Neighborhoods: Community Action Grants

Community Catalyst Fund - Neighborhoods

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Contribute to SVCF’s Neighborhoods Fund

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

The health of communities is profoundly shaped by social, economic and environmental factors such as housing, employment and education. And whether measured by the state of a neighborhood's sidewalks or its levels of stress, evidence shows that where people live has a greater impact on health than medical care, behavior or genetics.

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 residents, BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) communities and those of undocumented status. Living in areas devoid of grocery stores, spaces for physical activity or quality jobs and schools contributes significantly to negative health outcomes like obesity and lower life expectancy.

Yet in many neighborhoods in Silicon Valley where a majority of BIPOC communities and those of undocumented status live, there are far too few opportunities for community members to engage and advocate for a better future. Segregation, gentrification and displacement have all played roles in diminishing the voices and power of BIPOC communities. These hurdles are clear when analyzing representation among elected offices, voter turnout and influence with elected officials.

Under SVCF’s new strategic direction, we are opening the Neighborhoods Community Action Grants under our Community Catalyst Fund to address these disparities and build a strong and engaged community. Through this grant program, SVCF will provide funding to residents and neighborhood organizations working to increase the engagement, power and influence of community members affected by economic and racial disparities. The work that this program funds will be 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 they are serving in leadership, design and implementation of programs. Priority will be given to BIPOC-led and allied organizations and those with annual budgets under $500,000. Grants will be for general and program support to nonprofit organizations that demonstrate all of the following:

  • Prioritize engagement of BIPOC communities
  • Commit to partnerships with others and make use of relational organizing strategies, while centering trusted community messengers in their work
  • Include tactics central to power-building, such as policy advocacy, acccountability 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

The maximum grant amount will be $5,000. The application is streamlined to reduce time spent on applying and processing. The grant review process will be expedited 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.

In case you missed the info session for interested applicants, you can view the webinar recording here.