Neighborhoods: Community Action Grants

Community Catalyst Fund - Neighborhoods
SVCF grantee One East Palo Alto coordinates a neighborhood food distribution event.

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Contribute to SVCF’s Neighborhoods Fund

Learn more about the 2021 grantees here.

The application period is now closed.

Evidence shows that where people live significantly impacts their well-being. Neighborhoods marked by poverty and a history of disinvestment are cut off from opportunities and resources that promote wellness. These communities face unequal health outcomes and widening disparities, especially among low-income, BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, or People of Color) and undocumented residents. Living in areas devoid of grocery stores, spaces for physical activity, forums for creative outlets and artistic expression or quality jobs and schools contributes significantly to negative health outcomes like obesity, mental illness and lower life expectancy.

Yet in many neighborhoods throughout Silicon Valley where a majority of BIPOC communities and undocumented residents live, there are far too few opportunities for community members to engage and advocate for a better future. SVCF’s Neighborhoods Fund addresses these disparities to build a strong and engaged community.

Through this fund, SVCF primarily supports BIPOC-led resident and neighborhood associations, or organizations working to build and strengthen community engagement as well as the power and influence of community members affected by economic and racial inequities.

SVCF’s Neighborhoods Fund prioritizes resident-driven organizations rooted in strategies dedicated to building community and organizing action in specific neighborhoods in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties.

The work that the Neighborhoods Fund supports is part of a long-term strategy to achieve systemic change in Silicon Valley. Residents and organizations seeking to apply should have a clear focus on racial justice, and a community-driven strategy that demonstrates that BIPOC residents lead, design and implement programs.  Priority will be given to BIPOC-led and allied associations or organizations rooted in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties and those with annual budgets under $500,000.

Grants will be for general and program support for nonprofit associations or organizations that demonstrate all of the following:

  • Vision, mission and goals that explicitly focus on a specific neighborhood
  • Prioritize engagement of BIPOC communities
  • Address emerging community needs with projects designed with community residents who are working for social and racial justice
  • Commit to partnerships with other organizations while maintaining a focus on neighborhood-rooted priorities and strategic presence of local residents’ leadership
  • Include tactics central to power-building such as policy advocacy, accountability with elected officials and voter engagement

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 organizational emergencies, such as office vandalism, resignation of an executive director or sudden loss of funding
  • Isolated, one-time cultural projects or community events

The maximum grant amount will be $5,000. The application is streamlined to reduce time spent on applying and processing and only one application may be submitted per organization.

Grantmaking Process for Competitive Grants


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.

For a list of organizations supported by the Neighborhoods Fund in 2021, please click here