SVCF Local Grants

We support effective and innovative organizations in our region to solve challenging problems and strengthen the common good.

What We Fund:

SVCF’s discretionary grantmaking focuses on five specific areas of impact in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties. We solicit requests for proposals (RFPs) for each grantmaking strategy on an annual basis. Important dates and deadlines are listed below.

2020 Census Grants

Grant Name Application Opens Information Session Applications Due

Santa Clara County Census

October 28, 2019

Online Webinar
Access Recording Session

November 26, 2019

Civic Participation Grants

A healthy democracy is dependent upon all community members being able to participate in the public policy process and having influence over the decisions that impact their lives. Because governments do not have the resources or capacity to address all of the economic, political and social challenges that exist, it is crucial that residents engage in the betterment of our communities. SVCF will make strategic investments in projects that promote greater civic participation through open government efforts.

Grant Name Information

San Mateo County Voter Engagement

View RFP
View RFP

Eligible San Mateo
County Precincts

Study: San Mateo County Elections

Application Opens
November 25, 2019

Applications Due
December 18, 2019

Information Sessions

Online Webinar
Access Recording Session

Sobrato Center for Nonprofits
Monday, December 2 at 1p.m
Sobrato Center for Nonprofits, Harbor Room
350 Twin Dolphin Drive, Redwood City

Daly City Community Service Center
Thursday, December 5 at 11am
Conference Room, Daly City Community Service Center (First Floor- across from City Hall.)
350 90th Street, Daly City

San José Voter Engagement 2020 Initiative

Application Opens
October 17, 2019

Applications Due
November 8, 2019

Online Webinar
Access Recording Session

Promoting Greater Civic Participation through Open Government

Application Opens
September 9, 2019

Applications Due
October 4, 2019

Online Webinar
Access Recording Session

Research Brief


Common Core Education Grants

Common CoreAddressing achievement gaps continues to be the most pressing challenge for public education given the far-reaching implications for students’ future opportunities in college and career. California has adopted the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) to improve students' chances of success in college and career by setting uniform standards for what students should know in math and English language arts. SVCF believes that support of CCSS implementation is important for both educators and students.

Grant Name Application Opens Information Session Applications Due

Accelerating Student Success in the Common Core

May 13, 2019

Access session recording June 14, 2019

Research Brief


Financial Stability Grants

Financial StabilitySilicon Valley is a region of stark economic contrasts. While great wealth is created here, many people struggle to make ends meet. Given our region's economic reality, it is more important than ever that efforts be made to boost financial stability for low-income households. SVCF believes we can make a significant, positive difference for families and local economies by improving how low-income individuals and families access and obtain public benefits and support.

Grant Name Application Opens Information Session Applications Due

Advancing Stability by Improving Access to Financial and Tax Preparation Service

June 17, 2019

Access Recording Session

July 19, 2019
11:59 p.m. PST

Advancing Financial Stability by Improving Access to Public Benefits




Research Brief


Housing and Transit Grants

Housing and TransitToday, Silicon Valley is a place with far more jobs than housing. This imbalance drives up an already high cost of living and pushes people who cannot afford homes into outlying areas many miles from their jobs. Addressing Silicon Valley’s housing and transportation challenges will require an intentional, multifaceted approach to ensure that low- and middle-income residents can live and work in the region.

Grant Name Application Opens Information Session Applications Due

Increasing Access to Public Transit Opportunities

April 22, 2019

Access Session Recording

May 17, 2019

Increasing Access to Affordable Housing Opportunities

April 22, 2019

Access Session Recording

May 17, 2019

Research Brief


Immigration Grants

ImmigrationOne-third of Silicon Valley's residents are immigrants, and almost half of the Silicon Valley workforce is foreign-born. Almost two-thirds of those under the age of 18 are children of immigrants. These demographic realities call for a new social model of immigrant integration. SVCF supports organizations that benefit immigrants and their receiving communities while encouraging newcomers to participate in local government and improve economic mobility.

Grant Name Application Opens Information Session Applications Due

Ensuring the Safety and Security of Immigrants





As a resource for grantseekers, we encourage you to review the organizations and projects we’ve recently funded by strategy on our grantee lists here

You can find all past requests for proposals here.

