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Share the Spirit 2018 Grant

Grants to California Nonprofits, Schools, and Agencies to Benefit
Communities in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Contra Costa Crisis Center and Bay Area News Group

Deadline Date:

08/31/18 12:00 PM


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Grants ranging from $2,000 to $7,000 to California nonprofit organizations, schools, and public agencies in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties to benefit local communities. Consideration will be given to existing programs, the expansion of existing programs, and time-limited programs. Please note that all requests must include a relevant story topic for publication in Bay Area News Group Media.

Bay Area News Group & Contra Costa Crisis Center Share the Spirit Grant Program Overview:

The Share the Spirit campaign’s purpose is to 1) illuminate the needs of residents in the local community; 2) generate interest and awareness of nonprofit service agencies and encourage civic philanthropy; 3) provide funding for programs that serve East Bay children, individuals, and families.

Grant Program Overview:

The Share the Spirit program has been helping people and organizations in the local community for more than two decades. Beginning prior to Thanksgiving Day and continuing through early January each year, the Bay Area News Group publishes a series of Share the Spirit stories illustrating specific community needs and offering readers a direct opportunity to make donations.

The funding for Share the Spirit is raised by donations from readers in response to articles in the Bay Area News Group member media outlets. Readers’ donations allow the Crisis Center to grant funds to support needs like therapeutic equipment for children with autism, computers to help homeless people look for jobs and housing, sleeping bags for the homeless, holiday gifts for children in foster care, and much more in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties. Recipient agencies eagerly anticipate this campaign each year and offer their client stories to illuminate the good work of the funds, and the recipient organizations, during the holiday season and beyond.

Story Topic and Publication:

Applications must contain a specific topic for a feature story for publication in the East Bay Times for the Share the Spirit campaign. A story in the East Bay Times (and other Bay Area News Group media) about your organization is an additional and extremely valuable benefit of being selected as a Share the Spirit Grant recipient. This publicity can do much to raise awareness of your program and organization, and the needs of the community.

Not all grantees will be selected for a story, but all applicants must be willing and able to provide story topics.

-Cooperation with Bay Area News Group reporters is essential. If selected for a story, the representative from your organization provided in your application will be contacted and prompt and courteous response is necessary. Time is required to coordinate for the interviewee, reporter, photographer, and publish date, so delayed response can mean that the reporter will select a different organization to be profiled.

-Stories with personal interview of a past or current program participant/beneficiary are helpful in bringing social issues to light and appealing to readers. Please secure consent from your interview subject prior to applying if possible. We understand that some may not be willing to share personal story and have photograph in the newspaper for privacy or other concerns. However, strong consideration will be given to applications with willing interview subject(s).

-Choosing quality story topic: A good story needs to be compelling, unique, emotional, and relatable. For samples of previous stories visit story archives:

-Choosing the right interview subject: There are many factors to consider when choosing one of your program participants or graduates or volunteers for an interview. The reporter will coordinate with your organization to make sure that the subject feels comfortable and is appropriate topic.

Confidentiality will need to be considered. For the most part, it is preferred to have an interviewee that is willing to share their story, and also image and identity. This makes the subject more real and relatable, and the reporters will be compassionate and professional. We understand that some organizations may have strong considerations around confidentiality. In those cases, some accommodations can be made to change/withhold names. Ultimately, it would help to select a subject without those confidentially considerations if possible.

It will be important to have a good photo opportunity. Typically this will be scheduled at same time as the interview opportunity, but not always. A good photo includes many elements. It is helpful to have an action based photo versus a static composition. In other words, a photo of a person completing a physical task or at play is more interesting that a posed, seated, static photo. A photojournalist will be taking the photo but preparation can help the photo be more evocative.

Assess your interviewee’s capacity to participate. They should have some time to allot to the interview and ability to articulate how your program or assistance has helped them personally. There should also be thought given to the safety and security of the location and people in attendance.

Additional/Extended Media:

-The Bay Area News Group and Contra Costa Crisis Center, in addition to the grant recipients social media and email outreach is another great opportunity to highlight your work, the News Group’s story, and your organization overall. The overall reach of the individual stories and overarching campaign can spread lasting impression of nonprofit work and community need.

