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Rapid Response Grant Guidelines

Please note that the final deadline for our Rapid Response funding in 2017 is October 20th at 11:59pm. After Oct 20th, the Rapid Response Fund will be closed until early 2018. Grants received by Oct 20th, 2017 will be reviewed on Oct 31st.  

SJF’s Rapid Response Grants are designed to provide fast, small grants of up to $2,000 to help local communities respond and act quickly to the changing political climate with actions and/or strategies that could not be anticipated.

Click here to apply now!


Grant Overview

The Rapid Response fund will make grants to groups that:

  • Meet all of SJF’s basic eligibility requirements and community organizing criteria:
  • Be an organized group of people (we do not fund individuals).
    • This may include a non-profit organization with 501(c)3 or 501(c)4 status as determined by the IRS OR a federally recognized American Indian tribal government or agency OR an organization that is fiscally sponsored by a 501(c)3 or 501(c)4 organization or federally recognized tribal government.
    • Groups that are not 501(c)3 or c(4) organizations and are not fiscally sponsored can apply, but must speak with an SJF staff person first.
  • Are led by people who are most directly affected by the problems that the organization or project is addressing.
  • Use a community organizing approach, as defined on page 3 of our Grant Guidelines
  • Carry out most of their work in Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, and/or Wyoming.
  • Are facing an emerging issue, project, emergency, or situation that was not part of the organization’s projected work, and therefore need to respond to something that could not have been planned for.
  • Have a plan for how they will respond to the emerging issue, project, emergency, or situation.
  • Have completed all past due year-end reports for any previous SJF grants.

Priority will be given to SJF grantees, groups led by people of color and/or groups that are outside of Seattle and Portland metro areas, groups that have not received a Rapid Response grant within the past 12 months, and groups who are working in coalition and partnership with other organizations. 

The maximum grant award amount is $2,000 - please specify the amount of you are requesting in your cover sheet. All Rapid Response grants will be considered project restricted funds. Rapid Response grants will not count towards an organization's annual funding cap of $30,000 per year from SJF. 

Click here to apply now!


Examples of potential eligible projects:

  • Emergency mobilizations and community meetings in response to a recent police shooting
  • Organizing a community defense response to a recently announced white supremacist rally and march
  • Planning a direct action at a corporate shareholder meeting that was just announced
  • Rapid response legal clinics and know your rights trainings in response to Executive Orders and other sudden policy changes
  • A rapid response canvassing effort to educate and connect with targeted community members about the dangers of a religious registry
  • Emergent coalition strategies or strategy convenings in response to something unexpected

We do not fund:

  • General operating requests from organizations that primarily provide direct services to individuals and families. Direct service organizations can apply for project-specific funds for projects that fit our definition of community organizing. 
  • Environmental work unless it is aimed at achieving social justice goals (i.e. environmental justice). For example, SJF generally does not fund recycling or resource conservation projects, but we do fund community organizing projects addressing environmental threats that disproportionately harm communities of color or low-income communities. 
  • Projects sponsored by a government agency. For example, SJF would not fund a project led by a public school district, but we might fund a project led by communities of color that partners with public schools to address the opportunity gap for students of color. The project must be community driven and led by those most directly affected by the problem. 
  • Individuals, endowment funds or capital campaigns.

Examples of projects that would not be eligible for a Rapid Response grant:

  • An ongoing campaign facing a new development that could have been predicted as a scenario
  • Annual conferences, events, or operating expenses for ongoing organizing work.
  • A fundraising campaign for an individual
  • Budget shortfalls
  • Bail funds

30-Minute Q&A Sessions for Grantees:

Is your group interested in applying? Join a Q & A session to learn more about the applications and criteria. Each session will cover the same information with time for questions and answers.

  • Session 1: Monday, April 17th at 10a PST / 11a MST
  • Session 2: Monday, May 8th at 3p PST / 4p MST
  • Session 3: Wednesday, June 14th at 4p PST / 5p MST
  • Session 4: Wednesday, Aug 16th at 10a PST / 11a MST

To join one of the Online / Web Conference Calls for the Rapid Response & Seed Grant Application Q & A Session please RSVP HERE. After you RSVP, you’ll receive an email with the login/call in information.


Application Instructions

Make sure your application includes all of the following:

  1. 2017 Rapid Response Grant Application Cover Sheet 
  2. Full responses to Narrative questions
  3. Organizational Diversity Chart 
  4. Fiscal sponsor letter if you are fiscally sponsored

You may submit your application online, by email or postal mail.

  • Online: Applications may be submitted through Project Central, Social Justice Fund’s grants portal.  Please note you will need to create an account for your organization in order to submit your application.
  • Email: Include all attachments in a single email and address to grants@socialjusticefund.org.
  • Postal Mail:

Social Justice Fund NW – GRANT APPLICATION 1904 Third Ave Suite 806 Seattle, WA 98101

Please note that the final deadline for 2017 is October 20th at 11:59pm. After Oct 20th, the Rapid Response Grant fund will be closed until early 2018. Grants received by Oct 20th, 2017 will be reviewed on Oct 31st.  Applicants will be notified shortly after the review date.  If you have any questions, please call 206-624-4081 xt.113 to speak to Rebecca Allen, Project Manager.

Apply Now!