Coming Soon

2021 CZI Community Fund

The CZI Community Fund supports local organizations that are leading work to bring increased equity, power, and opportunity to communities in and around Redwood City, where CZI is headquartered. The 2021 CZI Community Fund will focus on organizations supporting Belle Haven, East Palo Alto, North Fair Oaks, and Redwood City.

Overview

Launched in 2017, the CZI Community Fund supports local organizations that are leading work to bring increased equity, power, and opportunity to communities in and around Redwood City, where CZI is headquartered. Learn more about previous CZI Community Fund grantees here.

Through the Community Fund, CZI partners with organizations that support the economic and social well-being of marginalized communities most impacted by structural racism and inequities. These organizations are providing resources and services to support basic needs — like housing and food assistance, education, and job skills training; adapting and responding to emergent issues in our community, like COVID-19; and galvanizing community power and voice to build an inclusive, just, and healthy future for everyone. 

The 2021 CZI Community Fund will prioritize organizations serving Belle Haven, East Palo Alto, North Fair Oaks, and Redwood City.

The 2021 CZI Community Fund request for applications (RFA) opens on July 20, 2020, at 10 am PT, and closes on August 17, 2020, at 4 pm PT. Selected organizations will join the 2021 Community Fund grant partner cohort, receiving a one-time unrestricted or project grant up to $100,000, and the opportunity to participate in a collaborative codesigned capacity building program to support leadership and organizational development.

Fund Criteria

All proposals will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Response to Community: Preference will be given to organizations that support the economic and social well-being of marginalized communities including Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC); immigrants, regardless of documentation status; and people who identify as LGBTQIA+. These organizations are providing resources and services to support basic needs — like housing and food assistance, education, and job skills training — and galvanizing community power and voice to build an inclusive, just, and healthy future for everyone. These organizations should be serving the San Mateo County communities of Belle Haven, East Palo Alto, North Fair Oaks, and Redwood City.  
  • Community Engagement:Preference will be given to organizations that (1) center the voices of those with lived experience, and (2) demonstrate a long-term commitment and connection to the communities they serve.
  • Intended Impact(s): Preference will be given to organizations that (1) demonstrate a clear and nuanced analysis of the issue(s) and the historical and local context; (2) clearly outline their approach to addressing the issue(s); (3) define what short-, medium- and long-term success looks like; and (4)  identify potential challenges and possible solutions for those challenges. 
  • Leadership, Staff, and Governance: Preference will be given to organizations whose leadership, staff, and governance (1) have deep experience in the communities of Belle Haven, East Palo Alto, North Fair Oaks, and/or Redwood City; and (2) reflect the rich diversity and stories of the communities they serve.
  • Collaboration: Preference will be given to organizations that demonstrate a collaborative spirit through (1) an awareness of available overlapping and complementary efforts and services; (2) a desire to partner to increase impact, where appropriate; and (3) an understanding of local community context and the desire and ability to leverage existing community relationships and/or build new ones.

Fiscal Responsibility and Sustainability: Preference will be given to organizations that can effectively receive and responsibly spend grant dollars, as demonstrated by (1) a clear budget narrative that articulates how grant dollars will be used, as well as a plan for financial sustainability beyond the CZI Community Fund grant cycle, and (2) documentation.

Eligibility Requirements

Organizations interested in funding through the CZI Community Fund must meet the following criteria:  

  • Tax status: Organizations must be tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code; have a valid fiscal agent or sponsor that is tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code; or be a local municipality or government agency. Valid documentation must be submitted with your proposal by the proposal deadline on August 17, 2020, at 4 pm PT. 
  • Organization Budget: Given the length of the CZI Community Fund grants (one year), funding from the Community Fund will not make up more than 25 percent of an organization’s full budget. 
  • Availability for a Meeting: Organizations that move beyond the internal review process must be willing and available to participate in a one-hour meeting with CZI staff in September 2020. 
  • Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Grantee Status: Organizations and sponsored projects with General Support grants from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative that end on or before December 31, 2020 are eligible to apply for funding from the 2021 CZI Community Fund. Organizations with grants from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative that extend beyond December 31, 2020 are not eligible to apply for funding from the 2021 CZI Community Fund. 
  • Local School Districts: CZI supports our local school districts in various ways, however, does not support them through the CZI Community Fund. Please reach out to community@chanzuckerberg.com if you have questions
Process & Timeline

Process & Timeline

Applications can be submitted online at chanzuckerberg.com or through a printed application mailed to a PO Box. All proposals must be completed and submitted no later than August 17, 2020, 4 pm PT. Printed applications need to be postmarked no later than August 17, 2020. 

Please mail applications to: 

CZI
ATTN: Community Fund / CZI Community
PO Box 8040
Redwood City, CA 94063

All applications will be reviewed by CZI staff and evaluated based on the eligibility requirements and fund criteria. Recipients will be notified in October 2020 with grants to be disbursed soon after. All grant recipients will have the opportunity to participate in the 2021 CZI Community grant partner capacity building program.

