Ongoing FAQs and Resources

We hope to continue the conversation on our strategy and grantmaking for greater racial and economic inclusion in the Bay Area. Please contact with any questions you may have. In the subject line of your email, please indicate the subject of your query (i.e. general grantmaking, People, Place, or Power specific). 

This page will be updated with questions that we receive. Please view the FAQ’s and resources within this page for additional information

2018 Equity Grants Open Cycle

View slides from our 2018 Equity Grants Open Cycle Webinar or listen to the full recording below to hear more about this year’s funding priorities, guidelines, application process, and strategies.


The San Francisco Foundation has implemented Fluxx, our new grantmaking portal. The following instructional videos and Q&A are available to guide you through the system. Please note that you can scroll through multiple videos and instructions through the below video, or access the videos on our Fluxx instructions playlist on our YouTube channel. If you’d like step by step instructions in written form, these can be accessed here.

Q:  How do I create an account?
A:  New applicants should select “create an account”.  Past grantees can select “reset or create new password” to claim their new Fluxx account associated with their organization.

Q:  I haven’t received the email with the link to claim my account.  Where is it?
A:  Check your spam folder, or email us at  You should receive your email within 2 days.

Q:  How long does my password have to be?
A:  Your password should be 14 characters long and must include one Upper Case letter and one digit.

Q:  Can I review the organizational profile ahead of time?
A:  Yes, you can access the information required for each field, including the drop down options here.

Q:  Can I edit my application after I’ve hit “submit edits”?
A:  After you press “submit edits”, you will not be able to go back and edit your information.  Please hit “save” if you’d like to return to your organization profile at a later time.  Only press submit once your information is complete and correct.

Q:  The geographic area we serve is not listed.
A:  Please select region closest to your area. The San Francisco Foundation serves San Francisco, Alameda, Contra Costa, San Mateo and Marin counties. If you are not located in one of these counties, and indicate that on the eligibility quiz, you will get a follow up question as to whether the work proposed will take place in any of these counties. To be eligible for a grant from the foundation, the proposed work must serve residents of  one or more of these counties.

Q:  The total percentage is not adding up to 100%
A:   Depending on your organization’s data, the total amount may be below, equal to, or above 100%.

Q:  We intentionally do not collect data on the percentage of undocumented persons we serve.  How do I address this in my application?
A:  We understand and encourage the protections of undocumented individuals.  If possible, please provide an approximate estimation of the percentage your organizations serves.

Q: Why does it take 48 hours to register an account?
A:  When you create an account, there is a backend administrative process that eliminates duplicate records in our system. Depending upon the volume of new accounts created, this process could take up to 48 hours. We are confident that keeping our database clean and accurate will help us be more responsive and helpful to all our stakeholders in the long run.



Q:  Will you consider proposals from organizations that are not from the Bay Area but conduct statewide work that supports/impacts the 5 Bay Area communities you focus on?
A:  Yes. We will consider these types of proposals. However, organizations that are not locally based will not be eligible for general operating support as we will need to assure that dollars provided are for work in the Bay Area.

Q:  What is the grant period? Must grant-funded activities begin post award (October 2018)?
A:  The grant period will begin no sooner than October 2018, with the end date dependent upon the grant duration.

Q:  If a grantee receives general operating support through 2019 from a different grantor, can they not apply? Or does this only apply to those already receiving a grant from TSFF that offers general or core operating support?
A:  If you have received a general operating grant from The San Francisco Foundation that will provide them will funding through June 2019, you are ineligible for the open cycle. If you have a project for which you are seeking additional funds, you should contact your program officer. General operating support from other funders will have no influence on your eligibility.

Q:  Is the limit for the ‘ask’ linked to the organization’s income or solely based on the cost of the project?
A:  If you are applying for general operating support, the organization’s budget size will be one factor that will be considered in determining the grant amount. If you applying for project support, the ask should be linked to the project.

