Application Instructions

Application Instructions

The following section will guide you through the Foundation’s grant application process. Please note that the Foundation has moved to an online grants management system. We will no longer accept Letters of Intent and Applications via email. We appreciate your patience during this transition.

Before proceeding with the online application, please be sure to review our Funding Strategy, Eligibility, Grants Process, and Grantmaking Calendar pages.

Please be certain to allow ample time for all aspects of the application process. Although we make every effort to answer applicant and grantee questions, we may not be available to assist you with inquiries regarding your LOI, Application and/or reports immediately prior to the due date.

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1) Helpful User Guidelines ►

Internet Browsers
Our online system does not support any versions of Internet Explorer prior to version 8. Please use Firefox, Google Chrome, Internet Explorer 8 and above, or Safari.

Answer All Required Fields
Required fields are marked with an asterisk(*). If you do not provide an answer for one of the required questions, you will not be able to submit your form. When a question is not applicable, respond with “N/A”.

Save As You Go
Please remember to regularly save your work. You will automatically be logged out after 90 minutes of inactivity. We recommend that you save your forms frequently to decrease the chances of lost information. Please note that the “Save” button is located at the bottom of the form. We also recommend that you save your forms every time you upload a document.

Save As Draft
The “Save as Draft” button at the bottom of the form will give you the ability to return and complete the form at a later time.

Print Questions
We recommend that you preview all of the questions prior to filling out the form to ensure the information requested is readily available. Once you open a form, click on “Print Question Legend” at the top to print a .pdf document containing all questions.

Prepare Your Answers Outside of the System
Applicants may choose to prepare a response in a document outside of the online system (e.g. Microsoft Word) and then copy and paste the text into the system. If you prepare your form in this way, be sure to keep track of character limits and fix all spelling and grammatical mistakes. 3,300 characters = 1 page generally speaking. Character limits include spaces and characters. We recommend that you do not use formatting tools, as available in Microsoft Word, because the formatting will likely not transfer to the response area when pasted into the system. If you would like to enlarge a text area, simply go to the bottom right-hand corner and click and drag.

Pre-filled Responses
Many questions are programmed so that the responses will populate from previously submitted forms to save you time. Editing this text will overwrite your previous responses. You must receive an approval from a Foundation staff member before making any edits to your pre-filled responses.

File Uploads

Most forms require that you upload files as part of the process.

    • Save/Submit: Documents will not appear as uploaded until you click “Save” or “Submit”. These buttons are located at the bottom of the form.
    • File Type and Size: You may upload PDF files, Word Documents, or Excel Spreadsheets as long as they adhere to the file size requirements. You may not attach zip files.
    • Deleting or Changing an Upload: To change an upload, click “Browse” and choose the new upload. The new document will overwrite the previous document. Click “Save” or “Submit” at the bottom of the form to complete the change.

Fax to File Function
If you do not have a scanner to upload hard copies or you need to convert documents into a single file, please read the following instructions for converting a paper document (hard copy format) into a single PDF file (digital format). You may then upload the document where required.

    1. To start, click the “Fax to File” link on the left hand side of the screen.
    2. Then click the “Request a Fax #” button and you will be presented with a toll-free fax number.
    3. Fax your document to the number provided. All faxed documents will be automatically converted to .pdf format. Please send a separate fax for each document without a cover sheet. You have 20 minutes to fax your documents before the number expires.
    4. After you have faxed each separate document, click the “Finished Faxing” button to see your list of files.
    5. Converted documents will be available to download to your computer. After downloading to your computer, you will then be able to upload the documents at the appropriate time during the application process.

Print Before Submitting Forms
To print a draft of your form prior to or after submission, click “Print Packet” at the top of the form.

Submitting Forms
When you are ready to submit a form, select “Submit Form” at the bottom of the page. After the form is submitted, you will see a “Confirmation Page” indicating that the form has been submitted. Once the form is submitted, the responses entered into the form can no longer be edited. Be sure to make all necessary edits prior to the final submission.

Download Submitted Forms
Once you submit a form, you may download a copy of that form to your computer for your records.

2) The Registration Process ►

To begin using the system, click the “Apply” button at the bottom of this page in order to open a tab that will take you to the grants management system’s website. You will need to create a new account for the organization by clicking on the “Create New Account” button on the “Login” page. Each organization will have a unique database record in the online grants management system.

The registration process consists of four sections: 1) Organization information, 2) Applicant information, 3) Executive Director information, and 4) Password selection.

When creating an account, the applicant will be asked to provide an active email address (which will become your organization’s Login ID) and to create a password. In addition, you will be asked to provide your organization’s Employer Identification Number (EIN) or Tax Identification Number, as well as the contact information for the Executive Director of your organization.

NOTE: During the registration process, we recommend that you use the “Previous” button, rather than the browser “Back” button, as the “Back” button will erase all of your responses. The system will not save any responses until you click the “Save” button at the end of the process.

