About the Fund
The Northern California Environmental Grassroots Fund supports small grassroots groups throughout greater northern California that are tackling tough environmental problems including toxic pollution, urban sprawl, sustainable agriculture, climate change, environmental degradation of our rivers and wild places, as well as, of our communities and our health. The Grassroots Fund is a pooled re-granting fund supported by about 20 funding partners. In addition to being one of the funding partners, Rose Foundation serves as the Grassroots Fund’s host and trustee. Guided by a board of community activists and veteran funders, the Fund’s mission is to bridge a significant gap between grassroots environmental groups and the traditional funding patterns of organized philanthropy by awarding small grants ($5,000 or less) to small organizations that are underserved by most foundations’ funding strategies.
Click here to learn more about the Fund’s objectives, impacts, Grantee Insights, and how to become a Funding Partner.
The Grassroots Fund has an application deadline every 3 months. Applications must be submitted by 5pm on the deadline date of:
- February 1st
- May 1st
- August 1st
- November 1st
If the deadline falls on a Saturday, Sunday or official holiday, then submissions are due at 5pm on the next business day. Applications may be submitted at anytime. If they are submitted after the deadline, they will automatically be rolled over to the next grant round. Faxed applications will not be accepted.
Eligibility and Priorities
To be eligible for a grassroots grant, the applicant must meet the following criteria:
- Geographic Scope: Project impact must be in Northern California (Includes the entire Sierra Nevada Mountains, Bay Area, Central Valley, Central Coast, and North Coast)
- Organization Size: Annual income or expenses of $100,000 or less (for exceptions, see application)
- Issues Supported: Include, but are not limited to: Environmental health and justice, land management and urban sprawl, habitat and wilderness protection, sustainable forestry, water resources, agriculture, sustainability, and pollution.
- Strategies Supported: General support for organizations with an environmental mission, or project support for strategies such as community-based advocacy, technical assistance, litigation, restoration projects, organizing expenses, grassroots campaigns, and environmental education.
- Tax Status: Applicants may be a nonprofit, be fiscally sponsored by another nonprofit, or ask for fiscal sponsorship from the fund.
- Frequency of Applying: Organizations whose proposals are rejected may re-apply after one year. Organizations that are funded may re-apply after one year if their evaluation form has been submitted and accepted.
- Duration of Support: Most grants are for a one year period. Since a goal of the Grassroots Fund is to support the development and creation of small, new nonprofit groups, after three years of funding, groups need to wait two years before reapplying.
Not Eligible for Support:
Capital campaigns, annual fundraising appeals, government agencies, colleges or universities and individuals.
If you are uncertain if your organization is eligible, please call or e-mail us before applying.
How to Apply to the Grassroots Fund
Please read these instructions carefully and follow them step by step. Maximum grant size is $5000.
Apply for Training Scholarships
Current and past Grassroots Fund grantees are encouraged to increase their effectiveness by expanding their organizational and administrative skill through a training scholarship program. Grantees are eligible to receive up to $300 of training scholarships per year. The scholarships cover 80% of the registration cost of a training. Grantees traveling more than 75 miles round trip will also receive a travel stipend.
Annual Grassroots Convening
In conjunction with the California Wildlands Grassroots Fund, the Northern California Environmental Grassroots Fund hosts an annual convening of all its grantees. The day-long session is a time for learning and networking, and is usually built around a central theme, such as fundraising or communicating your group’s story. Click here to sign up for our 2017 Convening or Click here to learn about past Convenings.
Grant Reporting Instructions
Grassroots Fund grantees must report to us 1 year after receiving a Grassroots Fund grant, using our self-evaluation report form. Please log on to your online application system and submit your report there. [If you have forgotten your user name and password, please call us at (510) 658-0702 or email grants-at-rosefdn.org]
Funding Board Members
The Grassroots Fund is advised by a volunteer board of community activists and funding partners. Click here to see members of the Grassroots Funding Board.
The Grassroots Fund channels the support of more than 20 funding partners towards building the grassroots base of the environmental movement in California. Click here for a list of funding partners.
Current and past Grantees
Click here to review descriptions of all grantees of the Fund since 2003.