How do I know if my nonprofit is eligible, and if my application is declined or approved?

After you submit your application, your organization’s initial eligibility will be determined based on the criteria for eligibility provided. To review the eligibility criteria, please visit this link. Eligibility will be determined in section 1 of the application. Nonprofit organizations who do not confirm their eligibility will not be able to complete and submit a full application. If you have any questions, email

When is the application deadline?

The application deadline has been extended and is now 5 pm on Wednesday, October 28, 2020.

What is ACH and what is it used for?

ACH (Automated Clearing House) is a way to move money between banks without using paper checks, wire transfers, credit card networks, or cash. If your grant is approved and funded, we will transfer the money to you via ACH to the account you designate on the Application.

Why do I need to provide proof of my nonprofit’s 501(c)3 status or fiscal sponsorship agreement?

Oakland CARES Nonprofit Grants are supported by the City of Oakland through Federal CARES Act funding. The funding sources require proof of nonprofit status for all grantees.

What documents will I need to upload for the application?

The following documents are required unless otherwise stated. If you are eligible to proceed, you will submit a copy of these documents at the end of this application. If you have questions or need assistance with collecting these documents, please reach out for technical assistance prior to submission.

  • 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

My organization has an annual budget over $1 million. Are we eligible for a grant?

No. The Oakland CARES Grant Fund provides support to organizations with annual budgets and expenses under $1 million. You will be required to upload your 990 tax forms from the organization’s last two fiscal years, as well as a current fiscal year budget to document budget size.

Our nonprofit provides many different types of services. What kind of services make us eligible to apply for this grant?

Your organization needs to currently provide services to vulnerable populations (including Black; immigrant; aged; children; homeless; or low and very low-income) in the following areas:

  • Health & Human Services;
  • Economic & Workforce Development;
  • Legal support;
  • Food security;
  • Homeless and renter support services; or
  • Education.

Nonprofit organizations whose primary activities are related to creating, showing, performing or disseminating art are not eligible for this program, but are encouraged to apply to the Oakland CARES Reimbursement Fund for Artists and Arts Nonprofits. Nonprofit organizations that use art as a medium for other activities, such as youth development, are eligible for the Oakland CARES Nonprofit Grant Program.

How do I know if we are located in, and serving communities in the Federal Opportunity Zone Program?

The Novogradac Opportunity Zone Map provides an easy map look up tool for Federal Opportunity Zones. Go to this link and enter your organization’s address to determine if your organization is located in a designated Federal Opportunity Zone.

What does it mean to have deep community roots?

Deep community roots means you are a trusted community partner that holds confidence within the community you are serving and that you have based your work on the stated needs/wants of the community you serve.

Some examples include if your nonprofit…:

  • Is embedded in the community it serves;
  • Established and participates in inclusive partnerships in the community;
  • Understands the experiences and needs of the individuals and communities it serves;
  • Demonstrates that their understanding of community needs is inclusive, and centers recent feedback on community needs;
  • Connects with and commands the trust of community members; and
  • Demonstrates community partnerships that are trusted and hold confidence within the community.

How long will it take to get approved for this Grant?

Grant awards will be announced by late November 2020. Only completed applications that meet the grant’s eligibility requirements will be considered for funding.

My nonprofit just opened. Is my organization eligible for a grant?

No. Organizations must have been in business in Oakland for at least three years to be eligible to apply for grant funding. All Oakland nonprofit organizations are eligible for technical assistance.

At the end of the application I am asked to certify several items about my organization. Why do I need to certify all of these? What if I cannot certify all of these?

Answering this certification question ensures compliance with guidelines regarding federal funding. If you cannot certify you have all of these, please contact us at and we would be glad to assist you.

What if I already applied for Federal assistance including SBA Economic Injury and Disaster Loans (EIDL) or Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)? Can I still apply?

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.

My nonprofit does not have an address in Oakland, but works in Oakland. Am I eligible to apply?

No. Only nonprofit organizations that have been located in Oakland for the last three years are eligible for grant funds. Your organization is, however, eligible for free technical assistance.

If I have questions after reading this FAQ, who do I send my questions to?

If you have additional questions, please email or schedule a support call with one of our consultants at this link.

I’m having technical difficulties with the online application. Who do I contact?

Please email

Is information about the Oakland CARES program available in Spanish?

Yes, visit this link to view information about the program in Spanish. Spanish speakers seeking assistance in completing an application can schedule a support call at this link.

I’m interested in learning more about Community Vision and how you may be able to help my organization. Who can I contact to learn more?

Email us at and someone will get in touch with you.