Community Engagement Mini Grant
In the face of hate and bias, the County of Santa Clara’s Division of Equity and Social Justice (DESJ) offered Mini Grants for individuals and groups to-lead activities that empower vulnerable, marginalized communities and prevent and/or address the concerning rise of hate incidents and acts in Santa Clara County. Grants were awarded up to $2,500.
Applications are now closed.
Grantees and Their Projects
Projects from the Community Engagement Mini Grants were unique and diverse, ranging from art, discussions, education, community events, media, and workshops. Get inspired and see how individuals, groups, and organizations approached their projects.
About the Community Engagement Mini Grant Project
These grants are intended for community members and groups, including but not limited to, students, educators, artists, storytellers, activists, grass root organizations, neighborhood groups, and community-based organizations. Proposed activities/projects for grant awards are meant to promote cultural understanding, relationship building, allyship, and/or educating the community about resources and services that address the concerning rise of hate incidents and acts in Santa Clara County.
DESJ offered flexible, easy-to-access funding for community members and groups. The mini grant award process is designed to be accessible, inclusive and welcoming to maximize opportunities for innovative, community driven activities.
Mini grant applications are now closed.
- Jessica Acosta, [email protected]
- Tinh Nguyen, [email protected]
Your Questions, Answered in our FAQ
1. What is a "hate crime"?
A. The term "hate crime" describes various crimes of violence against a person, threats of violence against a person, or damage to property because of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, disability, gender or sexual orientation, or because there is a perception the person has one or more of those characteristics. For more information, visit the Hate Crimes Team's website from the County of Santa Clara District Attorney's Office
2. Who can apply for the Mini Grants?
Any individual resident of Santa Clara County or any group, including nonprofits, grass root organizations, advocacy groups that are located in Santa Clara County.
3. What are the eligibility requirements for Mini Grants?
a. Eligible applicants must be 18 years or older.
b. Must be a resident of Santa Clara County or an organization located in Santa Clara County.
In addition, for proposals to be considered, the applicant must:
· Propose projects or activities that will take place in Santa Clara County.
· Have a valid government identification card and US bank account
· Provide a W-9 Tax form with the application to be considered for a mini grant award.
4. What type of documentation do I need to provide with my application?
A. Applicants must attach a filled-out W-9 tax form in order for the application to be considered complete.
5. What type of activities, events, and/or projects will be considered for application proposals?
A. Examples of activities, events, and/or projects will be considered for application proposals:
· Community Listening Sessions to build awareness, identify lessons learned, and/or foster community healing process
· Development of Education Materials and/or Toolkits to support cross community education, learning and allyship with a wide outreach plan
· Trainings/Workshops to offer bystander intervention, and/or community/neighborhood ambassador trainings
· Know Your Rights Campaigns to promote awareness of hate crimes and resources through local grassroot outreach campaigns
· Community Outreach Campaigns to educate the community at large about resources and information to prevent, address, and combat hate crimes
· Hosting Speaker Series/Speaker Panels to promote community dialogue on cross cultural understanding and allyship
· Community Event(s) to provide a venue for celebrating contribution by marginalized communities, and/or promote cross-cultural community forums for education and support of the community
· Storytelling Project(s) to celebrate, preserve local history and educate the next generation about historically marginalized communities.
6. If I am selected, how will the Mini Grant award be provided?
A. All applicants who receive a Mini Grant award will need to sign a Mini Grant agreement and provide a voided check or a bank memo to set up disbursement of the Mini Grant award via direct deposit to the Applicant’s bank account.
7. What is the application timeframe?
A. While applications are accepted from August 30, 2021 through June 30, 2022 OR until funds are exhausted, we recommend that you apply as soon as possible! Mini grants are first come, first served and we expect a strong community interest.
8. When will I be notified about my application status?
A. All applicants will receive a confirmation of their submitted application within 2 business days. Applicants should expect to hear back from our team within about 30 days regarding the outcome of their application including whether they were selected to receive a grant award.
9. What if I have questions that are not listed here?
a. Attend our Q&A upcoming Q&A Sessions
Tuesday November 9, 2021 at 5:30 PM on Zoom
b. Contact us
Jessica Acosta, [email protected]
Tinh Nguyen, [email protected]
- Do the Authorized Signatory, Fiscal Contact, and Project Contact have to be a different person each, if we are applying as an organization? Our team members all live in different places, but our co-founder resides in SCC and our publishing press is based in San Jose. Do all chosen contacts have to reside in SCC?
A. No, they do not have to be a different person each and no, contacts do not have to all reside in Santa Clara County. However, the project/activity must be conducted within the County.
- Can your team help with outreach, either with marketing expertise or advertising?
A. The County does not take direct part in the proposed projects; however, the County can participate in a support role with providing guidance on where to seek assistance.
3. Related to describing past funding, if we are using a fiscal agent that will also serve as a collaborator on the grant, do we need to include their funding history? The fiscal agent will not be the primary organizing entity though.
A. Yes, it would be helpful to have that information.
- Can multiple organizations apply collectively to acquire a larger grant? When do grant decisions get made, and when will funding be made available?
A. The grant award is at $2,500 maximum per Grantee (which is an individual or an organization). Organizations can decide to work together if they chose to do so; e.g. sharing resources of networks, or venue, or creating a series of panel speaking engagements on various topics etc. If it is a group of organizations applying, only one organization can be awarded per grant for a project for up to $2,500 out of that group. Each award is given to implement a free-standing project that must be successfully completed for up to $2,500 funding, regardless of any collaborations that may be happening among other organizations or grantees relating to that project.
