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.

Power in communities of color is deeply connected with the stories told for and by their people. Storytelling can strengthen communities and inspire action. To help inform, engage and activate BIPOC (Black, Indigenous or people of color) communities, local storytellers and journalists need to center the lived and historical experiences of these residents.

SVCF partners with BIPOC residents, storytellers, journalists and media nonprofits to inform and engage communities, create public dialogue and spark action. We accomplish this by supporting BIPOC-led organizations that are shining  light on untold and underreported stories, highlighting hyper-local issues and addressing the news and information gap in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties.

SVCF’s Local Journalism Fund provides grants to build stronger and more engaged communities and address inequities faced by BIPOC residents. Through this grant program, SVCF supports BIPOC-led organizations that are advancing:

  1. Fact-based community storytelling strategies where BIPOC residents play an active role in shaping the narrative about the community in which they live
  2. Collaborative journalistic arrangements to address issues affecting BIPOC communities
  3. Civic media efforts rooted in BIPOC communities’ values, attributes and aspirations to advance community action

Funding for community storytelling, collaborative journalism and civic 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 strategy to center the community or communities they are serving in the leadership, design and implementation of the work they do. Priority will be given to BIPOC-led organizations and their allies, and those with annual budgets under $1 million.  Select organizations applying for general support may receive multi-year grants, provided their work aligns with the above criteria.

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 BIPOC-led media organizations telling the stories of the local Black, 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
  • BIPOC-led organizations that use storytelling tools, video, audio, photography, paintings, text or animation to provide insights, information and facts about current issues and shining the light on the diversity of stories, perspectives and lived experiences that make up our diverse community
  • Journalistic organizations working to develop fair and illuminating coverage 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 and 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