Grants

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TYPES OF GRANTS
The San Marcos Community Foundation makes four types of grants:

1.  Arts and Cultural Grant
2. Mini Endowment Grant 
3. Regular Endowment Grant
4. Wildlife Grant
 
More information about each type of grant, along with information on how to apply, may be found by clicking the links above.  

WHO QUALIFIES
We welcome grant applications from all organizations who meet our criteria. To qualify for funding, grant requests must meet ALL of the following requirements:

  1. The representing organization must be exempt from income taxes under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and Section 23701(d) of the California Revenue and Taxation Code.
  2. The request must be for a non-profit project or use directly benefiting the residents of San Marcos.
  3. At the time of the funding, the Board will establish the timing of the reporting period and all records/receipts must be submitted to the SMCF no later than the timeframe established by the Board. Failure to comply with the deadline will result in the grant monies (partial or full) being returned to the SMCF immediately and may impact future awards.
  4. No matching funds are required for mini grants. Whether or not matching funds are required for a regular grant is at the discretion of the Board depending upon the specifics of the request. The decision to give applications with matching funds a higher priority is solely at the Board's discretion.

FUNDS MAY NOT BE AWARDED TO:

  • Assist a religious, fraternal, or political purpose;
  • Aid organizations whose primary function is to assist other charitable or public groups of activities through grants and donations;
  • Underwrite the cost of advertising or fund-raisers. 

HOW TO SUBMIT AN APPLICATION:

Application material may be submitted three ways:

1) Via Regular mail to:
    San Marcos Community Foundation
    1 Civic Center Drive
    San Marcos, CA 92069

2) In Person at:
    San Marcos Community Foundation
    1 Civic Center Drive
    San Marcos, CA 92069

3) Via email (PDF format- as one combined PDF file preferred) to: mgordon@san-marcos.net


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT GRANT APPLICATION PROCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

Applying for Grants

What are the deadlines for grant applications?

What size grants does the Foundation generally make?

What is the difference between a mini-grant and a regular grant from the General Fund?

Do you fund program requests?

Is there a better chance of getting a grant if I apply at a specific time of year?

How often can we apply to the Foundation?

If a big change occurs within our organization after we submit the proposal, should we contact you?

Do you need multiple copies of the application? Should they be bound?

What happens after an application is received?

How long does it take to get a grant?

When will I know if our proposal has been funded?

Does the Foundation award multi-year grants?

Q1: What are the deadlines for grant applications?
Answer 1. We have an annual calendar that shows all the deadlines for the year.

Q2: What size grants does the Foundation generally make?
Answer 2. Most of our grants are less than $5,000. A growing segment is our mini-grant program which is a simple application, decided monthly, for a maximum $1,500.

Q3: What is the difference between a mini-grant and a regular grant from the General Fund?
Answer 3. Mini-grants are for requests of up to $1,500. Applications are received each grantmaking month of the year, are simpler, and can be decided by the Grant Funding Committee. They are intended to be a quicker, easier method of getting a donation into the hands of a non-profit serving San Marcos while still maintaining proper oversight. Regular grants are for requests greater than $1,500 (our largest is $10,000). These requests are reviewed by the Grant Funding Committee, assigned to a member for follow-up, and sent to the full Board with a recommendation.

Q4: Do you fund program requests?
Answer 4. Yes.

Q5: Is there a better chance of getting a grant if I apply at a specific time of year?
Answer 5. No.

Q6: How often can we apply to the Foundation?
Answer 6. Applicants may only apply two times per year - only one grant will be made in a year's time for the same project.

Q7: If a big change occurs within our organization after we submit the proposal, should we contact you?
Answer 7. Yes. We would expect you to keep us apprised.

Q8: Do you need multiple copies of the application? Should they be bound?
Answer 8. One copy is fine. Please do not bind.

Q9: What happens after an application is received?
Answer 9. It is reviewed for completeness, then distributed to the Grant Funding Committee for review, and then to the entire Board.

Q10: How long does it take to get a grant?
Answer 10. Consult the calendar.

Q11: When will I know if our proposal has been funded?
Answer 11. Following our decision, a letter will be sent notifying you of the grant and reporting requirements.

Q12: Does the Foundation award multi-year grants?
Answer 12. No.

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Eligibility

Do we have to be a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization to apply?

What is a fiscal sponsor and how do I get one?

What information do you require from a fiscal sponsor?

Do you give grants to organizations outside of San Diego County?

Does the Foundation fund faith-based organizations?

What if an organization serves a distinct segment of the community’s population, such as seniors, youths, a specific ethnic group, etc.?


 

Q1: Do we have to be a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization to apply?
Answer 1. If you are not, you must have a fiscal sponsor.

Q2: What is a fiscal sponsor and how do I get one?
Answer 2. A fiscal sponsor is a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization that acts as a sponsor for a project or group that does not have its own tax-exempt status. Grants or contributions are made to the fiscal sponsor which manages the funds. In the case of a grant, the fiscal sponsor is responsible for reporting back to the foundation on the progress of the project.

To find a fiscal sponsor look for nonprofits whose missions are similar to yours. You might start with your current affiliations.

The President or an authorized officer representing the fiscal sponsor must sign the application cover page. Should funds be awarded, the check will be issued to the organization serving as the fiscal sponsor and the fiscal sponsor is ultimately responsible for completing the required reporting documentation.

Q3: What information do you require from a fiscal sponsor?
Answer 3. The fiscal sponsor is required to complete the application for a grant and provide all of the necessary documentation including the final report on the project.

Q4: Do you give grants to organizations outside of San Diego County?
Answer 4. Yes; however, all grants from our General Endowment Fund and Wildlife Fund must go to organizations who serve San Marcos residents.
NOTE: Arts and Culture grantees must be a San Marcos-based organization.

Q5: Does the Foundation fund faith-based organizations?
Answer 5. We have funded programs serving San Marcos residents which may be operated by faith-based organizations, but we do not fund faith activities.

Q6: What if an organization serves a distinct segment of the community’s population, such as seniors, youths, a specific ethnic group, etc.?
Answer 6. We welcome applications for programs addressing the needs of a variety of under-served populations in San Marcos.

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SMCF CONTACT: Michael Gordon | (760) 744-1050 x3116 | mgordon@san-marcos.net