Apply for a Grant Online
Register now for Grantee Center, our interactive community resource for applicants and grantees! From Grantee Center you can apply online, view your current and past applications and grants, submit reports, view the latest information about grant opportunities, and more.
Click here to go to Grantee Center or access it from the top navigation of every page of our website.
Learn How to Apply
- By Invitation from TSFF staff, called Invitation Only
- Annual Open Application Process
The 2012-2013 Open Application Grant Program opened on November 12, 2012, and closed on January 14, 2013.
To receive announcements about our next Open Application process, including upcoming How To Apply Workshops, sign up here and select “Grant Application News” in your interests.
We encourage you to learn about our priorities and strategies. These areas of focus are both for the near term in response to the economic downturn, and for the longer term to enhance our impact in community. Please visit our Mission and Values section for an overview of the Foundation’s goals or visit our Programs section to learn more.
Special Projects and Initiatives' Applications
The Foundation occasionally invites off-cycle grant proposals from organizations with time-sensitive projects and whose programs are a close fit with our program areas’ strategic goals. If you have a time-sensitive request, please contact a Program Officer before submitting an application.
Application forms must be submitted via the Grantee Center by 11:59 p.m. on the deadline date. Support will be available from Foundation staff until 2:00 p.m. on the deadline date. Due to the large number of applications we receive, late applications will not be accepted. Please see the Timeline for exact dates. All applications must now be submitted online through Grantee Center; emailed or mailed applications will not be accepted.
Valid tax-exempt status
The Foundation makes grants to organizations that are exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and are classified as “not a private foundation” under Section 509(a). We also make grants to government and public agencies, as well as to independent projects that have a qualified tax-exempt fiscal sponsor.
Provide service in the local area
Projects must substantially benefit residents in at least one of the five Bay Area counties we serve: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, and San Mateo. If an organization is based outside these five counties, the total number of local constituents benefiting from service must be competitive with local organizations.
No overlapping grants
The Foundation does not award multiple or overlapping grants to the same organization via the competitive grants process, except in rare circumstances. For the purpose of this policy, city or county departments or programs at a university are considered to be separate entities. This policy does not apply to grants offered through special initiatives or mini-grant programs. Please consult with Program staff before submitting an application for an overlapping grant. Projects sharing a fiscal sponsor may apply concurrently.
Note on continuing support: The Foundation will accept an application from an organization with an open grant, provided that the scheduled start date for the new grant will be after the close of the current grant. Please see the Timeline below for grant start dates.
Three-year time limit
Grantees are eligible to receive funds from The San Francisco Foundation for consecutive periods of up to three years. After three years, grantees will be required to wait a period of 12 months before receiving funding. Grants offered through special initiatives, mini-grant programs, or RFPs do not count toward the time limit. Exceptions to this policy will be made under certain circumstances. Requests for exceptions should be directed to Program Officers who will consider and make a decision in consultation with the Director of Programs.
Three years of consecutive funding is defined as:
- three 12-month grants awarded in three consecutive Foundation fiscal years, regardless of grant start and end dates;
- a combination of a 12-month and a 24-month grant awarded within in three consecutive Foundation fiscal years, regardless of grant start and end dates;
- one 36-month grant.
Due to the revised grantmaking goals and objectives implemented in 2010, The San Francisco Foundation waived its concurrent and three-year time limit restrictions for eligibility, allowing all grantees to restart their time limit terms. Therefore if your organization was funded in 2010-11 and 2011-12, an approved grant in 2012-13 will constitute a third year of funding.
The Foundation requires that any applicant with an annual budget of $1,000,000 or more provide audited financial statements. Organizations with annual budgets less than $1,000,000 are required to provide a copy of the most recently filed IRS Form 990.
Waivers to this policy are occasionally granted. If your project is fiscally sponsored, the fiscal sponsor must meet the audit requirement. No waivers to this policy will be granted to sponsoring organizations.
We now have one deadline per year for our open invitation application process. Applications are evaluated by Program staff, and organizations will be notified as to the status of the application approximately ten weeks after the deadline.
Program staff will contact each organization to obtain additional information and possibly schedule a site visit. Organizations will be notified of the Foundation’s funding decision approximately 7 weeks after the application deadline. Provided that a signed grant agreement has been received by Grants Management, award checks to organizations will be mailed within the first week of the grant period, according to the published timeline below. You must complete our online grant application through the Grantee Center, our interactive community resource for applicants and grantees. Please register on Grantee Center and visit our Help section for more information.
For further detail regarding the application process, please read the Application Guidelines.
Education and Arts and Culture: January 7, 2013
Community Development, Community Health, and Environment: January 14, 2013
March 8, 2013
Start of Grant Period:
May 1, 2013