SVCF Local Grants

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

We are currently modifying our grantmaking programs to meet the goals outlined by our recently adopted strategic plan. Through the grantmaking programs that are guided by our board and staff, we will be shifting to provide more general operating support and capacity-building grants to a broader range of organizations that serve people and build movements. We have already demonstrated these changes in our response to COVID-19 by simplifying the application process and reporting requirements for our Regional Nonprofit Emergency Fund. This reduced the burden on our nonprofit partners, allowing them to secure resources more quickly and helping them preserve the continuity of their services during a time of great need.

Please read about our shift in grantmaking strategies here and return to this page for updates in the coming months.

As a resource for future 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.