Rapid Response Fund for Movement Building

Rapid Response Fund for Movement Building

SFF COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund

Over the past few months, we have been proud to support more than 300 Bay Area organizations helping their communities cope with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. We have granted out more than $3 million to address food security, housing and homelessness, support for workers, domestic violence, and addressing racism against Asian Americans.

Please note that the application window has closed for SFF’s COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund. We continue to support COVID-19 relief and recovery efforts throughout the Bay Area. We encourage nonprofits to use the online resources and no-cost workshops on our COVID-19 Resources page and to check back regularly, as we continue to add new offerings.

Organizations whose COVID-19 relief work also includes power building, organizing, and advocacy toward systems change are encouraged to apply to SFF’s Rapid Response Fund for Movement Building. See the fund guidelines below for more info or contact Joshua Lee at jlee [at] sff.org.

SFF Rapid Response Fund for Movement Building

The Rapid Response Fund for Movement Building provides quick-turnaround funds to frontline social justice organizations that are strengthening the voice and power of low-income residents and people of color. The fund offers grassroots organizations small, one-time grants within 30 days of receiving a funding request.


Donors have given more than $800,000 to the Rapid Response Fund since it launched in 2016. There are many ways to support this critical work:

  • Give online by selecting Rapid Response Fund.
  • Make a grant from your donor advised fund.
  • Send a check to the San Francisco Foundation for the purpose: Rapid Response Fund for Movement Building.

Grant size and duration

  • One-time grants of $3,000–$15,000 for discrete projects
  • If approved, grant will be processed within 30 days of application receipt.
  • The project must be completed within six months of receiving the grant.

Basic eligibility 

  • Geography: funding requests must serve residents in one or more of the following five Bay Area counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco and San Mateo.
  • Tax exempt status: Organizations must have an IRS 501(c)(3) tax exempt status or be a fiscally sponsored project of another nonprofit entity. 501(c)(4) organizations will be considered but must submit additional lobbying documentation. The foundation cannot make grants to individuals.

Guidelines – projects must demonstrate the following to be eligible for funding:

  • Timely and urgent: Your organization must be responding to an unanticipated catalyzing event or urgent external challenge.
  • Opportunity for immediate impact: The project is strategic with a clear timeline and goals, with the desired outcomes having the potential to positively affect the community right away.
  • Clear focus on racial and/or economic equity: Your project specifically addresses racial and/or economic inequities. It should demonstrate a clear equity framework, explicitly responding to the unique needs, challenges, and strengths of marginalized communities.
  • Movement- and power-building: The project must aim to build the voice and power of people of color or other marginalized communities.
  • Representative leadership and staff: The project must be led by those who are most impacted by the racial and economic inequities that the effort aims to address (e.g. communities of color, immigrants, refugees, formerly incarcerated residents, youth, low-wage workers, people with disabilities, low-income residents, LGBTQ community members, etc.).

Priority will be given to:

  • Requests from small organizations (budgets of $500,000 or less) and new grassroots efforts, including faith-based groups and fiscally sponsored projects.
  • Projects that partner with other local organizations and community leaders who are doing complementary work.
  • Projects supporting COVID-19 relief in the areas of food security, housing and homelessness, worker support, and anti-discrimination. COVID-19 relief projects must also utilize organizing and advocacy for systems change to be eligible for grants from this fund.

Funding will NOT be provided for:

  • Nonprofit general operating support
  • Ongoing program support
  • Capital improvements
  • Budget shortfalls or fundraising events
  • Previously planned or long-term campaigns
  • Funding gaps due to internal organizational emergencies, such as office vandalism, resignation of an executive director, or sudden loss of funding

Additional resources:

Application Process

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Beginning March 18, 2019, all applicants must submit Rapid Response Fund applications through our new Fluxx system.


If approved, you will be notified no more than 30 days after receipt of application. A check will be mailed shortly thereafter. Please note that a brief final report will be required upon completion of grant activities.

Please contact programs[at]sff.org.