Who is Eligible?

SVCF grants are awarded to organizations that align with our mission, fit our funding priorities, and serve residents in the Silicon Valley region.

Eligibility Criteria

SVCF's discretionary grants are open to nonprofits serving San Mateo and/or Santa Clara Counties in California. Organizations headquartered outside this two-county region must demonstrate significant service to the area.

Eligible organizations include 501(c)(3)s; those with a fiscal sponsor with a 501(c)(3) designation; or those that are public agencies, including school districts.

Diversity and Inclusion

SVCF will only make grants to organizations that do 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 under applicable law.

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.

How to Apply?

Before beginning an application, we ask organization to review all relevant reference materials, including the strategy RFP and the strategy research brief.

Next, we highly encourage interested organizations to participate in our virtual RFP information sessions. These information sessions provide an opportunity to discuss RFP content with SVCF program officers and ask questions!

To submit a proposal for any of SVCF’s discretionary grantmaking strategies, organizations are invited to register as grantseekers through our online application platform, Apply SVCF. This online platform allows multiple contacts from your organization to view upcoming and open funding opportunities, begin applications, and monitor your proposal status. Log in or create an account to get started.

To learn more about how to register and use Apply SVCF, please reference our Apply SVCF Guide or watch this instructional video.

Grant Application FAQ

What is SVCF’s review and selection process?
An advisory committee with expertise related to each strategy helps staff to review all proposals recommended for funding to SVCF’s board of directors. Applicants may receive a site visit, telephone call and/or other type of communication from SVCF staff as part of the proposal review process. Ultimately, SVCF’s board of directors approves or declines all grant proposals.

My organization applied for a grant, when will we hear back?
Applicants will be informed of grant decisions during the time period indicated on the request for proposal. Please refer to key dates mentioned on the specific RFP.

What is SVCF’s typical grant size?
Our discretionary grants usually range from around $50,000 to $100,000. Projects that demonstrate collaboration across organizations are usually more competitive for higher grant awards.

What is SVCF’s policy on indirect costs?
SVCF allows indirect costs in proposal budgets and ask that organizations indicate the true costs to realize your project. We recognize that indirect costs are a part of doing business and successful programming.

My project doesn't fit into any of SVCF's grantmaking focus areas. Can you suggest other funding resources?
We recommend you explore the following resources:

Grantee Resources

SVCF partners with our grantees throughout the grant period and beyond to advance impact in our local communities. We work to provide excellent service to every community partner and ensure compliance for each grant.

Grantee Learning Cohort

In an effort to further the broad program goals of each grantmaking strategy and contribute to larger field-building objectives, SVCF asks our grantees to participate in a learning cohort. Each grantmaking strategy’s cohort meets to report on project activities, share best practices and identify and leverage opportunities for collaboration.

Outside of our cohort meetings, grantees are invited and encouraged to share information and resources throughout the grant period to fellow learning cohort members.

Reporting Requirements

SVCF requires reporting for all grants as specific in grant agreement. Please note that future grant requests will not be considered if a grantee has failed to submit a required report.

The report form(s) associated to your grant may be accessed by your organization’s primary contact within Apply SVCF, under Action Items or Reports within the Activity List tab Reports in the Activity List tab. To enable others in your organization to edit and submit your report(s), please contact your program officer.
In the event your organization received a grant executed outside of our Apply SVCF online platform, such as for a controlled grant agreement, you will be required to submit necessary reports per our report guidelines available here.

If grant funds are expended at a rapid pace early in the grant period (for example, if the grant supports food vouchers and your organization distributes the supply of food vouchers in two months), we ask that you complete your grant report(s) no more than 30 days after the funds have been expended.

SVCF also asks grantees to respond to research-based project evaluations annually.

Acknowledgement of Grant Support

Acknowledge Silicon Valley Community Foundation’s support of your program in print and electronic publications such as newsletters, program activity announcements, your website and in all media coverage. Use the following wording: “This project has been made possible in part by a grant from Silicon Valley Community Foundation.”

Contact Us

Email or call 650.450.5400 to learn more.