Local Journalism: Community Action Grants

Community Catalyst Fund - Local Journalism

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Contribute to SVCF’s Local Journalism Fund

The application period is now closed. Learn more about the grantees here.

In case you missed our March 26 info session, you can view the webinar recording here.

SVCF is driven to partner with journalists, media organizations and philanthropists to support the journalism ecosystem in our region. By doing so, we intend to support coverage of hyper-local issues and address the gaps in news and information reaching underserved communities, including residents of San Mateo and Santa Clara counties who are Black, Indigenous or people of color.

SVCF’s Local Journalism Fund provides grants to build stronger and more engaged communities and address inequities faced by communities of color, including Black and Indigenous residents. Through this grant program, SVCF will support, strengthen and sustain our region’s local nonprofit journalism ecosystem. We believe that accurate and inspiring community stories told by journalists play an important role in informing, engaging and activating individuals and groups to work on solutions, mobilize and participate in our democracy.

Funding for local journalism and media is part of a long-term strategy to achieve systemic change in Silicon Valley. Organizations seeking to apply should have a clear focus on racial justice and a plan to center the community or communities they are serving in the leadership, design and implementation of projects. Priority will be given to organizations led by people of color or Black or Indigenous leaders, and to allied organizations, and those with annual budgets under $1 million. Grants will be for general and program support to nonprofit organizations that:

  • Prioritize engagement of communities of color, including Black and Indigenous communities.
  • Address emerging community needs with projects designed collaboratively with community residents working toward social and racial justice.
  • Develop and facilitate cooperative journalistic projects across diverse local nonprofit organizations working to address issues affecting those communities.
  • Produce media rooted in communities’ values, attributes and aspirations to advance civic engagement practices.
  • Advance fact-based storytelling using video, audio, photography, illustration, text or animation to build a sense of community and strengthen communities’ resilience.

Select organizations applying for general support may receive multi-year grants, provided their work aligns with the above criteria.

Additional Details

Funding will not be provided for:

  • 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

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 two to three weeks after the application period closes. Only one application may be submitted per organization.

Grantmaking Process for Competitive Grants


  • Placed-based, language specific and ethnic media organizations telling the stories of the local African, African American, Asian, Pacific Islander, Indigenous, Latinx, and Middle Eastern communities living in our region.
  • Journalistic organizations working to foster fair and accurate media coverage of LGBTQ issues in our community. 
  • Journalistic organizations working to develop fair and illuminating coverage of issues of poverty and injustice in our community, especially as those topics intersect with the lives of the communities listed above.
  • Local nonprofit journalistic organizations rooted in underserved communities or in communities where news and information channels are limited or nonexistent.
  • Local nonprofit news organizations dedicated to independent, investigative, solutions-based journalism.
  • Bay Area community-driven media channels that use traditional and/or emerging technologies and social media platforms to spur civic engagement, educate citizens and strengthen our democracy.
  • 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 does.
  • 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.

The application period is now closed. Please return to this page for grantee announcements in the coming weeks.

In case you missed our March 26 info session, you can view the webinar recording here.