Welcome! We know, fundraising can be a daunting process. We hope that the information below will help provide some support in the journey to funding your project or organization. Many of the resources provided reflect the Network’s commitment to supporting grassroots community-based projects. If you have questions, comments or concerns, please contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org
Foundation Support for Grassroots Projects
For a more complete list of foundations, please click here. Some of our favorite foundations in Northern California include:
- The Pollination Project: giving $1,000 seed grants for community projects and programs. Please note that the foundation does not fund programs with paid staff.
- The Rose Foundation for Communities and the Environment: Their Northern California Environmental Grassroots Fund supports “small grassroots groups throughout greater northern California that are tackling tough environmental problems including toxic pollution, urban sprawl, sustainable agriculture, climate change, environmental degradation of our rivers and wild places, as well as, of our communities and our health.”
- The Awesome Foundation: Awards $1,000 grants each month to “awesome” ideas.
- Strong Foundation for Environmental Values: Funds grants in California, their focus includes environmental and conservation efforts, eco-spirituality, grassroots action, environmental education, capacity building and citizen participation.
Some Tips to Identify Grants Funding Opportunities
- The single best source for research information on private institution funding (i.e. foundation) is the Foundation Center, which offers limited free access to their extensive, searchable database of funders and grants made. They have computer access to their database through cooperating public libraries and in their regional offices. They also offer free classes in how to use their database to do research and online resources and webinars.
- Peruse and cross-reference who funds organizations/projects/groups similar to yours or funded by funders you are interested in. This does not substitute for researching each funder, to assess how they fit with your group’s work or goals!
How to Research Identified Prospective Funding Opportunities
- Do your homework! Thoroughly read the funder’s website and determine if your program is a good fit for the foundation, starting with their history and mission. Then delve into their funding priorities and restrictions. Determine eligibility, strength of fit, what funding priority you match, what program or project you might apply with, how much money you could ask for and for what purpose, when you will be notified, amount of time needed to assemble the proposal.
- If the foundation suggests contacting them prior to writing the proposal, do so!
- Make sure you have all the paperwork lined up prior to submitting, including letters of support, your budget and 501(c)(3) letters.
For more information about local government funding:
- Research/contact each department or agency directly, including Waste Management, Recreation, Social Services, Public Works, Community Development, etc. to determine what funding they have offered in past, offer presently, or have planned.
- If/once funded, ask the public funder how to find information on other pertinent local funding opportunities.
Support from Local Businesses
Foundations are not the only way to fund your project. Local businesses and local branches of larger corporations often provide support in the way of both cash and in-kind donations. Some local businesses specifically focus on funding events or projects that have a public face and opportunity for public support and involvement. Many care about improving the quality of life in their community, or being a good citizen. Link to the following documents to delve more into the world of business support.
Crowdfunding and Individual Giving
Crowd funding is another opportunity to raise funds, and one that doesn’t require non-profit status. s and Check out the following websites for tips on how to fundraise through crowd funding:
- Generosity is Indiegogo’s non-profit arm
- Ioby is a portal for neighborhood projects; and help provide resources for making your project a reality
- Barnraiser specializes in crowd funding for projects that build healthy communities
- Crowd funding tips can be found here… and Indiegogo’s Crowd Funding Tips
Organizational Technical Assistance Resources
- Fiscal Sponsorship offered by 501c3 nonprofit organizations, fiscalsponsordirectory.org
- Fiscal Sponsorship Models and eBest Practices – gregcolvin.org
- Region-specific technical assistance centers:
- Grassroots Fundraising resources in planning, best practices, capacity-building: grassrootsfundraisingjournal.org, gift.org