The Oakland CARES Nonprofit Grant Fund (CARES Oakland) supports Oakland-based nonprofits that have suffered negative economic impacts due to COVID-19. Eligible organizations can apply to receive unrestricted grants of up to $25,000. Due to limited funds, not all applications submitted will receive funding. See below for eligibility requirements.

Funded by the Federal CARES Act, Community Vision administers this fund on behalf of the City of Oakland.

For questions about the Oakland CARES Grant Program, please email oaklandcares@communityvisionca.org

For materials in Spanish: Si desea información sobre el programa Oakland CARES en español, oprima aquí.    

HOW TO APPLY FOR A GRANT

Grant Application Process

STEP 1: IS YOUR NONPROFIT ELIGIBLE? 

To be eligible, your nonprofit must:

  1. Provide proof of 501(c)3 status or fiscal sponsorship agreement.
  2. Have a total annual budget and annual actual expenses of less than $1 million for the applicant’s current and previous fiscal year. If your organization is fiscally sponsored, this limit is related to your organization’s expenses, not the total expenses of the fiscal sponsor.
  3. Currently provide programs and services that address the impact of COVID-19 and the needs of low-income residents and businesses in Oakland.
  4. Currently provide services to disinvested populations in Oakland (including, but not limited to: Black; immigrant; aged; children; homeless; low and very low-income) in the following areas: Health & Human Services; Economic & Workforce Development; Legal Support; Food Security; Homeless and renter support services; and Education. Applicants will be required to provide a brief narrative overview of their services. Arts nonprofits are not eligible for this program, but are encouraged to apply to the Oakland CARES Reimbursement Fund for Artists and Arts Nonprofits.
  5. Be located in Oakland, and have been in business in Oakland for at least three years, with appropriate documentation of this fact by providing:
    1. Documented proof your nonprofit is based in Oakland. For example: a City of Oakland business license, a current lease agreement, a current bill mailed to the organizational name and address, or other legitimate documentation.
  6. Identify programmatic need or loss of organization income due to COVID-19 business interruption such as:
    1. Lack of program funding, contract funding, or grant agreements that were impacted because of the applicant’s inability to deliver services;
    2. Reduction in payroll, jobs, furloughs, or other significant costs;
    3. Programs that had to be suspended due to COVID-19.

Nonprofits who received more than $20,000 in funding from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) are not eligible for funding from the Oakland CARES Nonprofit Grant Fund.

Additional eligibility criteria – not required, but preference will be given to:

  1. Nonprofit organizations located in, and serving, census tracts deemed eligible for the Federal Opportunity Zone Program (see mapping tool at this link).
  2. Nonprofit organizations that can demonstrate deep community roots and are a trusted community partner. This means that your nonprofit holds confidence within the community you are serving and that you have based your work on the stated needs/wants of the community.

Grants may be used to pay “necessary” expenses, including:

  1. Expenses that the grantee is unable to afford due to lost income due to the COVID-19 economic shutdown. This includes expenses like overdue rent or mortgage payments that create a risk of eviction or foreclosure; overdue utility payments that threaten service disruption; accounts payable; and payment of other expenses that help to keep the organization in the City of Oakland.
  2. Expenses related directly to COVID-19. This includes expenses like providing programming that is a direct response to COVID-19 such as emergency food, housing, health or other services; and/or purchase of technology, or other goods or services to shift business practices due to COVID-19.

Ineligible use of funds include payment for lobbying; legal settlements; severance pay; purchasing property; providing bonuses; taxes (unless nonpayment would cause eviction or foreclosure); or improving grantee’s property.

STEP 2: GATHER NECESSARY DOCUMENTS. AS PART OF THE APPLICATION PROCESS, YOU WILL BE REQUIRED TO UPLOAD THE FOLLOWING: 

  • The last three years of your organization’s 990 tax forms
  • Most recently audited financial statements or, if audited financial statements are not available, unaudited financials for your most recently completed fiscal year.
  • If you received a management letter with your most recent audit, please provide the letter. A management letter is not required.
  • Your organization’s most recent year-to-date unaudited/internal financial statements (i.e. income statement and balance sheet)
  • Documented proof your nonprofit is based in Oakland. For example: a City of Oakland business license, a current lease agreement, a current bill mailed to the organizational name and address, or other legitimate documentation.
  • A copy of your organization’s IRS Determination Letter confirming your 501(c)(3) status or a fiscal sponsorship agreement
  • A copy of your organization’s current budget

STEP 3: READ THE FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS.  

STEP 4: COMPLETE THE APPLICATION. NOTE THAT ONLY COMPLETED APPLICATIONS WILL BE ELIGIBLE FOR FUNDING. 

Applications are due by 5 pm on Wednesday, October 28, 2020. If you have any questions or need support filling out this application in English or Spanish, please email oaklandcares@communityvisionca.org or schedule a free consultation with one of our consultants below.

APPLICATION RESOURCES

Application Consultation Calls

We’re here to answer your questions and help you fill out the Oakland CARES Nonprofit Grant Fund application. Schedule an appoint in English or Spanish below.

English

Español

Application Information Webinars

Please join us to learn more about the Oakland CARES program and how to apply.

English
Wednesday, September 30, 2020
11 am – 12 pm
This webinar has passed. You can access a recording of the webinar at this link.  

Español
Miércoles, 30 de septiembre de 2020
1 pm – 2 pm
El seminario web ha terminado. Puede mirar la grabación del seminario en este enlace.

FREE RAPID RESPONSE TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE

These offerings are available to all Oakland and Bay Area nonprofits.

Schedule Time with a Real Estate & Management Consultant 

Schedule a free 45 minute phone call with one of our expert consultants. We offer you space to share your concerns and will provide strategic thought partnership, expertise, and resources to support you and your community in navigating this challenging time. Come ready to share your financial or real estate hot spots and leave with actionable ways to address them. If you need more than 45 minutes, we can discuss how to provide that for you through third-party funded consulting services. We encourage board members and staff leadership to participate on these calls when possible.