Q:  Our grant ends in May but the new grants aren’t funded until October, what shall we do about the gap?
A:  In some instances, organizations have been given a proactive grant to cover the lapse in funding. Unfortunately, we are unable to do this in every instance and some organizations may experience a temporary lapse in funding.

Q:  Would the foundation consider multi-year funding, i.e. 2, 3 years or more?
A:  The foundation considers anything beyond one year, multi-year funding. In most instances, our multi-year grants are two years.

Q:  We fall under both Place and Power. Our strategies and work overlap in these two, or multiple categories. How do we choose which category to apply in?
A: The foundation is only accepting one application per organization in the Equity Open Cycle Grants Program. You can select up to three strategies that reflect your work, regardless which pathway they fall in to. When strategies fit under multiple pathways, the application will be reviewed by the pathways whose strategies have been selected by the applicant.

Q:  If an agency is currently an equity grantee, is the agency eligible to apply for funding this year?
A:  Agencies are eligible for the open cycle provided that they meet the 501 (3) requirements. If you have received a general operating grant from The San Francisco Foundation that will provide them with funding through June 2019, you are ineligible for the open cycle. If you have a project for which they are seeking additional funds they should contact their program officer.

Q:  What are examples of past grants for the Equity Grants Program?
A:  A list of the 2017 Equity Grants shows an example of organizations and work chosen for funding last year.

Q:  Can organizations based outside of the Bay Area apply if they’re engaged in a project in a Bay Area county?
A:  Yes, as long as you are working in one of the five counties the San Francisco Foundation serves: Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo and East Bay, Alameda and Contra Costa.

Q:  If an organization doesn’t have a previous funding relationship with the foundation, will their application be considered only after all current and past grantees are considered?
A:  No priority will be given to current or past grantees. Organizations new to the foundation are highly encouraged to submit an application.

Q:  Are public and government agencies eligible to apply in the open cycle?
A:  Yes, public and government agencies are eligible to apply. If you are applying on behalf of a public or government agency, select yes to the Eligibility Question: Are you a tax exempt organization? If our Grants Administration staff has any questions, they will contact you.

Q:  Can multiple groups with the same fiscal sponsor apply multiple times?
A:  Yes. Multiple projects under the same fiscal sponsor can apply.

Q:  Can organizations with budgets under $1 million apply for the equity grants, or are they in some other separate pot?
A:  Yes. There are no budget thresholds for applications to the Open Cycle.

Q:  If you’re an active grantee currently, can you still apply?
A:  Unless you have core operating support through June, 2019, you are eligible to apply. We encourage both current grantees, as well as those who are new to the foundation to apply to the Open Cycle or the Rapid Response Fund for Movement Building.

Q:  Can collaboratives of organizations can apply together?
A:  Yes. Collaboratives are encouraged to apply. We are asking that one organization take the lead on behalf of the collaborative. This organization must have independent 501(c)(3) status (cannot be fiscally sponsored). When entering the application information, the collaborative should be listed as the grantee, and the lead organization should be listed in the field for “fiscal sponsor”. In the short purpose, reference that the application is for support of a collaborative.

Note: As you have entered an organization as a fiscal sponsor, you will be required to provide a letter of resolution. For collaboratives, we require a letter from the Chief Executive or Executive Director of the lead organization confirming that their organization is happy to receive grant funds on behalf of the collaborative.

Q:  Can organizations applying on behalf of collaboratives submit a second application for their individual organization?
A:  Yes. Second applications are allowable from organizations that submit an application as the lead of a collaborative. Therefore, please follow the above instructions when submitting on behalf of a collaborative, so that your individual application is accepted.

Q:  Can separate operating departments of a county agency submit multiple applications? 
A:  Government agencies can submit multiple applications on behalf of separate departments and/or government agencies, but not multiple applications from the same departments/agency, e.g: a public health department and child services department from the same county agency may each submit an application, but the public health department may not submit more than one application.

