Community Catalyst Fund - Promoting Civic Participation

Community Catalyst Fund - Promoting Civic Participation

Learn more about SVCF’s Community Catalyst Fund – Promoting Civic Participation 2021 grant round, created in partnership with Heising-Simons Foundation.

Through this grant program, SVCF will provide funding to organizations responding to the needs of BIPOC and low-income communities following the 2020 general election. As we look toward 2021, SVCF intends for these investments to build power in BIPOC and low-income communities. The work that this program funds will be part of a long-term strategy to achieve systemic change in Silicon Valley. Grants will be prioritized to BIPOC-led and allied organizations.

Organizations seeking to apply should have a clear focus on racial justice and a plan to center the community they are serving in the leadership, design and implementation of programs. Priority will be given to BIPOC-led organizations and those with annual budgets under $1 million.

We are especially interested in supporting activities which continue to strengthen civic engagement in the wake of the 2020 election. Activities we expect to fund include holding information sessions, organizing virtual events for the community, and developing shared policy platforms. Grants will also support longer-term efforts such as coalition building, advocacy and relational organizing.

Funding will not be provided for:

  • Ongoing program support
  • Capital improvements
  • Budget shortfalls or fundraising events
  • Previously planned or long-term campaigns
  • Funding gaps due to internal organizational emergencies, such as office vandalism, resignation of an executive director or sudden loss of funding

Grants will be awarded for either general support or specific projects. The maximum grant amount will be $30,000. The application is streamlined to reduce time spent on applying and processing. The grant review process will be expedited with the goal of awarding grants within a two-week period after an application has been received. Only one application may be submitted per organization.


Organizations must serve San Mateo and/or Santa Clara counties. Organizations headquartered outside the two-county region may apply but should demonstrate significant service to these areas or partner with a local organization that can.

Organizations must have a 501(c)(3) designation, or have a fiscal sponsor with a 501(c)(3) designation.

Organizations must not discriminate based on race, color, national origin, citizenship status, creed, religion, religious affiliation, age, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, veteran status or any other protected status. 

Organizations with religious affiliations will be considered for funding only if the project for which they seek support addresses the needs of the wider community without regard to religious beliefs.

For more information about this grantmaking program, view the background here.

You can also watch the November 16 info session recording.or view the presentation deck.

The grant application period is now closed.