Resilience Fund Grants

2021 resilience fund grants program is open

The Resilience Fund was established to further address the impacts of COVID-19, strengthen our region’s long-term efforts to rebuild, respond to emerging opportunities, help nonprofits adapt, and support creative new approaches and partnerships. The Resilience Fund is relatively small compared to public COVID-19 relief funding. However, as a community-based funder, the Community Foundation is uniquely positioned to listen, respond, fill gaps, support those in our communities who may otherwise be left out, and fund solutions that do not fit neatly into government categories.

To support these goals during a time when much remains uncertain, we have adopted a rolling application process and a grantmaking framework that balances the need to learn and adapt with the need to act quickly. We have made the full framework available HERE, both for transparency and to invite community feedback. As we learn more, we may adjust or change our priorities, but you will always find our most up-to-date framework and guidelines on our website.

Please contact our Director of Community Programs, Daisha Versaw, at daisha@thecommunityfoundation.com or (360) 705-3340 if you have questions, wish to provide feedback, or would like individual support.

Want to help build this fund? donations from the community are welcome!

Full Guidelines

Download a PDF of the full resilience fund guidelines

Program Details

  • Grant applications will be accepted on a rolling basis.
  • Most grant awards will range from $2,500 - $30,000.
  • Larger requests (over $10,000, for example) may be required to submit additional narrative or budget information after initial review.
  • Applicants should expect to receive a response from the Community Foundation within 5 months of application submission.
  • The Resilience Fund has raised $900,000 to date. We expect to award the total funds raised through this program over the next three calendar years (2021-2023), beginning with approximately $275,000 from May-December 2021.  

Program Objectives

We are seeking a wide variety of proposals and do not expect any single proposal to align with all the program objectives listed below. In reviewing grant proposals, the Community Foundation will consider the following elements:

  • Impact: We are interested in proposals that support multiple, deep, or interconnected needs, reach a broader cross-section of the community (e.g., racial equity, capacity building, recovery for low-income workers, mental health, or the arts), or fill gaps between the public sector response and unmet community needs.
  • Geography: We are seeking to fund organizations that primarily operate or fill unmet needs within our service area (Thurston, Lewis, and Mason Counties).
  • Innovation: We are interested in funding organizations that are adapting to the new social and economic environment, working successfully with other organizations, or making changes to better serve the long-term health and resilience of our communities.  
  • Equity: We are seeking to ensure that funds are invested as equitably as possible by identifying the needs of underserved populations, communities, and geographic areas.
  • Accountability: We are interested in funding services that are designed appropriately for the communities they serve and organizations that engage meaningfully with the perspectives of those most affected by the issues they seek to address.
  • Organizational Capacity: We are seeking organizations that demonstrate reasonable financial health and basic capacity (governance practices, nondiscrimination, etc.).  

The Grants Committee will review and make recommendations to the Board of Directors.

Most Grants Will Be Unrestricted

Rather than being tied to a specific project or program, unrestricted grants allow grantees to use funds flexibly as they see fit to fulfill their mission and reach their goals. This could mean funding a program or project, or it could mean funding salaries and overhead, technology, or a marketing campaign. It may even mean funding a change of plans, especially in times of uncertainty—something 2020 demonstrated so well.

Organizations serving different populations and addressing different needs and opportunities will also have different ways of building resilience. For some, resilience might grow from something as small as professional development for a staff member or a board training on nonprofit financials. Others might have an ambitious community initiative or collaboration in mind that requires a deeper investment. We left the funding range broad ($2,500-$30,000) to accommodate a wide variety requests, but we kept the application on the simple side so that those making smaller requests are not overly burdened.

We are leaving it up to applicants to determine the right amount for each project. However, for larger requests (for example, $10,000 or more), it is helpful for our committee to have as much detail as possible so that they understand the scope of your plans and the reasoning behind that deeper investment. We are here to offer support and answer questions along the way, and we may ask applicants to submit additional narrative or budget information if needed to support requests for larger amounts.

Eligibility

The Community Foundation of South Puget Sound generally makes grants to 501(c)(3) public charities that serve Thurston, Mason, and Lewis County residents.  

Not eligible:

  • Organizations that discriminate regarding age, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, national origin, religious affiliation, or presence of a disability
  • Organizations with fewer than three board members
  • Individuals
  • Partisan political activities
  • Religious organizations when funds would be used in whole or in part to further the organization’s religious purposes
  • National and statewide organizations that cannot demonstrate a strong, local, community-based presence in Lewis, Mason, or Thurston Counties
  • Re-granting organizations, service clubs and service club foundations
  • Schools, school districts, PTOs, preschools, childcare centers, camps, and sports teams/clubs  

Exceptions: We will accept applications from organizations with a regional or statewide geography if organization acknowledges that 100% of grant funds will be used for programs and services that fill an unmet need within our geography. We will accept applications for programs run by religious organizations if the program meets a critical need in the community and does not require religious participation. If your organization or group is not a 501(c)(3), you must secure a fiscal sponsor or obtain prior approval to apply by contacting our Director of Community Programs and setting up a time to discuss (daisha@thecommunityfoundation.com).

Organizations who qualify for one of these exceptions must meet all other 2021 Resilience Fund Guidelines.

Nondiscrimination Policy

The Community Foundation of South Puget Sound does not support organizations that discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, disabilities, age, status as a veteran, national origin, or any other protected classes.

Due Date

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis. Applications will be reviewed monthly as they are submitted. Applicants will receive a response or update on their application within five-months of proposal submission.

Contact Us

We welcome and encourage questions and feedback about the Resilience Fund. To discuss community needs and opportunities, ask questions about our grantmaking framework, get clarity on our priorities, or discuss the specifics of your proposal, please contact Daisha Versaw at (360)705-3340 or daisha@thecommunityfoundation.com.

Apply Now