Technical Assistance

CZI will conduct a webinar and will provide technical assistance during the application period. If you would like to participate, please contact community@chanzuckerberg.com with the subject line “Technical Assistance.”

Confidentiality

All submitted applications will be kept confidential, except as necessary for evaluation or to comply with any applicable laws. All applications submitted through the shared portal will be shared internally with a team of reviewers including CZI employees, consultants, and outside subject matter experts, selected at the sole discretion of CZI. CZI will also aggregate and anonymize data and learnings from the RFA to inform future program development, which may be shared externally. Application materials will not be returned to applicants.

From time to time, our external partners ask for information about Community Fund applicants. You will have the option to “opt-in” to sharing your application in the SurveyMonkey Apply portal.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

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 Chan Zuckerberg Initiative must end by December 31, 2020. Note: If you have a grant from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative that is less than $20,000, you do not need to meet this requirement.

Special Note for 2020 (current) CZI Community Fund Grant Recipients: If you are a current CZI Community Fund grant recipient and receive a grant through the fourth round of the CZI Community Fund, we will release the next payment after we receive the final report and for your 2020 Community Fund grant. We are open to accepting final reports early with the knowledge that the grant period has not yet ended. Please reach out to your CZI grant contact for more details.

Q: Can organizations who do not serve the communities of Belle Haven, East Palo Alto, North Fair Oaks, and/or Redwood City apply?

No. 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 community@chanzuckerberg.com with the subject line “Missing Email Confirmation.”

Q: How will CZI decide between making unrestricted and project grants? 

The Community Fund defaults to unrestricted, general operating support grants to provide partner organizations with maximum flexibility to carry out their missions.

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. 

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 for 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 community@chanzuckerberg.com. Please include “Budget Template Request” in the subject line.

Q: Why has CZI incorporated meetings into the RFA process? 

Our staff meet with finalist organizations that do not have pre-existing partnerships with CZI to deepen our understanding of each organization’s work, build relationships with teams, and get a better understanding of how CZI and finalist 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
  • Event sponsorships 
  • Academic or medical research
  • Organizations that already have general operating support or sponsored project support from CZI beyond December 31, 2020. 

Q: Is the CZI Community Fund the only CZI 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. CZI supports locally-led work to respond to inequities facing marginalized communities, and to create a place where all people can thrive.

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 is effective in its support to and partnership with local community organizations. 

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. 

RFA Details
Up to $100k
Budget
If selected, organizations will receive year-long unrestricted or project-based grants ranging up to $100,000.
Need Help?

If you have additional questions about the CZI Community Fund, please email us at community@chanzuckerberg.com.

Key Dates
July 20, 2020
CZI Community Fund launched and application portal open
July 20, 2020 - August 17, 2020
Information sessions and technical assistance
August 17, 2020
Full proposal due and proposal portal closed
September 2020
CZI meets with potential grantees
October 2020
2021 CZI Community Fund grant partners informed
Overview

Launched in 2017, the CZI Community Fund supports local organizations that are leading work to bring increased equity, power, and opportunity to communities in and around Redwood City, where CZI is headquartered. Learn more about previous CZI Community Fund grantees here.

Through the Community Fund, CZI partners with organizations that support the economic and social well-being of marginalized communities most impacted by structural racism and inequities. These organizations are providing resources and services to support basic needs — like housing and food assistance, education, and job skills training; adapting and responding to emergent issues in our community, like COVID-19; and galvanizing community power and voice to build an inclusive, just, and healthy future for everyone. 

The 2021 CZI Community Fund will prioritize organizations serving Belle Haven, East Palo Alto, North Fair Oaks, and Redwood City.

The 2021 CZI Community Fund request for applications (RFA) opens on July 20, 2020, at 10 am PT, and closes on August 17, 2020, at 4 pm PT. Selected organizations will join the 2021 Community Fund grant partner cohort, receiving a one-time unrestricted or project grant up to $100,000, and the opportunity to participate in a collaborative codesigned capacity building program to support leadership and organizational development.

Fund Criteria

All proposals will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Response to Community: Preference will be given to organizations that support the economic and social well-being of marginalized communities including Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC); immigrants, regardless of documentation status; and people who identify as LGBTQIA+. These organizations are providing resources and services to support basic needs — like housing and food assistance, education, and job skills training — and galvanizing community power and voice to build an inclusive, just, and healthy future for everyone. These organizations should be serving the San Mateo County communities of Belle Haven, East Palo Alto, North Fair Oaks, and Redwood City.  
  • Community Engagement:Preference will be given to organizations that (1) center the voices of those with lived experience, and (2) demonstrate a long-term commitment and connection to the communities they serve.
  • Intended Impact(s): Preference will be given to organizations that (1) demonstrate a clear and nuanced analysis of the issue(s) and the historical and local context; (2) clearly outline their approach to addressing the issue(s); (3) define what short-, medium- and long-term success looks like; and (4)  identify potential challenges and possible solutions for those challenges. 
  • Leadership, Staff, and Governance: Preference will be given to organizations whose leadership, staff, and governance (1) have deep experience in the communities of Belle Haven, East Palo Alto, North Fair Oaks, and/or Redwood City; and (2) reflect the rich diversity and stories of the communities they serve.
  • Collaboration: Preference will be given to organizations that demonstrate a collaborative spirit through (1) an awareness of available overlapping and complementary efforts and services; (2) a desire to partner to increase impact, where appropriate; and (3) an understanding of local community context and the desire and ability to leverage existing community relationships and/or build new ones.

