The Community Foundation of Mendocino County is seeking applications for its 2022 Community Enrichment Grant Program to support the enrichment of local communities in Mendocino County.
Donor Name: Community Foundation of Mendocino County
County: Mendocino County (CA)
Type of Grant: Grant
Deadline (mm/dd/yyyy): 12/02/2021
Size of the Grant: $3,000 – $7,500
The Community Enrichment grant program is made possible through the Anderson Valley Fund; the Cantus Foundation Fund; the Charles and Olivia Hasty Fund; the Claire Ellis and Chuck Greenberg Fund; the Community Endowment Fund; the Fraeda Dubin Trust; the Gardiner Family Fund; the Jonathan Gibbs Memorial Fund; the Leavens Foundation Fund; the Mathey Fund; the Mendocino County Endowment for Community Health and Jim Levine Youth Endowment Fund (established by the Board of Supervisors with Tobacco Settlement funds); the Moorehead Fund for Seniors the Poverty Program Fund; Tomek and CC Ulatowski Fund; and the generosity of private donors.
Priority will be given to projects that fit the applicant’s mission, expertise, and long-term goals; advance the Community Foundation’s vision; benefit the general public, or a significant subgroup of the population; or bring the applicant organization to the next level of operational, programmatic, financial, or organizational maturity, positioning it to more effectively and/or efficiently fulfill its mission in the future.
Proposals that advance the vision of the Community Foundation may include projects in one of the following funding areas. Not all program areas, or regions are funded equally or every year.
- Sense of place: including but not limited to community centers, community-enhancing projects, and the preservation of community heritage and history.
- Environment: including but not limited to land conservation, open space, and environmental education.
- Healthy Communities: including but not limited to health and safety, volunteer emergency services, senior programs and services, youth activities, garden projects, parks and trails, poverty programs, and alcohol and other drug prevention/intervention.
- Education: including but not limited to libraries and education programs in schools and community settings.
- Arts and Humanities: including but not limited to art in public places, programs that encourage art in community institutions (community centers and schools), and “art for art’s sake.”
- Total amount of funding available: Up to $200,000
- Range of individual grant awards: $3,000 – $7,500
Proposals will be evaluated using the following criteria:
- the degree of potential benefit to the general public or a broad sub-population (e.g., youth, elderly);
- the ability to innovatively respond to community needs without duplicating other efforts;
- the energy and organizational capacity of the organization to achieve the program’s/project’s expected results and to obtain continued funding to have a sustainable, long-term influence in the community;
- the level of additional funds, resources, and volunteer support associated with the program/project and needed for timely completion; and
- the impact of the funding request on the success of the project.
Types of Funding
- Program proposals will be stronger to the extent the program has a “multiplier” effect (e.g., funds that are used to improve education and also spur economic vitality of the community). Strong proposals will show that organizations are working in the context of the larger community and developing connections between diverse elements of the community. Priority will be given to expanding/developing programs (pilot programs) and programmatic grants for services that may be in jeopardy of funding cuts. Applicants collaborating with other organizations to provide programs will need a letter of support from the partner group(s). For example, if offering an educational program in classrooms you will need a letter from the school and classroom teachers.
- Capacity-building projects/administrative grants must demonstrate how they will position the organization to more effectively and/or efficiently fulfill its programmatic goals in the future. Examples of eligible capacity-building activities include:
- collaborating with other organizations to improve services or eliminate duplication;
- strengthening governance, leadership, or staff expertise;
- restructuring business models and accounting practices to improve financial stability;
- building and diversifying revenue streams;
- developing and implementing long-term strategic plans;
- refining communications, marketing, and outreach;
- improving volunteer recruitment, training, and engagement; and
- pursuing opportunities to share space, equipment, or other administrative costs.
- Capital projects are limited to assisting with the initial design/plans or with the final phases of fundraising for building and renovation. Applicants must own the land/building and have investigated the necessary permits. The Foundation does not make grants to improve privately owned property. A description and budget for the overall capital project is required in the application.
- Equipment and technology projects must demonstrate how the equipment will increase the organization’s ability to advance its mission. Software, apps, or website development costs are considered equipment projects. Additionally, product specifications and cost estimates as they are known at the time of the application are required.
- General Operating Support requests will meet the need for funding for operations for the non-profit community due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Community Enrichment Grant Program will include funding for operations for the non-profit community. Priority will be given to organizations that are still unable to open due to COVID-19 restrictions, or who have faced ongoing hardship due to high fixed operating costs and decreased revenues. Requests for general operating support will assist organizations with the regular costs associated with conducting business. This can include but is not limited to, fixed operational costs, staffing, administration, program materials, replacement of fundraising dollars, or personal protective equipment for staff or clients. Organizations who have received funding through the COVID-19 Non-Profit Relief Fund program since July 1, 2021 may not apply for additional operating support.
Applicant organizations must:
- serve residents of Mendocino County. Applicants not headquartered in Mendocino County must ensure that all grant dollars requested are spent within the County;
- be legally chartered in California and in possession of determination letter from the IRS declaring the organization a public charity that is exempt from federal income tax under Section 501(c)(3); or be a school district, tribe, or special district (e.g. community services, recreation, fire protection); or have an aligned mission with a fiscal sponsor;
- two full fiscal years of operational history;
- be governed by a volunteer board of directors that is representative of the community and comprised of at least three unrelated members with diverse areas of expertise, unless formed by election or appointment;
- conduct business without discrimination on the basis of race, color, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, national origin, or religious affiliation;
- have submitted required final reports for all prior Community Enrichment grants from the Community Foundation; and
- not have an active Community Enrichment Grant. An exception may be made in small school districts, tribes, and special districts, as well as for organizations that serve as the umbrella for multiple programs and acquiring separate 501(c)(3) status for each program would be impractical. These organizations may submit one application each year as long as it is not for the same program/school.
The following types of projects are typically not funded:
- federated appeals or organizations that collect funds for redistribution to other nonprofit groups;
- religious organizations for religious purposes;
- sports team travel, class trips, and similar expenses;
- non-specific requests for large capital projects (proposals for specific portions of capital campaigns are welcome);
- purchases or activities that occur prior to grant decisions;
- animal welfare projects that do not include a human welfare component;
- sponsorship of school assemblies and other one-day events (unless clear long-term impact);
- trips and/or conference attendance (including college readiness programs);
- individuals, including scholarships for individuals; and/or
- underwriting/sponsorship of performances or fundraising events.
For more information, visit Community Enrichment Grant.