Q:  If we have different projects, can we submit an application focused on each?
A:  Organizations are allowed to submit only one application per organization. The application can span different projects. If you are the chair of a coalition or a member of a coalition, you can be included in other proposals. (Please see instructions above.)

Q:  If an organization applies for a multi-year grant, is it possible that you might only fund the project for just one year?
A:  Yes. We anticipate a lot of requests for multi-year funding, and we want to be intentional in terms of the supporting multi-year projects as well as meeting some immediate and shorter term goals for the current year.

Q:  How does The San Francisco Foundation define the types of support that are offered?

General or Operating Support: Grants for organizations for day-to-day operating costs or to further the general purpose or work of an organization, rather than for a specific purpose or project. Also referred to as unrestricted grants.

Project or Program Support: Grants for specific purposes or projects, rather than for day-to-day operating costs or to further the general purpose or work of an organization.

Q:  Will media projects be considered?
A:  Yes. We’re looking at communication strategies that target and advance our racial and economic agenda and help change the narrative, and build a collective vision for the future.

Q:  Can the proposed work impact state policy?
A:  Yes, particularly the work that is tied to some of the priorities across the pathways.

Q:  Will the grants primarily be to support general operations or to support specific projects?
A:  Across the requests for either general operating or project support, we will be looking for outcomes tied to our equity agenda for greater economic and racial inclusion across the region.

Q:  If your organization runs programs in different counties, should we submit a different application for each county?
A:  No. Submit one application on behalf of your organization from the county where it is headquartered. Organizations should also take note that an application can include multiple locations rolling up to similar outcomes.


Q: Will you fund programs providing direct services to formerly incarcerated people?
A:  Only if the direct services are linked to efforts on Justice Reinvestment, Positive School Climate, and Worker Rights. The People pathway supports some direct services for formerly incarcerated people related to employment and work through invitation-only grants. Please feel free to contact the People pathway staff at 415-733-8535 if you have a project that you think is a fit in the late Fall.

Q:  For the college/career prep for youth, are programs recommended to engage with participants for high school and college, or just high school? Would you consider proposals for professional development programs for first-generation college students in the People pathway?
A:  Education related proposals in this open cycle need to address the funding priority of Positive School Climate. Our College and Career strategy is in progress and will not be established until later in the calendar year or early next year.

Q:  What about serving transitional age youth, who are out of school, through professional training?
A:  This strategy is not part of this year’s open cycle, but is being explored as a possibility as part of an Innovative Career Pathways strategy in the future.

Q:  Will you consider evidence based curriculum and student support methodologies that promote high school or college graduation rates, particularly for people of color and non-traditional students?
A:  As the funding priority in this open cycle is Positive School Climate, any education related proposals will need to address this strategy.

Q:  Is positive school climate limited to high school and middle school only?
A:  Yes.

Q:  Can you elaborate more on what you mean by creating a “positive school climate”?
A:  School climate is a broad, multifaceted concept that involves many aspects of the student’s educational experience. A positive school climate is the product of a school’s attention to fostering safety, promoting a supportive academic, disciplinary, and physical environment, and encouraging and maintaining respectful, trusting, and caring relationships throughout the school. A positive school climate is critically related to school success. For example, it can improve attendance, achievement, and retention and even rates of graduation, according to research.

Q:  What are your thoughts on support for foster youth who align very closely with the equity issues you identified?
A:  While we do not explicitly name foster youth as a target population, we understand that youth in foster care have multiple risk factors and that there is a very close inter-relationship between the foster care system and the criminal justice system. We have funded groups that serve foster youth.

Q:  Will you consider proposals that help formerly incarcerated people reintegrate in higher education?
A:  This funding priority is not in this year’s Open Cycle guidelines. We have funded programs that do this kind of work and it would be through an invitational grant process. If you would like to bring your program to our attend, please contact the People pathway staff at 415-733-8535 in the late Fall.

