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McCune Foundation Grants

Grants to California Nonprofits for Grassroots Community
Organizing in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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McCune Foundation

LOI Date:


Deadline Date:

02/28/20 - Postmark date for Project and General Operating Support applications; Training Mini-Grant applications may be submitted at any time.


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Grants ranging from $500 to $4,000 and grants of up to $40,000 to California nonprofit community-based organizations for grassroots efforts to promote positive social change in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties. Applicants must submit a letter of intent prior to submitting a full application. Applications are invited from organizations working to address critical issues through community organizing.

Project and General Operating Support grants are offered for projects that grow social capital and enhance a community’s capacity to mobilize residents to solve problems.

Projects should be initiated and led by economically and politically disenfranchised groups including low-income, working poor, and marginalized individuals. Empowerment of the economically and politically marginalized and inclusion of such people in an organization’s leadership structure is a requirement for funding.

Grants are available for specific projects and general operating support. Project requests may include expenses related to specific initiatives or projects –including staff– while general operating support requests can cover project and overhead expenses for an organization that is exclusively focused on community organizing. Grant budgets may also include some costs related to capacity building activities.

Training Mini-Grant Program: The goal of the Training Mini-Grant program is to support organizational capacity to mobilize residents to act collectively for systemic change. Grants can be used to access community organizing and social justice-oriented trainings and coaching opportunities. This program is open to current McCune Foundation grantees, as well as to other community groups serving Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties that meet the eligibility guidelines. Mini-Grants can cover training and coaching costs including registration fees, travel costs, and consultants and coaches.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 172777

Estimated Size of Grant:

Request of up to $40,000 per year will be considered and grants generally will not be made for more than 50 percent of a project budget. Grants to first-time applicants to the Foundation will generally be for $10,000 or less.

Training Mini-Grant Program: Grants between $500 - $4,000 can be requested.

Term of Contract:

For Project and General Operating Support: One-year and two-year requests will be considered.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Funding is available only to applicants in Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties that have IRS 501(c)(3) tax status or operate under the sponsorship of a qualified organization.

To be eligible, applicants must demonstrate that they:
- Include the affected population in the planning and implementation of the project
- Work to create systemic change
- Build social capital and community capacity by engaging and empowering new participants in action for social change

Grants will not be awarded for direct support to individuals, budget deficits, religious organizations for religious purposes, construction or renovation of buildings, or general fundraising drives or events. The Foundation usually will not consider proposals from schools. In general, the Foundation does not fund projects implementing model programs from elsewhere, but will consider funding the expansion of locally-initiated projects to other parts of the region. The Foundation does not fund the provision of direct services or purely educational programs.

Pre-Application Information:

Project and General Operating Support grants are awarded twice a year. Initial Inquiries must be sent to the McCune Foundation and must be postmarked no later than January 16, 2020, for the first grant cycle of the year. Accepted applicants will then be asked to submit a full proposal to be postmarked no later than February 28, 2020 for grants to be awarded in April 2020.

If you are a new applicant, you are strongly advised to contact Executive Director Claudia Armann to discuss your project prior to submitting a letter of inquiry.

After reviewing the Initial Inquiry, the Foundation will advise the applicant of its interest in receiving a full proposal. At that time, a Grant Application form will be made available with full instructions. Once a complete application is received, a site visit will be scheduled. The project must be fully designed and ready to begin if approved. Grants must be claimed within 30 working days of approval.

Training Mini-Grant Program:
Letters should be mailed to McCune Foundation. Requests are accepted any time of the year and will be reviewed and responded to by the Foundation within four weeks.

Contact Information:

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

If you have an eligible project in Santa Barbara or Ventura Counties, the Foundation very much welcomes your phone calls or e-mails:

Claudia Armann, Executive Director
(805) 223-8373

McCune Foundation
P.O. Box 24340
Ventura, CA 93002

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: California: Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties