Coalitions & Alliances Grant Cycle 2018

 Application Instructions

Before beginning your application, please

Social Justice Fund NW (SJF) is a public membership foundation that supports organizations working for structural change, to improve the lives of people most affected by political, economic and social inequities.

Our new Coalition & Alliances grant is designed to fund coalition strategies that prioritize leadership and representation from grassroots community organizing groups that are led and directed by the people most impacted by the issues the coalition works on. Coalition work can look a variety of ways, including ongoing sustained coalition organizations with structured membership, shorter term tactical alliances, and other models. In your application we invite you to tell us the strategy behind your coalition efforts, and why it’s especially strategic in this current political moment to form this type of united front. We will only consider coalitions that have demonstrated leadership and accountability to the communities most directly impacted by the issues they work on, and whose work has a clear focus on making systemic change.

All of our grants are general operating funds; this is a one year grant of up to $20,000.
Proposals must be electronically submitted no later than 5:00pm on February 13th, 2018.  Social Justice Fund will not consider late applications. See timelines for each grant cycle in 2018 Grant Guidelines.
If you’re not sure whether your organization’s work qualifies, please contact Magan Do, Project Manager at or (206) 624-4081 x 107.

We will fund:

  • Established or emerging coalitions that operate as organizations in and of themselves
  • Coalitions and collaborative projects between distinct organizations that have a clear purpose and strategy but do not operate as an independent organization

We will not fund:

  • Coalitions primarily made up of “grasstop” organizations (i.e. organizations that do not have significant or meaningful leadership from the communities most directly impacted or from grassroots organizations led by and for those communities).
  • Coalitions and collaborations initiated or led by government entities (city, state, or county). However, we would consider coalitions initiated and led by the communities most impacted, but that have engagement, support, or partnership from government entities.

Special Instructions for the Coalition & Alliances Grant Application:
Coalitions may write and submit an application on their own, but all applications will be required to have a section of the application (Attachment B) completed by a Co-Applicant.  See below for more explanation. Please note that grant awards will be granted to the Coalition entity, not the Co-Applicant, unless the Co-Applicant is listed as the fiscal sponsor.

  • Your Coalition should be the primary entity submitting this application. The application should be submitted in the Coalition’s name.
    • If your coalition or alliance is not an independent organization but a project between groups, please submit the application under the name of the coalition project and select one of the partnering organizations to be the project’s fiscal sponsor.
    • If none of the partnering organizations are 501(c)3 organizations you can still apply, but you will need to contact Magan Do, Project Manager first to discuss your application before submitting.
    • If your coalition project does not have a name yet, please come up with one for the purpose of this grant application.
  • The “Co-Applicant” is a partner or member organization of the coalition that has a meaningful leadership role in the coalition. The “Co-Applicant” must meet SJF’s basic eligibility criteria (see below).
  • The “Co-Applicant” is responsible for completing Attachment B on the application. The attachment asks for the Co-Applicant’s contact info, includes narrative questions for the Co-Applicant to answer, and a Diversity Chart for the Co-Applicant).

SJF’s basic eligibility criteria (Co-Applicant must meet these criteria):

  • Be an organized group of people (we do not fund individuals).
    • If your organization is a nonprofit with 501(c)3 or 501(c)4 status as determined by the IRS, or be a federally recognized American Indian tribal government or agency OR is fiscally sponsored by 501(c)3 or 501(c)4 organizations or by federally recognized tribal governments, you can apply.
    • If your organization is not incorporated or fiscally sponsored, you can probably still apply, but you must speak with SJF program staff first.
  • Be 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 its work in Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, and/or Wyoming.
  • Satisfy evaluation requirements for all previous Social Justice Fund grants.
  • If you have not received a Social Justice Fund grant before, please fill out this brief pre-application questionnaire before you begin your application.

Make sure your application includes all of the following:

  1. 2018 Standard Grant Application Cover Sheet
  2. Narrative Questions
  3. Fiscal Status Letter for the Coalition (submit one of the following)
    1. IRS 501c3 or 501c4 letter, or Federally Recognized American Indian Tribal status letter
    2. Fiscal sponsorship letter
    3. Non-sponsored/Non 501c3 form (see Attachment A)
  4. Coalition Information:
    1. Diversity Chart for the coalition (See attached)
    2. Roster of all participating and/or member organizations in the coalition (submit with your own form)
  5. Attachment B: To be completed by the Co-Applicant. Attachment asks for Co-Applicant contact Information, narrative questions, & Diversity Chart (See Attachment B)
  6. Financial Information about the coalition: (Submit all of the following attachments as PDFs)
    1. Most recent completed (2017) Annual Statement of actual income and expenses
    2. Projected annual operating budget for the current year.*
    3. A Balance sheet. This is a snapshot of your financial status at the current moment: a brief, statement of your current assets, liabilities, and cash on hand. Upload in your own format.
  7. List of Funding Sources (See attached)
  8. Optional: Project budget. Only include if requesting project-specific funds.*

*NOTE: For budgets, you may use your own format OR you may use the attached template.

