Frequently Asked Questions

If you have questions after reading our grantmaking criteria, you may find the answer to your question below.


Online Grantmaking Portal

Accessing the Application
Using the Portal


Are there areas that the Fund does not support?

The Fund generally does not make grants for capital campaigns, major equipment, basic research, publications, films or videos, deficit or emergency funding, scholarships, direct mail campaigns, fundraising events, annual appeals, or endowment contributions. We may make exceptions for requests that form part of a larger effort in which the Fund is engaged or for requests from organizations with which the Fund has had a long-term funding relationship. No exceptions will be made for aid to individuals.

Are there restrictions on the amount of any given grant that you make?

Our grants vary in amount depending on the magnitude of the proposed work, but we do not encourage requests for grants under $25,000. Grants at that level generally do not match the breadth and depth of our program goals.

Are you ever the sole funder?

Almost never. We want to ensure that the work we support is sustained by a diverse group of funding partners and stakeholders so that it can continue for the long term. We prefer to support no more than 20 percent of the budget of the request.

Are you interested in our organization’s long-term plans?

Yes. We prefer requests that can describe how the work we might support forms part of a multiyear strategic plan.

How do you decide the level of the grant?

We take into account the scale and scope of the work and the number of other funders and their level of support. We prefer to support requests that enjoy funding from diverse sources.

What is the geographic focus of your grantmaking?

Our geographic focus varies by program. Although most of our support is in California, the Fund provides support for selected regional, state, or national efforts that directly relate to our program objectives. Please read the program guidelines in the area of your interest to learn more.

Will you give more than one grant per year to an organization?

No. We prefer to make grantmaking decisions about each organization we support only once each year. The exceptions are anchor grantees that are invited to also receive Flexible Leadership Awards.

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Online Grantmaking Portal

For general questions about your eligibility and the grants we make, please read the notes above.

Accessing the Application

Where do I go to fill out my application?

Grant applications are by invitation only. If you have been invited to apply for a grant, you will receive an email from us with instructions on how to access your application.

Where do I go to get help?

There are several ways to get help, and we are available to assist you at any time. Throughout the application, you will see instructions, tips and notes. If you need further assistance, contacting your program assistant would be the best place to start. You can contact him or her directly by phone or email (the information should be in the email you received from us). If you do not have that information, please call (415)-856-1400 or email us for assistance. Please let us know when and how best to reach you.

I’ve forgotten my username or password. How do I get a new one?

Please follow the directions from the Login page, or contact the program assistant assigned to your request. If you do not have the contact information, please call (415)-856-1400 or email us for assistance.

I’ve received my login instructions but I’m having trouble logging in. Who do I call?

Please contact the program assistant assigned to your request. If you do not have the contact information, please call (415)-856-1400 or email us for assistance.

I’m working with a colleague to complete the proposal. Can they log in as me or get their own login credentials?

We ask that you not share your login credentials with others. Please contact the program assistant assigned to your request. If you do not have their contact information, please call (415)856-1400 or email us for assistance.

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Using the Portal

Can I print out the proposal prior to, during or after filling it out?

Yes. From the Review and Submit tab in the application, you will be able to print out the full proposal.

Can I start my application and come back to it later?

Yes. You may edit, save and come back to your application as many times as you like before you submit it.

How can I edit or add information to my proposal after I’ve submitted it?

You will not be able to edit any information online after you submit your proposal. If you need to add information to or edit a proposal that you have already submitted, please contact your program assistant and we can open it back up to you or attach the information for you.

I have an attachment to add to my proposal—can I submit it online?

Yes. In the proposal you will see the Attachments tab. On that page, you will see that we may have asked for specific attachments. Because you can only attach one item per ‘Browse’ field, we have added one or two ‘Optional’ attachment places for your convenience. You are also welcome to email or mail us a document at any time.

How long before I hear back about my proposal?

You will receive an immediate auto-response email confirming receipt of your proposal (if you did not receive one, you may want to check your spam folder). You should expect to hear back from your program officer or program assistant within a few weeks.

I’ve received a grant already and have a grant report due soon. Can I fill this out and submit it via the Grantee Portal?

Yes. First, you will need to have access to the grant and the report. Your program assistant can provide this. To the left of the grant listing on the main screen in portal, you will see a “greater than” arrow (>). Click on this to expand the list and find the grant report/s to which you have access.

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