At times, it’s hard to wrap your head around community foundations. Depending on where you live and work, some of them are very nonprofit-friendly and offer competitive grant cycles once or more per year. Meanwhile, others are very donor-focused and leave local nonprofits scratching their heads as to whether they can actually apply for funding or not.
Fortunately for nonprofits in San Benito, California, the community foundation there is very straightforward when it comes to grantmaking. It's transparent in its activities and open to unsolicited letters of inquiry and applications. And right now is a great time to get to know the Community Foundation for San Benito County (CFSBC) because the annual application deadline is coming up.
The foundation recently announced that it opened up grantmaking opportunities for local groups. Its community impact grants are the biggest opportunity for nonprofits because there are so many different areas of interest covered with these grants. Known as the Sonny Paullus Board Grants Fund, these grants go to nonprofits working to make a positive impact in the community. Broad areas of interest include community enhancement and development, youth education, and health and human services. This is a fund that’s been in partnership with the David and Lucile Packard Foundation for the past seven years to give out over $2.5 million over the years.
Specific topics of interest are agricultural preservation, environment, arts and culture, community enhancement, economic development, education and youth, health & social services. These grants are up to $10,000, and you must submit proof that you’ve applied to at least two other funding sources to be eligible.
Apply for a matching grant here. Letters of intent are due March 31.
Another area of funding that’s open to San Benito nonprofits right now is the Women’s Fund, which supports nonprofits working on projects to advance financial literacy for teens, poverty prevention, and domestic violence prevention. This fund is open to applications from all nonprofits, but the programs must serve women and girls in the county. This is a relatively new fund, only in its third year of operation. Thus far, the fund has awarded around $84,500 in female-focused grants.
Apply for a Women’s Fund grant here. These grants are also up to $10,000, and the deadline is March 31 as well.
Interestingly, CFSBC also awards grants to individuals, which is somewhat rare in the foundation world. However, these individuals must be children under the age of 19 who have life-threatening illnesses. The grants are made possible through the Martin Rajkovich Children’s Fund, and these grants have been awarded year-around since 2007 to kids who need special equipment and therapeutic treatments.