-Some sample posts, tweets, and emails are available in media kit provided to Grantees and also posted on the Share the Spirit website.

-Citation matters- please attribute work, articles, and names appropriately.

-Permission matters- confirm client’s consent to social media posts prior to use.


The program is administered by the Contra Costa Crisis Center. As the program administrator, the Contra Costa Crisis Center manages the application/proposal process, distribution of grant funds, and reporting forms for recipient agencies. The Crisis Center maintains website and social media presence for the program. The Crisis Center provides donor pledge processing, reporting and receipt accounting for all donations and serves as a bridge between nonprofit agencies and the Bay Area News Group in developing effective story content.

To be considered, requests must:
-Include story topic for publication in Bay Area News Group Media

Share the Spirit WILL consider grant requests for:
-Existing programs, expansion of program, and projects that are time-limited in nature.
-New programs/organizations that demonstrate clear and relevant goals.
-Programs and educational activities that seek to build capacity.

The Share the Spirit program is interested in funding initiatives/organizations that:
-Provide excellent story topics to highlight good work of individuals and/or organizations, with special consideration given to submissions with specific program beneficiary willing to be interviewed by Bay Area News Group.
-Expose readers/influencers to community needs and specific populations; organizations with social media and digital abilities and demonstrated reach.
-Represent diverse populations and geographic areas within Alameda or Contra Costa Counties.
-Impact/create a favorable perception of the nonprofit sector.
-Create meaningful impact for residents of Alameda and Contra Costa Counties.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 166360

Number of Grants:

Approximately 30- 40 grants will be awarded.

Estimated Size of Grant:

$2,000 - $7,000

Term of Contract:

Grantees will use Share the Spirit funds to enhance the winter season or enrich the on‐going necessities of life for their program participants during November, December, and/or January 2018-19.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Organizations eligible for grant funding are 501(C)3 nonprofits, schools, and other public entities located in or serving the communities in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties.

To be considered, requests must address:
-Grantees will use Share the Spirit funds to enhance the winter season or enrich the on‐going necessities of life for their program participants during November, December, and/or January 2018-19.
-Grantees must provide individual and organizational topics for use in developing stories for Bay Area News Group media outlets AND cooperate with News Group personnel.
-Share the Spirit grantees will be required to articulate a significant positive program impact for Alameda and Contra Costa Counties.
-Share the Spirit grantees will represent a wide diversity of programs, populations and geographic areas with particular emphasis on youth, families and seniors across both counties served. (Note: Services must be provided in one or both of these counties regardless of agency location.)
-Grantees must be a 501(c)3 organization in good standing (EIN, IRS letter or equivalent for public entity). Having an active GuideStar/Charity Navigator profile strongly recommended.
-Grantees must have capacity to manage the grant and the receipts/ accounting required.
-For repeat applicants to be eligible, applicant must have met all previous year due dates for returned forms and met all grant requirements.

The Share the Spirit program generally WILL NOT consider grant requests for:
-Programs/projects outside the priority areas or taking place outside the Alameda and Contra Costa County area.
-Grants to individuals, businesses, or private foundations.
-Endowment, capital campaigns, or support for fundraising events.

Pre-Application Information:

2018 Share the Spirit Calendar/Grant Due Dates:

-August 1, 2018 – Grant Application Portal opens. Link to application will be available online Tuesday, August 1st, 2018 at 10am. Note: a fixed number of applications will be accepted for review. The link to the application will remain open until the maximum is reached or the portal close date, whichever is first. Apply early.

-August 31, 2018, 12:00 p.m. – Grant Application Portal closes

-October 8, 2018 – Funds distributed/Grantees notified

-October 2018 – Grantees selected for story publication

-November 2018 – January 2019 – Share the Spirit features published in East Bay Times

-February 8, 2019 – by 12:00 p.m. (noon)– Post-Grant Reports due

View answers to previous questions here:

More information about Share the Spirit may be found here:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Apply Online:

Submit a question online here:

Contra Costa Crisis Center
Attention: Dee Dee Robillard
307 Lennon Lane
Walnut Creek CA, 94598

Mailing Address:
POB 5498
Walnut Creek, CA 94596


URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: California: Alameda and Contra Costa Counties