Q: What if I already have a grant from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative? Can I still submit a proposal to the Community Fund?
Yes! We encourage all current and past local grant partners to consider submitting a proposal. To be eligible, any current grants from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative must end by December 31, 2021. 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.
Q: Can organizations that do not serve San Mateo County apply?
No. This CZI Community Fund request for application (RFA) is available only to organizations working in communities in San Mateo County.
Q: Am I able to save my application and return to it at a later date?
You can safely save and resume your proposal and upload your budget documents any time 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.”
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 Community Fund
- Organizations that offer a broad array of activities and services that fall beyond the scope of the 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 two-year general support grants. To make decisions about financial sustainability, we ask for the following:
- A clear and current organization budget.
- 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.
- 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.
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
- Academic or medical research
- Organizations that already have general operating support or sponsored project support from CZI beyond December 31, 2021
Q: Is the Community Fund the only CZI funding available to community organizations in the Bay Area?
While the 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 San Mateo County and the larger San Francisco Bay Area. CZI funds local and regional solutions, and convenes and connects organizations and leaders to share knowledge and identify collaborative responses to issues facing the community. CZI also supports the development and impact of local organizations and through capacity building and leadership development programs and grants.
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.
Q: Why are Community Fund grants structured as two-year grants?
As we approach our fifth year of the program, our partners have helped us identify opportunities to improve the Fund and better support the local nonprofit ecosystem. To that end, we changed Community Fund grants from one-year grant commitments to two-year grants. Multiyear grants provide partners with greater flexibility and opportunity to respond to crises, build capacity, and strengthen outcomes.
Q: How was the community involved in the creation of the Community Fund?
Conversations with local leaders and community members guided the creation of the Community Fund. Feedback from local nonprofit organizations, including a steering committee made up of leaders representing local organizations, advised on the purpose, process, and structure of the Community Fund.
CZI continues to engage the community in its local work, convening community members and local organizations to support CZI Community Fund goals and strengthen all community-focused programming.
To ensure grantmaking decisions are informed by community feedback, we are piloting a community review panel for the 2022 Community Fund. The review panel will be composed of San Mateo County community members who help inform the Community Fund decision-making process.
Q: How often will you open RFAs and give grants from the CZI Community Fund?
The Community Fund is an annual grant program. The Community Fund was launched in 2017 and has funded local organizations four funding cycles (2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021).
Q: How much is CZI committing to the 2022 CZI Community Fund?
The 2022 CZI Community Fund will make an anticipated $7 million in grants to nonprofits serving San Mateo County. These organizations will receive unrestricted or project grants up to $200,000 over two years to community organizations serving San Mateo County.
Q. Why are you launching a participatory grantmaking process this year?
We believe that individuals and leaders closest to the challenges and opportunities in their communities are best positioned to build the solutions. To that end, CZI is committed to working in partnership with community, centering community leadership, and voice in our work.
To ensure grantmaking decisions are informed by community feedback, we are piloting a community review panel for the 2022 Community Fund. The review panel will be composed of 20 to 24 of San Mateo County community members and CZI staff who will help inform the Community Fund decision-making process.
Q. How are community members selected to participate in the application review panel?
Nonprofit and community leaders across San Mateo County nominated community members to apply to participate in the review panel. Individuals interested in participating were required to complete applications, which were reviewed by CZI. Participants were selected based on criteria including deep connection to San Mateo County communities, awareness or understanding of issues impacting communities served through the Community Fund, and more.
Q. How does the review panel work?
To ensure grantmaking decisions are informed by community feedback, we are piloting a community review panel for the 2022 Community Fund. The 24-member review panel is composed of San Mateo County community members and CZI employees who help inform the Community Fund grantmaking process. Feedback from panelists will help inform Community Fund funding decisions, which are made by CZI Community.
Q. Why is CZI expanding the Community Fund?
The geographic expansion aligns with CZI’s local impact work and continued focus on supporting organizations responding to structural racism and inequities in our community.
Black and Latinx, other communities of color have been hit hardest by the pandemic, which has exposed and widened social and health inequities in the Bay Area. Changes to the Community Fund coincides with this crucial time for our community.
CZI is committing $7 million to the 2022 Community Fund to support program growth while maintaining our commitment to communities originally supported by the Fund.