community-based motivational interventions and reinforcing media outreach strategies, applicants may construct a project that contains both of these elements in a coordinated and well justified approach for increasing public commitment to deceased donation.  Media may be radio, television, print, or Internet-based and must be appropriate for reaching the population(s) targeted in the application.  Identification and justification of each component of the intervention as either community-based or media is required.  Projects proposed under this category must have strong evaluation components as described below.

Applicants have considerable flexibility in the selection of strategies to implement and populations to target.  Applications that propose to replicate a successful practice must carefully describe the project being replicated, including its procedures, target population(s), intervention(s), materials, evaluation measure(s), and outcomes.  If replication projects need to make minor adjustments from the original project to accommodate local circumstances, these deviations must be thoroughly described and well justified.

Applications that propose a combined community outreach project have considerable flexibility as to methods, materials, delivery, and settings for the intervention.  However, proposed activities should be appropriate and well justified for the target population.

Examples of settings in which a project might be conducted include motor vehicle offices; grassroots, faith-based, and community organizations; health centers; education institutions; worksites; community centers; sports arenas; fraternal organizations; etc.  The preceding examples are illustrative only and should not be construed as a mandatory or finite list of settings.  Applicants are encouraged to consider including faith-based and grassroots community organizations in their projects.

Applications must include both process and outcome evaluation.  For those projects focusing on adult deceased donation, one measure of outcome evaluation must be increases in the number/rate of state donor registry enrollments.  At minimum, baseline benchmarks must be identified for organ donation sign-up rates along with a proposed project improvement goal and annual targets for each project year and target population.  Both actual and projected rates should be included.   Project evaluation must account for other efforts to increase donor enrollment that may impact project outcomes and distinguish the impact of grant-funded efforts from external or on-going activities in the target communities conducted by the applicant or other organizations.  Other such activities can include those related to other DoT grant projects, Donate Life America activities, random media events or television programming.

This grant program also seeks to promote greater collaboration between transplant community organizations and those organizations with expertise and experience in evaluation research.  Applicants are strongly encouraged to prepare their applications and, if funded, implement their projects as a consortium of organizations relevant to the project goals.  Specifically, applicants are encouraged to work as a team consisting of the following two types of organizations:
1)      at least one organization/institution currently involved with demonstrated expertise in community education and outreach strategies to encourage public commitment to organ donation; and 2)      at least one organization/institution with demonstrated expertise and experience in evaluation design and methods in the behavioral and social sciences.

Funds must be used to implement efforts that are not already part of the applicant’s ongoing activities.

[[]1]   For purposes of this grant program, the term ‘organ’ is used consistently with the definition provided in the final rule governing the operation of the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN), 42 CFR 12 1. 2.   This regulation currently provides that “Organ means a human kidney, liver, heart, pancreas, or intestine (including the esophagus, stomach, small and/or large intestines, or any portion of the gastrointestinal tract).  Blood vessels recovered from an organ donor during the recovery of such organs are considered part of an organ with which they are procured for purposes of this part if the vessels are intended for use in organ transplantation and labeled ‘For use in organ transplantation only.’”  Although the focus of this grant program concerns organ donation, a project also may have the effect of increasing the number of tissues and/or eye donors.
Related Programs

Grants to Increase Organ Donations

Department of Health and Human Services

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Additional Information of Eligibility:
 Eligible applicants are public or nonprofit private entities and may include State and local governments, Indian Tribal Governments, institutions of higher education, other nonprofit organizations such as faith-based and community organizations, and Tribal organizations.

Eligible applicants include Federally-designated organ procurement organizations (OPOs) and other nonprofit private or public entities eligible for funds under Section 377A(b) of the Public Health Service (PHS) Act as amended, (42 U.S.C.

274f-1(b)).    Applications that fail to meet the eligibility criteria by the time of the application deadline will not be considered for funding.

 If the applicant or any member of the project team is a member of the Organ Procurement and Transplant Network (OPTN), the applicant and all other OPTN members involved in the project are required to be in compliance with the final rule governing the operation of the OPTN, see 42 CFR part 121 or visit

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Contact HRSA Call Center at 877-Go4-HRSA/877-464-4772 or email CallCenter@HRSA.GOV

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