Q:  Will you fund bridge programs from high school to college for OUSD?
A:  Not in this open cycle, but are in the process of developing that strategy now, with the hope to focus on it later in this calendar year or early next year.

Q:  Can you please provide a concrete example of a systemic change that a grant recipient in the People pathway accomplished in the last cycle?
A:  One grantee created a pilot last stop (after expulsion from school) and alternative to incarceration program for young women. After launching this pilot, they plan to engage in best practice dissemination and advocacy for this kind of alternative placement for young women throughout Alameda County and formalize referral systems between the courts, school systems, and community based alternative placements. This is an example of a direct service project that is leading to systems change that, if successful, will ultimately drastically reduce incarceration for young women in Alameda County as well as support re-integration of young women into school after being expelled from school or involvement with the juvenile justice system.

Another set of grantees won a campaign that designated 1400 jobs for formerly incarcerated people in governmental agencies in Alameda County. TSFF supported grantees to implement this win which required recruiting more agencies to join the effort by setting aside positions for formerly incarcerated people, re-working civil service tests and other requirements so that formerly incarcerated people could access these position, and various other changes in hiring practices. This is an example of creating systemic change that ultimately will lead to more formerly incarcerated people in good jobs.

Q:  Will you be considering funding for programs that primarily operate with correctional facilities?
A:  Not at this time.


Q:  Can you expand on how and why you chose the priority neighborhoods?
The foundation is clear that we are not a place based funder, but the Place team we will prioritize applications that are in these neighborhoods. We established these neighborhoods based on looking at extensive data that showed several markers for where our efforts could make the greatest impact towards equity. Indications such as concentrations of people of color and families, economic opportunity (median income, education, etc.), and markers of displacement and gentrification led us to a set of priority neighborhoods where the Place team should focus their efforts.

Q:  Could you share more and examples of supporting housing in the production category?
When we speak about producing, one of the examples of the type of work we support is through housing bonds, and affordable housing bonds. In 2017 we supported several organizations that were doing campaign work and organizing efforts around the various counties (like Measure A1 in Alameda county), such as East Bay Housing Organizations, Non-Profit Housing Association.


Q:  Where do the FAITHS and Koshland Program-related organizations fall in the configuration of People, Place, and Power?
A:  The FAITHS and Koshland Programs are both in the Power pathway. However, community and faith-based organizations and congregations that fit with the funding priorities in the open cycle are welcome to apply and choose the strategies that best reflect their organization’s work. These organizations will be considered using the same criteria as those applied to other nonprofit organization applicants.

Q:  We are conducting a Movement Building initiative in East Contra Costa this spring, and repeating it in West Contra Costa in the fall. Do these fit in the grant period?
A:  We are only able to fund activities that begin after the start date of an approved grant. In this instance, we could consider funding for an initiative that begins earlier than October but would only support work that fits within the timeframe after the grant is made.

Q:  With the final decisions being made in mid-October, is the vision of the Power pathway to support movements/civic engagement targeting elections in 2019? Any opportunities to address the big 2018 elections?
A:  The Power pathway has already made numerous grants to organizations in the Bay Area that are related to nonpartisan civic and voter engagement work in 2018. If there is a short-term project that is time-sensitive applicants can consider applying to the Rapid Response Fund for Movement Building and/or contact one of the program staff on the Power pathway team. In this open cycle we will consider nonpartisan voter engagement and movement building proposals for activities in 2019 and 2020.

Q:  Will college backed programs that build students capacity to organize for racial equity and social justice be considered?
A:  Priority will be given to organizations that are community-based, work for racial equity and social justice, and are led by youth and young adults of color and low-income young people in the region, including students.

Q: Would advocacy, nonpartisan voter engagement, and other forms of organizing in opposition to or support for national policies be eligible for funding under the Equity Grants Program?
A: Organizations with a significant base of members in the Bay Area, can apply for support for local, regional, state or national policy campaigns as long as they are directly engaging Bay Area residents in these organizing, voter engagement, or advocacy efforts.



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