$850,000 in CARES Act Funds Available to Support Oakland-based Nonprofits
Oakland, CA – The City of Oakland received $36.9 million in State of California CARES Act funding. Of that, approximately $850,000 will go to grants to support Oakland-based nonprofit organizations that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The grant program will support about 34 nonprofits with grants of $20,000 to $25,000 each. The grants are available to Oakland nonprofits with an annual budget of less than $1 million that are currently providing programs and services that address the impact of COVID-19 and the needs of low-income residents and businesses in the following areas: Health & Human Services; Economic & Workforce Development; Legal Support; Food Security; Homeless and Renter Support Services; and Education. The application period opened today (Wednesday, September 23) at 9 a.m., and closes at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, October 14, 2020. Online applications are available at: communityvisionca.org/oaklandcares
“These grants are a step in preserving Oakland’s nonprofit ecosystem that helps feed, clothe, shelter and counsel our most vulnerable residents,” said Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf. “While the needs of our community have increased during the pandemic, many of these nonprofits have seen their funding dry up, putting both the organizations and those they serve at greater risk.”
The following general eligibility criteria will be used:
- Nonprofits must provide proof of 501(c)3 status or fiscal sponsorship agreement.
- Nonprofits must have a total annual budget and actual expenses of less than $1 million for the applicant’s current and previous fiscal year. If an organization is fiscally sponsored, this limit is related to the organization’s expenses, not the total expenses of the fiscal sponsor.
- Nonprofits must be located in Oakland and be currently providing programs and services that address the impact of COVID-19 and the needs of low-income residents and businesses in Oakland.
- Nonprofits must currently provide services to disinvested populations (including 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. (Nonprofits in the arts community should apply for grants through the previously announced arts nonprofit grant program.)
- Nonprofits must have been in business in Oakland for at least three years, with appropriate documentation of this fact (such as 990s, audited financial statement, or business license, etc.).
- Applicants will be required to identify the programmatic need or loss of organization income due to COVID-19 business interruption such as:
- Lack of program funding, contract funding, or grant agreements that were impacted because of the applicant’s inability to deliver services
- Reduction in payroll, jobs, furloughs, or other significant costs
- Programs that had to be suspended due to COVID-19
- Preference will be given to nonprofit organizations located in, and serving census tracts deemed eligible for the federal Opportunity Zone program.
- Preference will be given to nonprofit organizations that can demonstrate deep community roots, trust in the community, and those who base their work on the stated needs/wants of the community they serve.
The grants will help preserve nonprofit services to some of Oakland’s most disinvested populations and help prevent nonprofit displacement. Distribution of the CARES Act grants for Oakland nonprofits is through a partnership between the Economic & Workforce Development Department and Community Vision. Community Vision, formerly the Northern California Community Loan Fund, is a trusted intermediary that will administer the fund.
“COVID-19 has further emphasized the vast inequities present in our society and the reality that our economic system does not prioritize communities of color and low-income communities,” said Catherine Howard, Community Vision’s senior vice president of programs. “We’re pleased to partner with the City of Oakland to provide support to nonprofits working to meet the most vital needs across the city.”
To assist applicants, helpful FAQs have been posted at: communityvisionca.org/oaklandcares/FAQ. Webinars for nonprofits interested in applying for a grant will be hosted on: Wednesday, September 30, in both English (at 11 a.m.) and Spanish (at 1 p.m.). Interested applicants can also schedule consultation calls with Community Vision staff by visiting communityvisionca.org/oaklandcares. Materials will be available in Spanish at communityvisionca.org/oaklandcares/spanish.
In addition to administering the grant program, Community Vision will host virtual technical assistance workshops and one-on-one counseling. The schedule will be announced shortly at communityvisionca.org/oaklandcares
This is the latest CARES Act-funded grant program launched by the City of Oakland. Grant programs for small businesses, individual artists and arts nonprofits, and low-income renters and homeowners as well as an RFQ to fund support for low- and moderate-income renters and homeowners were announced earlier this month. Learn more about the $36.9 million in CARES Act Funding at: oaklandca.gov/topics/coronavirus-aid-relief-and-economic-security-cares-act-funding