Grants Process

Grants Process

After a decade of responsive education grantmaking in Oakland and West Contra Costa, the Foundation has decided to focus its resources on a more limited portfolio of grantees.  Such a shift will allow the Foundation to increase grant sizes and provide increasingly targeted, multiyear support to its grantee partners. Starting in 2018, the Foundation will no longer accept unsolicited requests or letters of intent and will move to an invitation-only process. As a small Foundation, our hope is to maximize both our staff and funding resources while deepening relationships with our grantee partners as we work to improve public education for Oakland and West County students.

In 2021, the Foundation will continue to have four grant cycles and will adhere to the following calendar:

Grant Cycle Invitation
to Apply
2021 – Quarter 2 03/01/21 04/01/21 05/15/21
2021 – Quarter 3 06/01/21 07/15/21 08/15/21
2021 – Quarter 4 09/01/21 10/01/21 11/15/21
2022 – Quarter 1 12/01/21 01/15/22 02/15/22

* Grants Distributed Date: Please note that the dates listed here are subject to change. However, most grants will be distributed within two to three weeks of the date indicated.

Cutoff dates that fall on a non-business day will be extended to the next business day. For purposes of meeting the cutoff deadline, all forms must be submitted in the grants management system by 5:00 PM (Pacific Time).

For Current Grantees:

The Foundation is committed to communicating with all of our current grantees as we move through the changes described above. Foundation staff will contact your organization soon, if we haven’t done so already, to discuss the possibility of future funding (including timing, request amount, reporting, etc.). The Foundation will adhere strictly to its grantmaking calendar, with grants distributed approximately three months from the time an application is invited. Applications and reports will continue to be administered through our online grants management system. Please visit our Grants Management System Instructions  page for more information about using our system.  Also, even if your organization is no longer eligible for continued funding, you may still access previous grant documents, as well as templates for upcoming reports, by logging in to our grants management system.

For Grantseeking Organizations:

Although the Foundation will no longer accept unsolicited LOIs, we invite eligible organizations to contact us using the Contact form on our website.  Due to limited staff capacity, we may not be able to respond to each inquiry. However, our goal is to continue to learn about funding opportunities that align well with our Grantmaking Strategy. While our focus will be on ongoing support for our current grantees, we remain interested in adding new organizations and schools into our portfolio when an appropriate and potentially high-impact partnership opportunity arises.


Please note, the Foundation does not accept grant inquiries for the following:

  • Organizations that are not tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the IRS Code
  • Organizations and programs that do not support K-12 public school communities in Oakland and West Contra Costa County
  • Funding for more than 25% of an organization’s total budget
  • Media projects: films, script development, videos, television, radio, and digital media projects (does not apply to organizations that provide media arts training to students)
  • Building projects
  • Endowment funds
  • Colleges/Universities
  • Private schools
  • Political lobbying
  • Capital campaigns
  • Organizations with religious affiliations