2023 CZI Community Fund

The CZI Community Fund supports non-profit organizations across San Mateo County that are increasing access to the building blocks of social and economic well-being — like housing, healthcare, education, job and career skills, and supporting civic engagement — so people have the power to shape their lives and communities.

RFA Details
Up to $200k
Budget
If selected, organizations will receive two-year unrestricted or project-based grants ranging up to $200,000.
Need Help?

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

Key Dates
June 7, 2022
Community Fund application portal opens
June 15, 2022
Optional informational webinar (participation not required)
June 7, 2022 –June 30, 2022
Community Fund technical assistance
June 30, 2022
Community Fund applications due
Fall 2022
2023 grant partners informed
Overview

Community leaders and nonprofit organizations are breaking down barriers to help create a more socially, economically, and racially just San Mateo County, where people have the opportunity to shape their lives and communities. The CZI Community Fund was created to support this work. This annual grantmaking program pairs grants with codesigned capacity building programming to support leadership and organizational development, so organizations have the resources and tools they need to further their missions and work. 

Through their programs and services, Community Fund partners are increasing socioeconomic opportunity for all communities across San Mateo County, including low-income households, immigrants regardless of documentation status, and people who identify as LGBTQIA+, and other groups.

Organizations working in San Mateo County are eligible for the 2023 Community Fund. 

The 2023 Community Fund request for applications (RFA) opens on June 7, 2022, at 10am PT and closes on June 30, 2022 at 5pm PT. Selected organizations will join the 2023 Community Fund grant partner cohort, and will receive a two-year unrestricted or project grant of up to $200,000, and the opportunity to participate in a collaborative codesigned capacity building program to support leadership and organizational development.

Register for the Community Fund Webinar here! The webinar is on June 15 at 10am PT. Join us to learn more and have your application questions answered.

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 all communities, including Black, Latinx, Indigenous, and other people of color; low-income households; immigrants, regardless of documentation status; and people who identify as LGBTQIA+. These organizations should be expanding access to the building blocks of social and economic well-being — housing, healthcare, education, job and career skills, and other social supports; and galvanizing community voice so people have the opportunity to shape their lives and communities.
  • Geography: Organizations  working in communities across San Mateo County.
  • 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. We also prioritize supporting organizations that are building healthy and safe environments for community members, stakeholders and staff, and other partners.
  • Intended Impact(s): Preference will be given to organizations that (1) demonstrate a clear and nuanced analysis of issue(s) and opportunities locally; (2) clearly outline their approach; (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 supported; and (2) reflect the rich diversity and stories of the communities they support.
  • Collaboration: Preference will be given to organizations that demonstrate a collaborative spirit through (1) an awareness of available overlapping and complementary efforts; (2) partnerships 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.
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 of June 30, 2022, at 5 pm PT. 
  • 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 employees in August 2022. These meetings will only be scheduled in the case that additional information is required. A meeting does not guarantee funding.
  • Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Grantee Status: Organizations and sponsored projects from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative that end on or before December 31, 2022, are eligible to apply for funding from the CZI Community Fund. Organizations with grants from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative that extend beyond December 31, 2022 are not eligible to apply for funding from the CZI Community Fund. Please reach out with any questions. In addition, the 2023 Community Fund is available only for nonprofit partners that did not receive funding support during last year’s Community Fund RFA.

Local School Districts and School Foundations: CZI supports local school districts and school foundations in various ways, but not through the CZI Community Fund. We do accept applications from organizations working in, or collaborating with local school districts. 

Process & Timeline

Applications must be submitted online through the SurveyMonkey Apply portal at apply.chanzuckerberg.com. All proposals must be completed and submitted no later than Thursday, June 30, 2022, at 5pm PT. 

All applications will be reviewed by an application review panel consisting of San Mateo County community members and CZI employees. Applications will be evaluated based on the eligibility requirements and fund criteria. Recipients will be notified by Fall 2022, with grants to be disbursed soon after. All grant recipients will have the opportunity to participate in 2023 CZI Community grant partner capacity building programming.

To download an English version of the Community Fund application, please click here. Please note, all applications must be submitted through the SurveyMonkey Apply portal at apply.chanzuckerberg.com

Para obtener la versión de la solicitud del Community Fund en español, haga click aquí.Tenga en cuenta que todas las solicitudes deben enviarse a través del portal de SurveyMonkey Apply en apply.chanzuckerberg.com.

Community Fund Technical Assistance

CZI will conduct an informational webinar on June 15, 2022 to provide application technical assistance for applicants. If you need additional assistance, please contact community@chanzuckerberg.com with the subject line “Community Fund Application 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 with a team of reviewers including CZI employees and local community members, 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.

From time to time, our external partners, specifically other regional funders, 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 (FAQ)

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 grant partners to consider submitting a proposal.  To be eligible, any current grants to your organization from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative must end by December 31, 2022. 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.

Local organizations that received funding support during last year’s Community Fund grantmaking cycle will not qualify for funding. If you have any questions or concerns about eligibility, please contact community@chanzuckerberg.com.

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 San Mateo county communities. 

Q: Why did the timing of your application cycle change this year?

The application cycle for the Community Fund is earlier this year to align more closely with the fiscal year for the majority of nonprofits 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 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 or statewide organization that works in the specific communities (i.e. San Mateo County) 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 that you provide a clear and current budget for your organization, as well as a fiscal sponsor letter.  We do not require a specific format for these budget document(s); however, if you need a budget template, please contact us directly at community@chanzuckerberg.com

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 with 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?

The structure of these grants stems from feedback received from partners in the local nonprofit ecosystem. Multi-year grants can provide partners with greater flexibility, so they can 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 helped inform the creation of CZI’s 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. 

Participants from last year’s Community Fund review panel, which was composed of San Mateo County community members and CZI employees, will be invited back to review proposals for the 2023 Community Fund. This participatory process helps ensure that grantmaking decisions are informed by community participation and feedback.

Q: How often will you open RFAs and give grants from the CZI Community Fund?

The Community Fund is an annual funding opportunity. This will be the sixth cycle for the Community Fund.

Q: How much is CZI committing to the 2023 CZI Community Fund? 

The 2023 CZI Community Fund will make an anticipated $7 million in grants to nonprofits serving San Mateo County. Selected organizations will receive two-year unrestricted or project grants ranging up to $200,000.

Q: Why are you engaging members of the local community to inform funding decisions for the Community Fund?

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 the community, centering community leadership, and voice in our work. 

Participants from last year’s Community Fund review panel, which was composed of San Mateo County community members and CZI employees, will be invited back to review proposals for the 2023 Community Fund. This participatory process helps ensure that grantmaking decisions are informed by community participation and feedback.

Q: How does the community review panel work?

To ensure grantmaking decisions are informed by community feedback, we are continuing to pilot a community review panel for the 2023 Community Fund.  The review panel, which is composed of San Mateo County community members and CZI employees, will help inform Community Fund funding decisions.

Q: Why were the same members of the community invited to participate in the review panel?

We are continuing to pilot a participatory grantmaking model for the 2023 Community Fund. We hope to invite other members of the community to apply for and participate in the community review panel in subsequent years.

RFA Details
Up to $200k
Budget
If selected, organizations will receive two-year unrestricted or project-based grants ranging up to $200,000.
Need Help?

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

Key Dates
June 7, 2022
Community Fund application portal opens
June 15, 2022
Optional informational webinar (participation not required)
June 7, 2022 –June 30, 2022
Community Fund technical assistance
June 30, 2022
Community Fund applications due
Fall 2022
2023 grant partners informed