Grow Your Roots Mini-Grant FAQ California Environmental Grassroots Fund

I am interested in attending a training or webinar on behalf of my group, but I’m still unsure if it fits within the Mini-Grant’s eligibility. How do I know if the training qualifies for funding under the Mini-Grant?
We can only fund trainings or webinars that support back-end training and capacity-building resources. Before submitting a request, we recommend that you review the training agenda to confirm how it will benefit your group’s organizational capacity building skills. If you have any questions about whether or not a training qualifies for the mini-Grant, please contact Program Officer Aurora Heying at aheying[at] or (510)-658-0702 x307.

Can I use the Mini-Grant to cover registration fees for conferences or workshops about issues like fisheries, forests, sustainable development or environmental justice?
We do not cover conferences or workshops that focus solely on topics an organization’s programmatic activities. The purpose of the mini-grant is to develop organizational skills that will further your program work.

How do I apply for a mini-grant?
Click here and complete the form in our online system. If you don’t have regular computer access, call 510-658-0702.

How do I know if my group is eligible?
Any group who has received a grant from the California Environmental Grassroots Fund within the past four years is eligible.

What trainings are available?
A working list of training providers and other resources are posted on our website. You can also go to any nonprofit related training that is important to your organization. Check CompassPoint if you are in the Bay Area and Nonprofit Resource Center if you are in Sacramento or Fresno. You can also try for online workshops on lobbying regulations, and check with local community foundations. Sessions may also be available at community colleges and adult schools. Some United Way chapters offer free trainings as well.

Can I use the mini-grant for a holistic health, yoga or similar type of workshop?
No. These mini-grants are for developing organizational skills, not mental or physical health.

How do I register for a training?
Contact your training provider for more details. Most training providers require attendees to fill out their registration form and send it to them with a full payment. Please do not send your training registration form and payment to the Grassroots Fund. Only send us your completed mini-grant application. If the request is approved, will then reimburse 80% of the cost, up to $330.

Do I need to apply for the mini-grant before I register for the training?
No. Grow Your Roots mini-grants are automatically accepted for all eligible grantees whose proposals meet the criteria. But if you can’t afford to wait for the 80% mini-grant, it’s okay to get the mini-grant first.

How long does it take to get my Mini-Grant request processed?
It takes about two weeks for us to send you a check for your mini-grant.

Can my group send more than one person to a training or webinar?
Yes, grantees may send multiple people to a training – but the most any group can receive in one year is $330, plus travel.

How much do trainings cost?
Training costs vary depending on whether the training session is a full day or just a couple of hours. The range is typically between $40 -$150.

What if the training costs less than $330?
That’s okay! Just apply for 80% of the cost. For example, if the training costs $100, your group will receive $80 from the mini-grant.

What if the training costs more than $330?
That’s okay! Just apply for 80% of the cost up to a total mini-grant of $330. For example, if you want to send two people to a training, and it costs $250 each, send in a request for the $330 annual maximum.

Do you reimburse travel?
Yes! Travel reimbursement is provided based on distance and does NOT count against the $330 annual mini-grant cap.

  • If your round-trip mileage to the training is less than 75 miles, reimbursement is $0.
  • If your round-trip mileage is between 76 – 125 miles, reimbursement is $25.
  • If your round-trip mileage is between 126 – 175 miles, reimbursement is $50.
  • If your round-trip mileage is 176 miles or more, reimbursement is $75.

Does the travel reimbursement count as part of the $330 mini-grant cap?

I don’t know exactly how far away the training is, so I don’t know if I qualify for travel reimbursement. What do I do?
One way you can find out the round-trip mileage is to go to and enter your starting point (home or office) and your ending point (the address of the training). From there you can receive driving directions and mileage.

How do I apply for travel reimbursement?
If you are requesting a mini-grant for a training and are requesting a travel reimbursement, be sure to answer “Yes” to the question “Will you be traveling more than 75 miles to attend your chosen training?” Then, a section on the application form for travel reimbursement will appear. Your travel reimbursement will be included with your mini-grant check.

If I don’t go to any trainings this year, can I roll it over into next year and receive $330 in reimbursements next year?
No. You either use it or lose it every calendar year.

We don’t need a training, we just need more money. Can’t we just use the $330 for our programs?
Unfortunately, no. There are many organizations in California and beyond that offer trainings on how to raise more money. Click here to review our Resources Page to find a training that fits your organization’s needs.

My group is really broke and we can’t afford to pay the 20% share – will the Grassroots Fund pay a 100% mini-grant?
Unfortunately, no. We believe that people take trainings a lot more seriously if they are footing part of the bill. In addition, Network for Good has an extensive library of free fundraising resources including webinars, guides, and past course materials. Visit our Resources Page for more free and cost-effective capacity building resources.

How far in advance of the training do I have to apply for the mini-grant?
We must have your completed application form in the office at least 14 days before the training.

What if I just found out about a great training this week?
By all means, go to the training if you want, but you will not receive a mini-grant.

What happens if I receive a mini-grant for a training and then don’t attend?
If you receive a mini-grant and then don’t go to the training, you must refund the entire mini-grant.

Are mini-grants and travel reimbursement checks awarded to the grantee organization or to the individual attending the training?
All awards and reimbursements will be paid to the organization, not to individuals.

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