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Capacity Building Program

   UPDATE: Due to the re-appropriation of Capacity Building Program funds in the City of San Diego FY2021 Adopted Budget, no funds are currently available for the administration of this grant program.

Program Summary

The City periodically receives requests from neighborhood-based nonprofit organizations in need of funding to support their mission. The City values the vital role these organizations play in furthering the City’s economic and workforce development objectives.

In order to assist these organizations and anticipate annual funding challenges, the City’s Economic Development Department has created the Capacity Building Program for the specific purpose of providing available funding for nonprofit organizations that 1) operate within, and/or 2) serve the economic development, community development or employment needs of residents within the former San Diego Regional Enterprise Zone (SDREZ).

General Provisions


CONTRACT DURATION:  Twelve (12) months

AVAILABLE FUNDING: Maximum $20,000 (per qualifying organization)


  • Funds will not be available for disbursement until 1) a final agreement is fully executed; and 2) all necessary internal accounting protocols have been established.
  • Contract awardees are not eligible to receive grant funding from other City source(s) during the Capacity Building Program contract period. However, contract awardees will not be precluded from applying for other discretionary City fund source(s) during Capacity Building Program contract period.
  • Awarded funds must be fully expended within 12 months from the date the contract is fully executed.
  • Any allocated budget funds remaining after the contract period has expired will be recaptured and returned to the Capacity Building Program fund pool.
  • Requests from Capacity Building Program participants to receive reimbursement for contractual activities and/or services associated with other discretionary City fund source(s) are prohibited within the Capacity Building contract award period.
  • Fund recipients have the opportunity to reapply for program funding after five (5) years from the date the Capacity Building contract is executed, unless the Capacity Building Program funding has been expended.

Selection Process - APPLICATION

  • Capacity Building Program applications may be submitted any time (See application).
  • Applications will be evaluated for consistency with preceding Capacity Building Program General Requirements.
  • CITY OF SAN DIEGO ADOPTED PDF icon FY2017-2019 ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY (EDS):  A vital component of the selection process will require applicants to identify how their proposed program(s) or service(s) will further goals of the City’s EDS. In particular, the City will ask each applicant organization to demonstrate how its specific proposal (scope of services and programs) will address, impact and/or comply with the following sections of the EDS:     

                             Section 2-1   Strategic Objectives

                             Section 2-2   Economic Performance Indicators

                             Section 2-9   Workforce Development and Education

Read the PDF icon City of San Diego Economic Development Strategy FY2017-2019                                                

Organizations will receive email notifications from the Econonic Development Department staff within within three (3) business days of the Capacity Building Program applications' reception. Organizations will be notified via email about the status of their applications within two (2) weeks of the City's reception of the completed application.  

Contracting Process

Approved applications will be routed to assigned Economic Development Department staff for contract processing. The City’s contractual process is required in order to make funding available for reimbursement of programs and services provided per the agreed upon scope of services and budget (contract).

All contracts will be required to provide the following information:

  • Scope of work, programs and/or services to be provided (See application).
  • Proposed budget to complete scope of work, programs and/or services (See application).
  • Proposed schedule for completing scope of work, programs and/or services (See application).
  • Process and documentation to request fund reimbursement (See application).
  • Supplemental documents and disclosures as may be required by the City’s standard nonprofit contracting provisions.

Contracting Timeframe

Depending on the proposed scope of programs/services/activities to be provided per the agreement and the timely receipt of all required supporting documents and forms to be provided by the contract awardee, it will take approximately 8-12 weeks to execute a final agreement.

City of San Diego Nonprofit Academy

Organizations that have been selected to participate in the Capacity Building Program will be required to attend the City of San Diego Nonprofit Academy, a two-day workshop designed to prove the organizational capacity and management of local nonprofits. Applicants can participate in The Nonprofit Academy prior to or within six (6) months following contract execution. All requests for contract reimbursement will be withheld until a designated representative of the organization attends the academy.

For Additional Information

Contact Kevin Sullivan at ksullivan@sandiego.gov or 619-533-5954.