Rapid Response Fund for Movement Building

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.

Protests and Actions Statement

Rapid Response Fund accepts applications aimed at supporting actions, protests, and other movement building strategies. With the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the growing uprisings connected to the Movement for Black Lives, our Rapid Response Fund is looking to support eligible applications supporting the movement in the Bay Area during this critical time. While the Rapid Response Fund does not generally fund ongoing services, we will be accepting applications for legal services and support tied to protests at this time.

Please click on the sections below to read more about our how you can apply or donate to the Rapid Response Fund for Movement Building.

Application Guidelines

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.
  • Projects aimed at supporting actions, protests, and other movement building strategies.

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 about our Rapid Response Fund: 

Please contact programs[at]sff.org.

How to Apply

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. All applicants must submit Rapid Response Fund applications through our Grantee Portal.

Please note that due to the volume of grant applications, any draft applications that are incomplete or not submitted will be removed after 90 days. Draft applications are recoverable in the event they need to be reopened after the 90 day period by contacting programs[at]sff.org.

How to apply 

  • Create an account or log in to your existing account to create an application.
  • Have the following documents prepared to upload:
    • Project budget (in a file format of your choosing)
    • Letter of Resolution from your fiscal sponsor (if applicable)

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.

Additional resources on how to apply: 

Please contact programs[at]sff.org.

Donate to the Rapid Response Fund

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 onlineby 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.
SFF COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund

We established the SFF COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund to provide funding to nonprofits working on housing, food security, job loss, and supporting people targeted by racism as a result of the pandemic. Our donors and other philanthropic partners have generously contributed more than $4 million to the fund, and we have made grants to more than 375 Bay Area community organizations helping their communities cope with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more about how we continue to support the Bay Area during COVID-19

Please note that the application window has closed for SFF’s COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund.

Rapid Response Fund for Movement Building is continuing to support COVID-19 recovery efforts, with a focus on work that builds community power, strengthens the voice of Black Bay Area residents and people of color, or advocates for systems change.

See the fund application guidelines above for more information or contact programs[at]sff.org.