Q: What if I already have a grant from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative? Can I still submit a proposal to CZI Community Fund?
Yes! We encourage all current and past local grantees to consider submitting a proposal. To be eligible, any current grants from the CZI must end by December 31, 2019. Note: If you have a grant from the CZI that is less than $20,000, you do not need to meet this requirement.
Q: Can local school districts or their foundations apply for funding through the community fund?
CZI supports our local school districts in various ways, however, does not support them through the CZI Community Fund. Please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions.
Special Note for 2019 (current) CZI Community Fund Grant Recipients: If you are a current CZI Community Fund grant recipient and receive a grant through the second round of the CZI Community Fund, we will release the 2020 payment after we receive the final report and a budget for your 2019 grant. Please reach out to your CZI grant contact for more details.
Q: Can communities outside of Belle Haven, East Palo Alto, North Fair Oaks, and/or Redwood City apply?
This CZI Community Fund request for application (RFA) is available only to organizations serving the communities of Belle Haven, East Palo Alto, North Fair Oaks, and/or Redwood City.
Q: Am I able to save my application on SurveyMonkey Apply and return to it at a later date?
SurveyMonkey Apply will allow you to safely save and resume your proposal and upload your budget documents anytime before the proposal deadline. You will also be able to check the status of your proposal once it has been successfully submitted. Due to anticipated high volume, we will not be able to follow up on incomplete or inaccurate information. Please be sure that your proposal is complete prior to submission.
Upon submission of your proposal, you will receive an email confirming receipt. Please let us know if you did not get a confirmation email by emailing us at email@example.com with the subject line “Missing Email Confirmation.”
To download a PDF of the full proposal guidelines, click here.
Q: Can my organization submit a paper application for the CZI Community Fund?
Yes! If you prefer to submit a paper application, please download the paper application guidelines.
Q: Why are CZI Community Fund grants limited to one year?
The CZI Community Fund is designed to be responsive to the evolving needs of the local community. One-year grants allow us to provide meaningful support to local organizations while keeping the fund nimble to support the most pressing needs of the organizations working to address those needs. For that reason, the CZI Community Fund does not consider current or past relationships when selecting CZI Community Fund grantees.
Q: How will CZI decide between making unrestricted and project grants?
We recognize organizations need core support to carry out their missions. We also believe organization leaders and staff have a much better understanding of how to allocate funds across their organization than we do. For that reason, the majority of grants from the CZI Community Fund will be for unrestricted, general support.
We do anticipate a few instances where project support — funding restricted to specific activities — will be more appropriate. Examples include:
- A national organization that works in the specific communities we support through the CZI Community Fund
- Organizations that offer a broad array of activities and services that fall beyond the scope of the CZI Community Fund
- Upon specific request of the organization
CZI will review applications individually and make these specific funding decisions on a case-by-case basis. Any organization that receives a project grant will have the opportunity to discuss it with CZI staff.
Q: Why does my organization need to have a minimum operating budget of $100,000?
CZI Community Fund grants are aimed at supplementing the work of organizations that are already established in our local communities. Organizations with an operating budget of at least $100,000 can absorb CZI Community Fund grants ($25,000 – $100,000) and put them to work quickly to respond to community needs.
Q: What are the budget guidelines? What documentation do I need to submit?
Most of the grants supported through the community fund will be one-year general support grants. To make decisions about financial sustainability, we ask the following:
- A clear Budget Narrative on how your organization plans to use the grant.
- A full list of current Board Members. This list should include: names, professional affiliations, board positions, and years of service.
- Your organization’s Financial Summary for your current fiscal year. This summary should consist of income, expenses, and the names of your top three funding sources.
- Your organization’s Balance Sheet Summary. This summary should include details about assets and liabilities from your most current fiscal year and the prior year close.
We do not require a specific format for these documents, however, if you need a template, please contact us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include “Budget Template Request” in the subject line.
Q: Why has CZI incorporated site visits into the RFA process?
CZI staff connect with finalists face-to-face or via video conference to deepen our understanding of each organization’s work, build relationships with the organizations’ teams, and get a better understanding of how our organizations can work together to achieve shared goals.
Q: What can’t CZI Community Fund grants be used for?
CZI Community Fund grants cannot be used to fund or support a number of organizational expenses or projects, including:
- Lobbying or contributions to political candidates
- Individuals, or direct support of an individual, including scholarships
- Event sponsorships
- Debt retirement or budget deficits
- Academic or medical research
- Organizations that already have general operating support or sponsored project support from CZI beyond December 31, 2019
Q: Is the CZI Community Fund the only funding available to community organizations in the Bay Area?
While the CZI Community Fund is currently our only open RFA for community organizations in the Bay Area, it is just one component of CZI’s broader commitment to the Bay Area. Our Community team builds partnerships to support the work of local leaders and organizations that are tackling the region’s most pressing challenges. In addition to the work of the Community team, our three core initiatives are also deeply engaged in work in the Bay Area.
Q: How often will you open the CZI Community Fund for grant proposals in the Bay Area?
We expect to hold an open proposal period for the CZI Community Fund RFA once per year, and will continue to evaluate what cadence is most effective to address emerging needs. In addition, we will continue to engage community members to ensure that the CZI Community Fund represents the evolving needs of our local communities, and to ensure that organizations continue to be made aware of, and have access to, this funding opportunity as it is announced.
Q: How do I give feedback on the application process?
Once you have completed the application you will receive a confirmation email that will include a link to an experience survey. We welcome your feedback on the application process and experience.
If you choose to complete a paper application, we will send a self-addressed pre-stamped envelope to the return address with a feedback form.