If your coalition does not have any of the above documents, please upload an explanation of why you do not have said document(s) and to the best of your ability explain the financial activities and position of the coalition in a narrative form

8. Year-End Report ONLY IF you have previously received a grant from Social Justice Fund and your year-end report is past due.

We strongly prefer that you submit your application using our ONLINE GRANT PORTAL. You may also submit your application by postal mail or email.

– Email: Include all attachments in a single email and address to

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

Either way, your application MUST be received by 5:00pm PST on Febraury 13th, 2018. If you have any questions, please call (206) 624-4081 x. 107 to speak to Magan Do, Project Manager or by email at

Please be prepared to provide the following information during the application process:
A brief description of your organization’s:

  • Mission, history, and major accomplishements
  • Leadership and community organizing strategies
  • Program/project description and workplan
  • Program/project budget
  • Collaborations
  • Work for racial justice

Note: Your entire application (narrative and all attachments) will be shared with all Giving Project members — volunteers from the community who will read and decide on the applications for this grant cycle. In addition, if SJF makes a grant to your organization, your narrative or portions thereof might be shared with the general public to illustrate the type of work we fund. If we share any portion of your narrative, we will always give credit to your organization.

Additionally, you will be asked to provide the following documents:
Financial Documents: 

  •  Annual Statement: This is the statement of actual income and expenses for the most recent completed fiscal year. Upload in your own format, but do not send your annual report, tax returns, or entire audited financial statement
  • Balance Sheet: This is a snapshot of your financial status at the moment: a brief, current statement of your assets, liabilities, and cash on hand. Upload in your own format.
  • Annual Operating Budget: This is a projection of all known and estimated income and expenses for the current fiscal year. You may upload in your own format or use our Budget template.
  • Project Budget: This is required only if you are requesting project-specific funds. Otherwise, it is optional. You may upload in your own format or use our Budget template.
  • NOTE: If submitting budgets in your own format, please include a breakdown of income which includes, at minimum, the following categories:
    • Membership income (if any)
    • Individual contributions (may include fundraising events; if so, please indicate)
    • Grants
List of Funding Sources (download Funding Sources template).

Include all funding sources, whether or not they will be directed to the work described in this proposal.

List a funding source as “pending” if you have submitted an application, but it has not been accepted or denied.

Do not neglect the final two columns of this form. Indicate whether or not the listed funding source will support general operating funds and/or the same work described in this proposal.

Organizational Diversity Chart

Please note: We ask that a Diversity Chart be submitted for your Coalition AND the Co-Applicant. The Diversity charts are different for each.

Download Coalition Diversity template

For Co-Applicant, download Attachment B (includes Co-Applicant Diversity Chart)

Please fill out this form to the best of your ability. Note that “Leadership Body” refers to the group of people who together make strategic decisions about the organization’s direction, provide oversight and guidance, and are ultimately responsible for the organization’s mission and ability to carry out its mission. In most cases, this will be a Board of Directors, but it might also be a steering committee, collective, or other leadership structure.

Do not neglect section 4 of this form, regarding the specific diversity category that are important to your organization. For example, if your organization works with day laborers, include day laborers as a diversity category. If refugees are an important part of your constituency, include refugees as a diversity category. Don’t just list the category; be sure to fill in the numbers for each.

If your Year-End Report (for any prior grant from Social Justice Fund) is past due, please complete it prior to submitting your proposal. You will not be considered for a new grant if you have not fulfilled all prior reporting requirements.  Sign in to SJF’s online grant application to complete your year end report.
Fiscal Letter

If you are a 501c3 or 501c4 organization, please submit your IRS status letter.

If you are using a fiscal sponsor, please provide a letter from the sponsor stating that it agrees to act as your fiscal sponsor and supports Social Justice Fund’s mission. Your fiscal sponsor does not need to submit any financial or other documents.

If you are an organization but not a 501c3 or 501c4 or fiscally sponsored, please speak with an SJF staff member before applying. Social Justice Fund NW is able to make a limited number of grants to organizations that do not have 501c3/501c4 status. However such grants are awarded via a slightly different process, which you must review with us before applying. When you apply, submit Attachment A with your application.

Grant Application Forms and Attachments