2019 Julia L. Grant Fund for Basic Human Needs

2019 Julia L. Grant Fund for Basic Human Needs

This year, the Julia L. Grant Fund for Basic Human Needs will return to an open, competitive grant program seeking to fund safety net services in Sonoma County. Eligible organizations may apply for a grant of up to $15,000 through a streamlined application process. We continue our commitment to minimizing the amount of time that nonprofits spend applying for and reporting on grants so that they can direct efforts to where they’re needed most—supporting our most vulnerable community members.

The Issue:

A combination of factors in Sonoma County is exacerbating the ability of low-income residents to cover their basic human needs—and this has been made all the worse by the continuing effects of the devastating fires in October 2017. Families are too often forced to choose between paying their rent or medical bills, buying food or gas to get to work. In crises such as these, straightforward, real-time assistance with food, shelter, transportation, or medical expenses can prevent families from losing a job, falling into homelessness, or facing another day without food. Many organizations are already providing programs and services for our most vulnerable residents, but could benefit from readily available funds to distribute immediately and directly as the needs arise.

The Grant Program:

Community Foundation Sonoma County’s Julia L. Grant Fund for Basic Human Needs grant program provides a unique funding opportunity for non-profit organizations already working with vulnerable populations and in need of funding for critical safety net services. Funds may be used to provide immediate and direct assistance to secure shelter, emergency food, transportation, and support for urgent medical and dental expenses to people in acute need. Examples of previous safety net services funded through this program include: support for rental assistance, emergency financial assistance for precariously housed individuals, provision of emergency food, diapers, and hygiene items, emergency funding for medical co-pays, etc.

Last year, due to the fires and the urgent need in the community, we changed the grant period to March 2018 through February 2019. This year, we return to the previous grant period from July 2019 through June 2020. Please consider this timeline when completing the application.

Evaluation criteria include:

  • Support can be delivered immediately and directly to those in acute need (ex. gift cards, hotel vouchers, rent subsidies)
  • Organization is fiscally sound with strong management
  • Program minimizes barriers to accessing services
  • Administrative overhead up to 10% can be included

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Sonoma County 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization
  • Organization whose primary mission falls under Health & Human Services
  • Intervention-related services that address short-term needs of community members, rather than prevention-oriented activities
  • Case management and referral services are not eligible for this funding
  • Program and general-operating support are not eligible for this funding

For a list of recent Basic Human Needs grantees, click here.

Application Timeline

March 11: Grant application opens

April 19: Grant application closes at 4p.m.

May 17: Applicants informed of grant awards

How To Apply

Community Foundation Sonoma County uses an online process for submitting grant applications. If this is your first application using the online portal, you will be asked to set up an account, provide your IRS Tax ID (or Fiscal Sponsor Tax ID) and take a short eligibility quiz. If you have an established account, you will be asked for your password to either access existing application drafts or to open a new application.

Once you’ve opened an online account, you will be asked a series of questions that include your contact information, funding request amount, project start and end date. You will also be asked to answer a series of narrative questions. Applicants will also be asked to upload the following documents:

*Submitting an organization budget is required for this grant; use of our template is not mandatory. The Fiscal Sponsorship form is only required if you are using a Fiscal Sponsor.

Please review the FAQS for Online Submission prior to beginning your application. We highly recommend that you complete your application in a Word document and then copy and paste the content into the online template. Click here to download a Word version of the narrative questions. A word of caution: when working in the electronic application program, save your work as you go along and, if you want to leave and then return to complete your application later, save your work before you exit the program. Once you’ve exited without saving, your unsaved work is lost.

For answers to frequently asked questions, click here.

For questions about the Julia L. Grant Fund for Basic Human Needs, please contact Ariana Diaz De Leon, 707.303.9619, adiazdeleon@sonomacf.org.

For questions about the online application process, please contact Annette Williams, 707.303.9639, awilliams@sonomacf.org.