Grow Your Roots Mini-Grant FAQ

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?
Mini-Grants support trainings that will help strengthen the administrative and organizational skills of grantees, build the long-term sustainability and growth of the group, and support the professional development of a grantee’s staff and volunteers. They cannot be used for the direct program work of the organization. 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.

Can I use the Mini-Grant to cover registration fees for conferences or workshops about issues like fisheries, forests, sustainable development or environmental justice?
Yes. The purpose of the mini-grants is to develop skills and resources that will strengthen the organization long-term and further your success as a group, this can include professional development and networking opportunities for staff and volunteers. However, the mini-grant cannot go directly to fund program-related activities.

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, the California Wildlands Grassroots Fund, or the Pacific Northwest Grassroots Fund within the past four years is eligible.

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

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, The Impact Foundry if you are in Sacramento or Fresno, and Center for Nonprofit Management if you are in Los Angeles. 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 and administrative skills, not mental or physical health.

How do I register for a training?
Contact the training provider directly. Fill out their registration form and send it to them with your full payment. Do not send your training registration form and payment to the Grassroots Fund. Please only send us your completed mini-grant application. We will then reimburse the cost, up to $500.

Do I need to apply for the mini-grant before I register for the training?
No. But you do have to apply for the mini-grant before attending the training. Grow Your Roots mini-grants are automatically accepted for all eligible grantees as long as they fall within the criteria of eligible activities. If you have any questions or concerns about whether a particular training is eligible, please reach out to

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.

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 $500, 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 -$250.

What if the training or resource costs less than $500?
That’s okay! Just apply for the full cost of the training or resource, and if you have another capacity-building expense later in the year, you can apply for the remaining funds up to the full $500.

What if the training or resource costs more than $500?
That’s okay, but you will have to cover the additional cost. Just apply for the cost up to a total Mini-Grant of $500. For example, if you want to send three people to a training, and it costs $200 each, send in a request for the $500 annual maximum and you will be responsible for the remaining $100.

Do you reimburse travel?
Yes! Travel reimbursement is provided based on distance and does NOT count against the $500 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 $500 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 $500 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 $500 for our programs?
Unfortunately, no. There are many organizations in California and beyond that offer trainings on how to raise more money; attend one of those! Click here to review our Resources Page to find a training that fits your organization’s needs.

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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