The City of San Diego offers several funding opportunities for nonprofit organizations each year through an annual process consisting of a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) and a competitive Request for Proposals (RFP). Please note funding cycles and requirements may vary by program. Stay updated on opportunities and deadlines by checking out each funding program’s website.
City Grants RFQ Requirements Checklist
The City offers funding opportunities through annual Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) processes, each consisting of two phases: Request for Qualifications (RFQ) and Request for Proposals (RFP). During the RFQ phase, organizations present their qualifications to the City to demonstrate their capacity to successfully implement City-funded projects and meet applicable requirements. Organizations qualified via the RFQ phase are then invited to participate in the RFP phase by submitting project proposals for funding consideration. The annual NOFA cycles typically begin in the late summer/early fall.
Checklist: What is Needed for Funding from the City
- A copy of the organization's Articles of Incorporation as filed with the Secretary of State. Organization must have existed for at least two years from the date of incorporation.
- Valid organization EIN number.
- Valid organization DUNS number registered with www.sam.gov (CDBG funding only).
- A copy of the organization’s Federal Tax Determination Letter: 501(c)(3) typically for CDBG funding; 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(6) for other funding.
- A copy of the organization’s State Tax Determination Letter or Franchise Tax Board-Entity Status Letter with Boxes 1 (The entity is in good standing with the Franchise Tax Board) and 3 (The entity is currently exempt from tax under Revenue and Taxation Code (R&TC) Section 23701d) checked.
- A copy of the organization’s Board-approved Financial Statements for the most recently completed fiscal year (Audited Financial Statements, and, if applicable, Single or Program-Specific Audit for CDBG) to meet program requirements.
- A "Cash Balance" amount reflected in the Financial Statements that meets applicable program requirements (e.g. CDBG requirement “Cash Balance” amount is at least $12,500-$25,000).
- A copy of the organization’s tax return for the most recently completed calendar year.
- Organization charts for the entire organization and for each division administering funded projects.
- Information on Board of Directors (name, position, term start/end dates, profession/affiliation).
- An organization mission statement (50 words maximum).
- A narrative on the organization’s experience and success in providing services to target populations and/or low- and moderate-income City of San Diego residents.
- A description of the target population(s) currently served by the organization.
- A copy of the organization’s Board-approved financial management policy and procedures.
- A copy of the organization’s Board-approved procurement policy and procedures.
- The organization is not on any state or federal debarment list.
** Note: The City of San Diego requires awarded organizations to have comprehensive insurance coverage during funding periods. Specific RFQ/RFP requirements may vary by funding program.
Nonprofit Capacity Building Programs
Not yet ready to apply for funding from the City? We welcome you to participate in the City’s free nonprofit capacity building programs. These educational programs are designed to bridge the gap for small and emerging organizations who are trying to take the next step in their organizational growth and are interested in partnering with the City in the future.
These programs are offered through a partnership between the City of San Diego and the University of San Diego.
The City of San Diego Nonprofit Academy Workshop Series
This nonprofit workshop series provides an opportunity to explore topics such as marketing, strategy, program design and how to start a nonprofit. These workshops are held in libraries throughout the city of San Diego. Interested individuals must register online to attend.
The City of San Diego Nonprofit Academy
The City of San Diego Nonprofit Academy is a two-day comprehensive training program designed to educate local nonprofit leaders in ways to maximize their operational efficiency, better compete for grant funding and potentially partner with the City of San Diego in its ongoing programming targeting residents and neighborhoods most in need.
All featured core courses and electives are taught by leading nonprofit management experts. All classes will be held at the School of Leadership and Education Sciences (SOLES) on the University of San Diego campus. Participants will receive educational materials. Organizations that complete all core courses will receive a certificate of completion.
The City of San Diego Nonprofit Accelerator
The Accelerator program is designed for small/emerging organizations who would like to apply for CDBG funding from the City of San Diego but do not meet the standard CDBG requirements. The 6-month certificate program helps small organizations to obtain a financial audit and provides training/consulting in areas such as governance, financial management, grant writing, program evaluation, and change management.
Organizations selected for the Accelerator will be provided:
- $50,000 to complete a public service project/program that serves a documented low- to moderate-income clientele in the city of San Diego.
- A 6-month accelerator training with the University of San Diego.
- Assistance with obtaining Audited Financial Statements.
Interested organizations should apply through the CDBG NOFA process under the Small/Emerging Organizations category.