Grantseeker FAQ

Before You Begin

When is the next Open Application Cycle?
What is the 2014 Renewal Grant Cycle?
Who is eligible to apply for the 2014 Renewal Grant Cycle?
What if I have an urgent project?
My group doesn’t have tax-exempt status. Can I still apply?

Filling Out the Application

How do I submit my application?
Where can I learn more about Grantee Center?
What if I didn’t receive an email after registering my account?
What types of support does The San Francisco Foundation offer?
My project meets more than one of the Foundation’s strategic goals. What should I do?
How much can my organization apply for?
Which financial statements are required?
How do I structure my outcomes and activities?

After Submission

What happens after I submit an application?
What if I don’t get a confirmation email?
What if I miss the deadline?

I Still Have Questions

Who do I contact?

 

Before You Begin

When is the next Open Application Cycle?

The next Open Application Cycle, open to both new and existing grantees, will be in 2015.

To receive announcements about our next Open Application process, sign up for our newsletter here and select “Grant Application News” in your interests.

What is the 2014 Renewal Grant Cycle?

The 2014 Renewal Grant Cycle is a streamlined  process that enables grantees to focus on their organization’s work. Click here for a statement from VP of Programs, James Head.

The 2014 Renewal Cycle application will be open January 6th through January 24th, 2014. Renewal is not automatic. Eligible grantees must apply in order to be considered for renewal.

Who is eligible to apply for the 2014 Renewal Cycle?

Only 2013 Open Application grantees will be eligible to apply for a 2014 Renewal Grant. If you are unsure whether your organization is eligible, log in to Grantee Center and open the My Grants tab. If any of your existing grants are listed below, you are eligible:

  • 2012-2013 Open Cycle – Arts and Culture
  • 2012-2013 Open Cycle – Community Development
  • 2012-2013 Open Cycle – Education
  • 2012-2013 Open Cycle – Community Health
  • 2012-2013 Open Cycle – Environment

What if I have an urgent project?

In rare instances, the Foundation will expedite processing for a project that has an urgent need and that is closely aligned with the Foundation’s strategic goals. Please contact a member of the Program Department to discuss your circumstances before submitting an urgent request.

My group doesn’t have tax-exempt status. Can I still apply?

Groups that do not have tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code must use a fiscal sponsor in order to apply.

If you are looking for a fiscal sponsor, please visit our fiscal sponsorship page to learn about an organization called Community Initiatives.

 

Filling Out the Application

How do I submit my application?

All applications must be submitted through the Grantee Center, our interactive resource for applicants and grantees.  You must be registered to the Grantee Center in order to submit your application.

Where can I learn more about Grantee Center?

We encourage you to visit Grantee Center Help to answer initial questions.  You do not have to be a registered Grantee Center user to access this information.

What if I didn’t receive an email after registering my account?

If you do not receive an email after submitting your registration information, please contact The San Francisco Foundation Grants Management Department at 415.733.8500.

What types of support does The San Francisco Foundation offer?

The San Francisco Foundation offers three types of support:

  • Project Support: These grants are restricted to a specific body of work that provides direct benefit to the organization’s constituents over a period of time to achieve measurable results. Project support grants may be used to pay for all costs directly related to the operation of the project. Project support grants cannot be used for general administration of the organization (also known as indirect costs).
  • Capacity Building Support: This type of support is generally awarded for activities that strengthen an organization, or a coalition of organizations, to better achieve its mission. Capacity building may include expansion of services, infrastructure improvement, organizational assessment, strategic planning, board/staff development, and so on. The grant is restricted to a particular activity, and the outcomes of the capacity building project must be conducted over a period of time to achieve measurable results.
  • Core Operating Support: This type of support is also known as general support. An organization may use the funds in any way that supports its mission.

In some circumstances, the Foundation may support costs for:

  • Planning and implementing capital campaigns
  • Front-end funding necessary to undertake affordable housing and community development projects
  • Modest-scale capital projects when presented in the context of a plan for meeting community needs
  • Medical research that meets the terms of a restricted trust
  • Projects initiated by individuals when supported by a capable fiscal sponsor

The Foundation generally does not fund:

  • Projects outside of the five Bay Area counties we serve (Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, and San Mateo)
  • Medical, academic, or scientific research
  • Religious activities (although religious institutions may apply for non-religious community services)
  • Direct assistance to individuals
  • Conferences or one-time events

Please visit the Program Pages for more details.

My project meets more than one of the Foundation’s strategic goals. What should I do?

You must select one Program area in order to complete your application. Please visit the Program pages for more about the particular projects funded by each Program area.

Returning grantees should select the Program area that funded the previous grant, as long as the work is not substantially different.

If the project for which you are requesting funding could qualify for more than one Program area, select the one that most closely matches the mission of your organization. If you are still unsure how your project fits, please contact our staff for assistance.

How much can my organization apply for?

Organizations eligible to apply for the 2014 Renewal Grant Cycle should apply for the same amount they received in 2013. We will evaluate applications and may choose to change funding amounts at its discretion.

Our average competitive grant is $20,000 with a duration of 12 months. Organizations new to the Foundation frequently receive smaller awards. The Foundation occasionally makes larger and/or multi-year grants to organizations that are closely aligned with our strategic goals.

Which financial statements are required?

The Foundation requires that any applicant organization with an annual budget of $1,000,000 or greater must provide a recent (within two years) copy of audited financial statements.

  • Organizations with annual budgets less than $1,000,000 are required to provide the most recently filed IRS Form 990.
  • Waivers to this policy are occasionally granted for organizations undergoing rapid financial growth or who have received windfall gifts.
  • If your project is fiscally sponsored, you must provide a copy of the fiscal sponsor’s audit. Waivers to this policy are occasionally granted via a formal waiver request process. Please consult with the appropriate Program Staff.

How do I structure outcomes and activities?

Here are some sample outcomes and activities:

Outcomes

  • Expand the organization’s ability to directly challenge corporations to reduce their use of toxic chemicals through education, litigation, and advocacy.
  • Provide public education to communities at risk.

Activities

  • Research the use of toxics and the health hazards they pose for consumers, workers, and communities to inform quarterly newsletter updates to coalition members and letters as needed to policymakers and other civic leaders.
  • Identify feasible alternative practices to eliminate or minimize toxic exposures, and partner with industry to implement these alternative practices.

After Submission

What happens after I submit my application?

Applications are formally acknowledged via email with a tracking number immediately following submission. You will receive a second email notification regarding the status of your application approximately ten weeks after the deadline. For a complete grant cycle calendar, please click here.

What if I don’t get an email confirmation?

All grant communications from the Foundation are sent via email. Please make sure to add “grantsmanagement@sff.org” to your safe senders list to ensure you receive our emails.

What if I miss the deadline?

Due to the large volume of applications received by the Foundation, we regret that we cannot accept late applications. Grantee Center will only allow submissions through the deadline, applications saved In Progress will not be processed.

I Still Have Questions

Who do I contact?

The Program staff welcomes your questions. You can find a full staff contact list here. For help regarding Grantee Center navigation, please view the Grantee Center Help pages, which can also be found at the top and bottom of all Grantee Center screens.