Register for a New User Account

    1. Click on “Create a New Account”.
    2. Enter the Organization information.
    3. Enter the Applicant information.
      • All communication related to your organization will be directed to the person whose information is provided in this section. By default, this person will be listed as the “Primary Contact” of your organization. If you would like to have multiple users for your organization’s account, please contact the Foundation and we will create additional user login credentials.
    4. Enter the Executive Director information.
      • If the applicant is also the Executive Director of the organization, select “Yes” and the system will pre-fill the fields on this screen and proceed to the password screen. Otherwise, select “No” and follow the prompts.
    5. Click on the “Proceed to Next Step” button.
    6. Create a Password (case sensitive, 6-8 characters, including letters and/or numbers).
    7. Retype the Password, then click “Save”.
    8. A system-generated confirmation email with the Login ID and Password will be sent to the email address provided in the Applicant information section.

Update Applicant Information
Once the organization’s account is created, you will still be able to edit the Applicant information, but will not be able to edit the Organization and/or the Executive Director information. Please contact a Foundation staff member if you need to make any updates in either of these two sections.

From the Application Status Page described below, click on the name shown at the top right corner of the screen and select “Edit Profile” from the drop-down menu. You may update the Login ID (email address) and Password of the Applicant using this section.

Retrieve Password
Enter your Login ID on the main registration page. Click on “Forgot Your Password” button, then the system will email you the Password.

3) The Application Status Page ►

After registering for a User Account, the applicant is directed to the Application Status Page. The Application Status Page is the homepage for the online grants management system. On this page, you may:

    • Apply for a grant by clicking “Apply” in the menu at the left side of the screen.
    • Manage your grant application. View information regarding the status of an open grant request. From this page, you can download completed forms, see the status of a form you have submitted, or access drafts that have not been submitted.
    • Manage your awarded grants. From this page, you can see whether or not a grant has been awarded and complete required follow-up forms for awarded grants. The term “follow-up” describes an upcoming or pending event such as a report that is due.

4) Complete a Letter of Intent ►

The Foundation currently accepts requests for General Operating Support and Program/Project Support. To access the Letter of Intent, click “Apply” on the left side of the screen. Organizations may only submit an LOI in an open grant cycle. The grant cycle is listed next to the process name inside the parentheses ( ). If you wish to apply to a future grant cycle that is not currently listed as open in our system, please check back approximately three months prior to the LOI deadline of that particular cycle. Please review the Grantmaking Calendar in order to determine the appropriate grant cycle and LOI deadline for your funding request.

Only one LOI per organization will be permitted. Organizations may submit either a General Operating Support request OR a Program/Project Support request. **If your organization serves locations outside of either Oakland or West Contra Costa County, we kindly request that you submit a Program/Project LOI. Please contact a Foundation representative if you need assistance determining which type of request you should make. Please answer all questions completely and as concisely as possible and limit your responses to four to six sentences per question.

Please note that applicants are able to save the LOI as a draft by clicking the “Save as Draft” button at the bottom of the form. We recommend that you save your draft frequently. Unsaved information will be lost upon logging out of the system. Please only click “Submit” when you have completed all sections of the LOI and uploaded the required documents. Once the LOI has been submitted, you can no longer edit or upload documents. Please note that once an LOI due date passes, all LOIs left in draft mode will be saved for one week. After one week, they will be deleted from our system. They will not be carried over into our next grant cycle.

Applicants will receive a system-generated email message to confirm that the LOI has been submitted and received by the Foundation.

Once the Foundation makes a decision, an email will be sent to the applicant’s email address. If the LOI is approved, the applicant will be given access to the Application form. For organizations that submitted an LOI that was declined, the LOI will show as “Declined” on your Application Status page and you will not be able to continue with the grants process. The Foundation kindly asks that your organization wait one full year prior to submitting a subsequent LOI.

5) Complete an Application ►

Once the LOI has been approved, the next step in the application process is to complete the Application.

Please note that applicants are able to save the Application as a draft by clicking the “Save as Draft” button at the bottom of the form. We recommend that you save your draft frequently. Unsaved information will be lost upon logging out of the system. Please only click “Submit” when you have completed all sections of the Application and uploaded the required documents. Once the Application has been submitted, you can no longer edit or upload documents.

Applicants will receive a system-generated email message to confirm that the Application has been submitted and received by the Foundation.

6) Grant Decision ►

Grant decisions are announced following every board meeting. Applicants will be notified by an email, and the status on the Application Status Page will be updated to reflect if the grant has been approved or denied. Approved applicants will receive a grant packet via regular mail. The packet will contain the check, an award letter and a grant agreement form.

7) Complete Grant Evaluation Reports ►

Grantees are required to submit an Interim Report and a Final Report. The Foundation will assign the reports shortly after the grant is awarded even though your first report will not be due for approximately six months. These report forms can be accessed by logging into the system and clicking on the “Dashboard” link. The form can be found in the upper portion of the Application Status Page. The due dates are displayed next to the forms. You may also refer to your grant award letter or the Grantmaking Calendar for report deadlines.

Grantees will receive a system-generated email message to confirm that the report has been successfully submitted and received by the Foundation.

8) Complete a Renewal Request ►

In most instances, the Foundation will accept LOIs for additional years of funding (for no more than three consecutive years). Renewal inquiries will only be considered when funds from the previous year’s grant have been fully utilized. Your grant award letter indicates when your organization is eligible to apply for renewal funding. Once eligible, you may log into the system, fill out a new LOI, and submit all renewal documents.

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