Fiscal Responsibility and Sustainability: Preference will be given to organizations that can effectively receive and responsibly spend grant dollars, as demonstrated by (1) a clear budget narrative that articulates how grant dollars will be used, as well as a plan for financial sustainability beyond the CZI Community Fund grant cycle, and (2) documentation.

Eligibility Requirements

Organizations interested in funding through the CZI Community Fund must meet the following criteria:  

  • Tax status: Organizations must be tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code; have a valid fiscal agent or sponsor that is tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code; or be a local municipality or government agency. Valid documentation must be submitted with your proposal by the proposal deadline on August 17, 2020, at 4 pm PT. 
  • Organization Budget: Given the length of the CZI Community Fund grants (one year), funding from the Community Fund will not make up more than 25 percent of an organization’s full budget. 
  • Availability for a Meeting: Organizations that move beyond the internal review process must be willing and available to participate in a one-hour meeting with CZI staff in September 2020. 
  • Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Grantee Status: Organizations and sponsored projects with General Support grants from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative that end on or before December 31, 2020 are eligible to apply for funding from the 2021 CZI Community Fund. Organizations with grants from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative that extend beyond December 31, 2020 are not eligible to apply for funding from the 2021 CZI Community Fund. 
  • Local School Districts: CZI supports our local school districts in various ways, however, does not support them through the CZI Community Fund. Please reach out to community@chanzuckerberg.com if you have questions
Process & Timeline

Process & Timeline

Applications can be submitted online at chanzuckerberg.com or through a printed application mailed to a PO Box. All proposals must be completed and submitted no later than August 17, 2020, 4 pm PT. Printed applications need to be postmarked no later than August 17, 2020. 

Please mail applications to: 

CZI
ATTN: Community Fund / CZI Community
PO Box 8040
Redwood City, CA 94063

All applications will be reviewed by CZI staff and evaluated based on the eligibility requirements and fund criteria. Recipients will be notified in October 2020 with grants to be disbursed soon after. All grant recipients will have the opportunity to participate in the 2021 CZI Community grant partner capacity building program.

Technical Assistance

CZI will conduct a webinar and will provide technical assistance during the application period. If you would like to participate, please contact community@chanzuckerberg.com with the subject line “Technical Assistance.”

Confidentiality

All submitted applications will be kept confidential, except as necessary for evaluation or to comply with any applicable laws. All applications submitted through the shared portal will be shared internally with a team of reviewers including CZI employees, consultants, and outside subject matter experts, selected at the sole discretion of CZI. CZI will also aggregate and anonymize data and learnings from the RFA to inform future program development, which may be shared externally. Application materials will not be returned to applicants.

From time to time, our external partners ask for information about Community Fund applicants. You will have the option to “opt-in” to sharing your application in the SurveyMonkey Apply portal.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

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 Chan Zuckerberg Initiative must end by December 31, 2020. Note: If you have a grant from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative that is less than $20,000, you do not need to meet this requirement.

Special Note for 2020 (current) CZI Community Fund Grant Recipients: If you are a current CZI Community Fund grant recipient and receive a grant through the fourth round of the CZI Community Fund, we will release the next payment after we receive the final report and for your 2020 Community Fund grant. We are open to accepting final reports early with the knowledge that the grant period has not yet ended. Please reach out to your CZI grant contact for more details.

Q: Can organizations who do not serve the communities of Belle Haven, East Palo Alto, North Fair Oaks, and/or Redwood City apply?

No. 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 community@chanzuckerberg.com with the subject line “Missing Email Confirmation.”

Q: How will CZI decide between making unrestricted and project grants? 

The Community Fund defaults to unrestricted, general operating support grants to provide partner organizations with maximum flexibility to carry out their missions.

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. 

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 for 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 community@chanzuckerberg.com. Please include “Budget Template Request” in the subject line.

Q: Why has CZI incorporated meetings into the RFA process? 

Our staff meet with finalist organizations that do not have pre-existing partnerships with CZI to deepen our understanding of each organization’s work, build relationships with teams, and get a better understanding of how CZI and finalist 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
  • Event sponsorships 
  • Academic or medical research
  • Organizations that already have general operating support or sponsored project support from CZI beyond December 31, 2020. 

Q: Is the CZI Community Fund the only CZI 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. CZI supports locally-led work to respond to inequities facing marginalized communities, and to create a place where all people can thrive.

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 is effective in its support to and partnership with local community organizations. 

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.