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, 2023. 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 email@example.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 supporting communities in San Mateo County.
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 the 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 and 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 email@example.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 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.
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 seventh cycle for the Community Fund.
Q: How much is CZI committing to this year’s CZI Community Fund?
The CZI Community Fund will make 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.
Q: How does the community review panel work?
To ensure grantmaking decisions are informed by community feedback, we continue to pilot a community review panel for the Community Fund. The review panel, composed of San Mateo County community members and CZI employees, will help inform Community Fund funding decisions.