Spring 2019 Community Grants (R12) Application Guidelines

Theme: “Leveling the Playing Field”


Welcome to West Marin Fund’s Community Grants program. As a community foundation, we seek to enhance the long-term wellbeing and quality of life for all in coastal West Marin. We believe that our communities are more vibrant when all members have the opportunities they need to thrive and participate fully in community life.

For this round of community grants, we invite applications from organizations and groups that seek to level the playing field in West Marin by addressing inequalities in the region – economic, educational, health, housing, etc. – and take action to change these in ways that are inclusive and collaborative. We recognize the important role of nonprofits and local communities that make a difference in the lives of people who live, work and visit in West Marin.

To submit an application, you must complete all required sections and upload all required documents.

Please ensure that you carefully review the information on this page prior to submitting your application.

If you have any questions regarding your application and the required supporting documents, please contact us well in advance of the deadline so that we can provide you with the support you need to submit your application on time.


Application Deadline

Applications must be submitted online by 5:00pm on Monday, April 8, 2019.


  • Monday, April 8, 2019 – online submission deadline
  • Friday, May 31, 2019 – notification of decision, grants disbursed
  • March 31, 2020 – grant expended, activities completed
  • April 30, 2020 – final report due

Application Guidelines

“Not everything that is faced can be changed. But nothing can be changed until it is faced.” – James Baldwin

“Every moment is an organizing opportunity, every person a potential activist, every minute a chance to change the world.” – Dolores Huerta

Purpose & Approach

With this round of community grants, West Marin Fund seeks to level the playing field for underserved people who live, work and visit in West Marin. We do this by supporting nonprofit organizations and groups whose strategies and actions address inequalities in the region. This might mean improved services for low income families, increased access to learning for people of all ages and cultures, greater exposure in community arts and media for unheard voices, and expanded economic opportunity for youth. Proposals must show clearly how the activities to be funded will address inequity and bring improvements to local communities and to underserved people who live, work and visit in West Marin.


Community grants are awarded to nonprofit organizations, groups and collaboratives serving coastal West Marin. Applicants must be a registered 501(c)(3) organization or have a fiscal sponsor that is a registered 501(c)(3) organization. Only one application may be submitted by an organization, group, or collaborative.  Please note that organizations may receive more than one grant if they are acting as a fiscal sponsor for a successful applicant.

Organizations need to show that they:
  • Have a stated plan and goals for addressing specific issues
  • Can demonstrate responsible fiscal management and adequate accounting procedures
  • Have a track record of realizing change
  • Benefit more than a handful of persons

West Marin Fund does not fund the following:

  • Individuals
  • Colleges and universities
  • Debt reduction
  • Disaster relief outside the Bay Area
  • Government agencies
  • Organizations that have not submitted a report that is due on a previous grant
  • Political organizations and political purposes. This includes lobbying activities, to influence legislators or voters on specific, pending legislation; and participation or intervention in an election campaign that expresses a view in support or opposition to a candidate for public office
  • Programs or equipment that were paid for prior to the grant proposal period
  • Religious organizations unless it is for activities that benefit the entire community, regardless of religious affiliation
Grant range

A total of $130,000 will be awarded for this round. The minimum amount awarded is $2,000 and the maximum is $5,000. Please give careful thought to your organization’s ability to carry out the proposed activities should you not receive the full amount requested.


Please use the template provided to give the projected expenses and income for the activities to be funded. You may include costs for consultant hire, improvements in communications and information technologies, as well as staff and board trainings, if they are essential to the purpose of the grant. You may include a contribution towards salaries of staff who are directly involved in implementing the proposed activities.  Once the Subtotal of Proposed Activities Expenses has been calculated, an amount not exceeding 10% of the subtotal may be included for your organization’s general administration costs.

Duration and Reporting: If awarded a grant, your organization will be expected to use the funds within ten months. Final reports will be due in the eleventh month, with a clear accounting of expenditures and a short description of use, impact and lessons learned.

Supporting Documentation

You will need to submit supporting documents as part of your application —for your organization, group or collaborative, as well as for your fiscal sponsor if you use one. In the final section, the form will prompt you to submit the relevant required documentation based on your nonprofit status and what has already been submitted within the last 12 months.

Supporting Financial Documents
  1. Summary Profit & Loss Statement for the last fiscal year
  2. Balance Sheet for the last fiscal year
  3. Organizational Budget for the current fiscal year, including anticipated revenue and expenses
  4. Letter of Determination from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
Supporting Governance Documents
  1. List of current Board of Directors (or Officers/Steering Committee as appropriate)
  2. Letter of Agreement or Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with fiscal sponsor (if relevant)

Preparing Your Application

For your convenience in drafting your proposal, the narrative questions are available for download in advance.

Saving Your Content

The online application form will automatically save your information as you enter it. It will do so even if you move back and forth between the various sections of the form during a single work session.  However, if you fill in your application during several work sessions, you will need to click on the button called “save and continue later” that appears at the bottom of the page. When doing so, please be sure to note the instructions that will allow you to regain access to your application.

In all cases, you must respond to all the required questions. When you have completed your application and are ready to submit it, you must click submit to ensure it is submitted rather than just saved.

Submitting Your Application

After ensuring all required questions are completed, click submit to send your application to West Marin Fund.  Your “contact person” will then receive an email with a copy of your application and uploaded documents. We will notify you if we require anything further and/or have any questions regarding your application.

Selection Process & Schedule

All applications are reviewed and assessed by the Grants Review Committee of West Marin Fund according to selection criteria for its Community Grants program. The Committee makes grant recommendations to the Board of Directors of West Marin Fund who make their final decisions taking into account the availability of funds at the time.

All applicants will be informed of the Board’s decision by May 31, 2019.  We appreciate your patience in the meantime.