Our Process

Grantmaking involves a rigorous process conducted by three member-driven teams:

  • D-I-G (Discovery, Inquiry & Guidelines) Team
    conducts community DSC_0046research to gain a broad understanding of the year’s funding priority and publishes grant guidelines for the nonprofit community to respond.
  • Implementation Team oversees letter of inquiry, proposal review, site visits, and balloting process.
  • Impact Team serves as the liaison to all Community Partners (grantees) to evaluate and track the effectiveness and success of our grants.

Grant Seekers

Each year SDWF releases Grant Guidelines (currently in the summer)  that address our funding priority. Grant Guidelines will provide more details and provide instructions on how to submit a Letter of Inquiry (LOI). Our LOI process is open to all who wish to apply and we offer a Grant Seekers’ Forum following the guideline release to allow an opportunity for organizations to hear from our members and ask questions.

SDWF will then request full proposals from organizations that we feel best fit our guidelines and funding requirements. Full proposals are usually due in December. Any organization that submitted an LOI will receive notification of acceptance or decline.

Next, SDWF will select several organizations for Site Visits. Site Visits are usually in March. Any organization that submitted a full proposal will receive notification of acceptance or decline.

Following Site Visits, SDWF members have an opportunity to vote for our final funding awards. All organizations that received a site visit will be notified in May of final acceptance or decline. All organizations receiving an award will be asked to attend our Annual Grants Celebration held each June.