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.

Rapid Response Fund Applications and Grants

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us at programs@sff.org.

Application Guidelines

Grant size and duration: 

  • One-time grants of $3,000–$20,000 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 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.

Additional resources on how to apply: 

Please contact programs[at]sff.org.

Donate to the Rapid Response Fund

Donors have contributed $2.4 million 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”

Please contact programs[at]sff.org.