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Welcome to our 2024 call for proposals for Organizational Effectiveness Grants!

2024 Theme: Establishing a Solid Basis for Effective Collaboration

Please ensure that you carefully review the information on this page prior to filling out your online application. Note that throughout the guidelines we use the term “organization” to mean formal organizations, informal groups, collaboratives, or collectives as relevant.


West Marin Fund is a community foundation that inspires giving and mobilizes resources to enhance the long-term wellbeing and quality of life for all in coastal West Marin. We provide grants and training for local nonprofits and convene key stakeholders to help identify and fund equitable solutions to challenges facing people who live, work, and visit in West Marin.

West Marin Fund is committed to supporting activities that promote justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion; challenge racism; and positively affect the health and wellbeing of marginalized communities, particularly Black, Indigenous and People of Color, as well as members of low-income households.

Nonprofit organizations serving West Marin play a key role in responding to a wide array of community challenges. To do their best work, organizations need strong leadership and staff, thoughtful strategies, effective operational systems, and healthy cultures. Yet current funding practices can make it difficult to build the necessary systems and structures. As a result, many nonprofits — especially those that have been historically overlooked — find it difficult to develop their own infrastructure and build strong, resilient organizations.

Our Organizational Effectiveness grants seek to fill that gap and provide targeted support to make organizations serving West Marin stronger, enabling them to do their work better, adapt during times of change, collaborate effectively, and enhance their impact.

“It always seems impossible until it’s done.”

– Nelson Mandela

Grant Range

The minimum amount awarded is $5,000 and the maximum is $10,000.

Application Deadline

Applications must be submitted online by 11:59pm on Tuesday, April 30, 2024


  • Tuesday, April 30, 2024 – Submission deadline.
  • May 2024 – Applications reviewed.
  • June 2024 – Notification of decision and grants disbursed.
  • April 2025 – Activities completed & final report due.

Purpose & Approach

The goal of our Organizational Effectiveness grants is to strengthen organizations’ ability to adapt and thrive so that they can better achieve their missions and serve the community. Organizational Effectiveness support can be used to strengthen capacity in areas such as strategic planning; evaluation and learning; communications; financial planning and fundraising; leadership transitions; board development and governance; among others.

Each year, our Grants Review Committee defines a theme for the year’s Organizational Effectiveness grants. The theme helps organizations focus on a specific area that could be strengthened within their organizations. Although organizations can always propose activities that do not respond to the year’s theme, priority is given to those that do.

2024 Theme: Establishing a Solid Basis for Effective Collaboration

Partnership and collaboration can go a long way in creating a strong community. In addition to pushing an organization’s mission forward, partnership and collaboration can provide stability (financial and non-financial) while achieving shared goals. Among other benefits, effective collaborations can help organizations access larger resources, advance their mission and credibility, become more efficient, and provide better services to the community.

Despite its benefits, collaboration can be difficult. Identifying common goals and defining effective collaboration mechanisms can take time and effort. Recognizing this, our 2024 Organizational Effectiveness grants will prioritize proposals that seek to strengthen an organizations’ ability to work collaboratively with other stakeholders to achieve common goals. Some of the activities in support of this purpose could be mapping organizations and agencies that work on the same issue in the same arena, hiring and training staff to better collaborate with others, developing goals and outcomes for a new collaborative relationship, improving systems for sharing information, among others.

Successful proposals will:

  • Explain how the organization responds to important challenges faced by West Marin’s communities.
  • Demonstrate how the organization’s work has benefited the communities they serve.
  • Explain how the proposed activities will strengthen the applicant’s ability to better serve West Marin’s communities.
  • Identify clear outcomes for the proposed activities and ways to track progress.
  • Demonstrate responsible fiscal management and adequate accounting procedures.
  • Set specific goals to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion with the proposed activities.
  • Identify ways to continue to strengthen the organization’s capacity after the grant ends.
  • Priority will be given to proposals that respond to this year’s theme.


Applicants must:

  • Be a registered 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(4) organization or have a 501(c)(3) fiscal sponsor.
  • Serve West Marin, ideally for the last three years.
  • Have a commitment to racial justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Priority will be given to organizations with an annual budget under $2,000,000.


West Marin Fund does not fund the following:

  • Individuals
  • Colleges and universities
  • Debt reduction
  • Disaster relief outside West Marin
  • Government agencies
  • Organizations with a report that is overdue, nor received an extension, 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.

Other Considerations

  • Organizations may receive more than one Organizational Effectiveness grant if they are acting as a fiscal sponsor for a successful applicant.
  • Organizations may apply to other types of grants offered by West Marin Fund.

Duration & Reporting

If awarded a grant, an organization will be expected to use the funds within 10 months. Final reports will be due in the 10th month, with a clear accounting of expenditure and a short description of use, impact, and lessons learned.

Selection Process & Schedule

West Marin Fund’s Grants Review Committee reviews each application based on the established criteria. The Committee submits its grant recommendations to the Board of Directors of West Marin Fund, who make their final decisions considering the availability of funds.

Application Process

Supporting Documentation

You will need to submit the following supporting documents as part of your application (even if using a fiscal sponsor):

  • Proposal Budget using the template provided in the application form. An amount not exceeding 10% of the Subtotal may be included for general administration costs or the fiscal sponsorship fee.
  • Organizational Budget for the current fiscal year, including anticipated revenue and expenses.
  • List of current Board of Directors (or Officers/Steering Committee, as appropriate)
  • Additional documents (optional)

If you use a fiscal sponsor, you will also need to provide a Letter of Agreement or Memorandum of Understanding with fiscal sponsor.

Submitting Your Application

  • Log on or Create a New Account online NOW OPEN
  • Review the detailed application guidelines
  • Download an outline of the application.
  • Complete the application form
  • Upload the required supporting documents
If you have any questions regarding your application and the required supporting documents, please contact us at