After the application has been accepted, the applicant will be notified within 30 days whether the proposal is awarded.
Funding will be made available once a grant agreement is in place.
- Will virtual events be included, or is this solely for in-person events?
A. Tendency to prefer in-person; however, due to COVID, there is some openness/flexibility.
- Are poetry slams or open mics eligible if the topic relates to community healing, and address hate and violence?
A. Yes, we would be open to reviewing poetry slam/open mic proposals.
- Under Section V regarding funding request, you guys want a description of expenses. How detailed would you like us to be in this section?
A. Not every detail is necessary, but general baskets/buckets of where/what funding will be spent on (big chuck in categories/high level) should be provided.
- Are fundraising events, specifically a dining event, eligible? The organizer plans to make a meal with sliding scale admission and donate to a local LGBTQ non-profit organization.
A. This grant is for creating accessibility and inclusion to all community members; and therefore, any fundraising event would need to be separated so that anyone from the public regardless of income can attend and feel welcomed when participating in a mini grant funded project or event. All events and activities are to be at no cost to participants.
- Would love to develop a speaker series…would need/want to explore speakers or if you have info on good speaker series that have been done in SCC, please share.
A. Yes, we have a report on our OWP website regarding speaker series events including speakers who have attended the OWP mini grant funded events. Applicants can review that report for ideas at https://womenspolicy.sccgov.org/sites/g/files/exjcpb1076/files/documents/owp-mini-grant-rprt-updated-02-11-21.pdf.
Please note that Grantor is only in the role of providing funding and does not have any role in furnishing a specific network of speakers. Grantor also recommends for applicants to connect with County commissions as well as with the Silicon Valley Community Foundation for more resources and ideas for speakers: https://www.siliconvalleycf.org/
- Would more than 1 session be allowed? Can you assist with venue? Are zoom meetings/events allowed?
A. Depending on the project, once an application is received, the project specifics will be reviewed.
Finding and reserving County venues becomes difficult; ideally, applicants should conduct research on venues.
- Are we able to apply for funding multiple times to conduct multiple events?
A. We would like to allow for as many community members as possible to have access to the grant funds, and in order to do so, at the moment we are only accepting a single application per individual/organization.
- Does it have to be a registered organization, or can it be your own organization that you make?
A. It does not have to be a registered organization.
- What if the Individual/group makes a small profit (labor compensation for the work invested? Context: A local art collective wants to host a drawing session addressing hate with the community and print out their designs into vinyl stickers to distribute at low cost and donate proceeds, also to a local LGBTQ non-profit organization.
A. All proposals that fall within the intent of the mini grant are welcome (All applications will be reviewed and evaluated on a case-by-case basis.)
- Does the event have to be in English? Context: A local media station is thinking of doing an event over the air—guest speaker or a youth poetry slam. This will be a virtual event over the air. However, this would be in Spanish only.
A. There is not a requirement that the event be in English.
- Can homes/hotels be utilized as venues?
A. It depends on the scope of the proposal and on the expected attendance. If you’re looking to have a large number of attendees, it doesn’t seem practical with having an event in a residential home.
1. How much is this grant for?
A. Grant awards range from $200-$2500.
2. Are college dream centers eligible to apply?
A. Yes, make sure to identify the actual entity/organization that is to receive the money.
3. Can you share projects funded in the past?
A. Please see inspiring project ideas on the Mini Grant website page or visit our previous mini grant project report for the Office of Women’s Policy (100th Anniversary of the Women’s Suffrage Movement).
4. Once awarded, how much time do you have to submit your project?
A. Each project should be completed at least 30 days before June 30, 2022 with the final report about the project due no later than June 30, 2022.
5. What if you started your nonprofit this year?
A. If a nonprofit is not fully set up, someone could apply as an individual on behalf of the organization.
6. What if you started a nonprofit this year and you don’t have W9?
A. If a nonprofit is not fully set up, someone could apply as an individual instead of on behalf of the organization.
7. Can a for-profit organization apply?
A. Yes, a for-profit organization is able apply as long as the organization is eligible under the specified criteria listed on the application and the required documentation can be provided.
8. Would a new organization focused on minority issues and empowerment to create equity with college students and seniors be able to apply? What if the organization is a for profit?
A. Yes, the organization is able apply as long as the organization is eligible under the specified criteria listed on the application and the required documentation can be provided.
9. I'm from an unincorporated community organization and we plan to use a fiscal agent to apply for a grant. Is there anything specific that we should know about this situation?
A. As long as the individual/organization is eligible under the specified criteria listed on the application and the required documentation can be provided, the individual/organization is eligible to apply.
10. I will be applying as an individual. Is it best to have the venue chosen before submitting an application, or is an estimated rental fee enough for a proposal?
A. An estimate would be valid; however, issues can arise if a venue is not in place beforehand.
11. Any priority in terms of organization entities vs individual? Is there a scoring criterion that can be looked at?
A. No, there is not a priority in terms of applicants who are organizations versus applicants who are individuals.
Please refer the mini grant application, Section V. Evaluation (Criteria) for how proposals are evaluated and prioritized for grant awards.
Activities/projects/trainings that promote cross-cultural understanding, relationship building activities among community members, learning about allyship to support those affected by hate and bias, outreach to young developing minds, sharing and celebrating the history of marginalized communities are highly encouraged.