Disaster Support Fund Rapid Response Grants Available for Local Nonprofits

We are seeking to partner with local 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations whose mission is to serve our most vulnerable populations with basic needs (food, shelter, transportation, etc.). Vulnerable populations include but are not limited to: homeless, food-insecure, low-income residents, and undocumented people. Grants are for general operating support to provide organizations with flexibility to best serve your constituents during the disaster. Support for these grants is provided through donations to the Foundation’s Disaster Support Fund.

The maximum grant amount is $20,000 with an average grant amount of $7,000. Award size is determined by the number of people served and the capacity of the nonprofit. Nonprofits are eligible to receive more than one grant from the Fund.

In order to be eligible for funding a nonprofit must have received a grant from the Foundation. If you are considering applying for funding and want to know if your organization has been a grant recipient, please contact Cassandra@cfsloco.org.

Applications for grants may be accessed through our online portal HERE.

Applying and Accessing Grants

  1. Prepare application documents in PDF format. (e.g., project budget, organizational financial documents, Board of Directors’ Roster, etc.)
  2. Access online grants application through the Online Grants Management Portal.

Contact Director of Grants & Programs Cassandra Wagner at Cassandra@cfsloco.org if you have any questions about eligibility, program fit, or the grantmaking program.

Online Application Instructions

To submit or access your organization’s online application, follow the instructions below.

  1. Create or Access Account: If you are new to our online grants system, you will need to create an account. Creating an account allows you to save your work and gives you access to your application during the application process. Please access the Online Grants Management Portal to access an existing account or create an account.
  2. Complete the Application: Insert or type required narrative and upload all the required attachments.
  3. Submission: Once all elements of the proposal are completed, submit the application using the Online Grants Management Portal.

Review the guidelines and all available grant opportunities by visiting the Online Grants Management Portal.

Apply for a Grant

The Community Foundation San Luis Obispo County grants program provides a diverse range of opportunities for nonprofit organizations that directly address community needs identified by local needs assessments. The annual grant calendar is released in the beginning of each calendar year and consists of all planned grant opportunities along with available deadlines and submission requirements.

The grant program consists of three regular grant cycles: Community Needs, Community Focus and Community Strength. Each of these focus on various program and interest areas.

Community Needs

The Community Needs Grant program brings multiple funds together to address the following program areas:

  • Arts & Culture
  • Environment
  • Human Services
  • Senior Dances
  • Seniors and People with Disabilities

Community Focus

The Community Focus Grant program works closely with Field of Interest and donor designated funds to address specific challenges. This grant provides funding in the following areas:

  • Growing Together: An LGBTQ Fund
  • Robert H. Janssen Youth & Youth Sports Fund
  • Opportunity to Thrive
  • Women’s Legacy Fund

Community Strength

Community Strength Grants program focuses on empowering and strengthening individuals to overcome obstacles while embarking on the road to self-sufficiency.

  • Health
  • Youth Health & Wellness


The goal of the BUILD (Building Unity, Infrastructure, Leadership and Development) Grant program is to provide capacity building funding for agencies with an annual operating budget of less than $500,000. The Foundation aims to strengthen nonprofit organizations with smaller operating budgets by supporting their efforts in increasing capacity and improving infrastructure. Currently the BUILD Grant program is offered twice per year, in the spring and fall. BUILD Grants are available for general operating purposes as well as planned projects in the following areas:

  • Capacity building
  • Staff or board training and development
  • Communications or donor development efforts
  • Capital equipment improvement (hardware, software, furniture, etc.)

Spring 2020 Grant Recipients

BUILD Grants: $20,000 Awarded

San Luis Obispo Legal Assistance FoundationTo support the development and availability of free legal-aid services.$5,000
Transitional Food and ShelterTo support the medically fragile homeless with housing and supportive services.$5,000
Slow Money SLOTo support the growth of local small food and farm businesses that boost health and economy.$5,000
The Five Cities Diversity CoalitionTo support programs and resources that promote and advocate for inclusion and diversity.$5,000

Robert H. Janssen Youth & Youth Sports Fund: $73,800 Awarded

Affordable Housing Paso RoblesTo support youth camps aimed at breaking cycles of domestic violence and sexual abuse.$3,000
Atascadero Education FoundationTo support the spread of STEM education through The Greybots robotics team.$2,000
Big Brothers Big Sisters of San Luis Obispo CountyTo support mental and physical health through mentoring relationships.$1,000
Central Coast Autism Spectrum CenterTo support the quality of life for individuals with autism spectrum disorders through youth camps.$5,000
City Farm SLOTo support educational experiences centered in sustainable crop production and urban farm life.$5,000
Community Foundation of Estero BayTo support local family’s ability to participate in recreational programs.$5,000
Cuesta College FoundationTo support the cultivation of interest in post-secondary education through summer camps for kids.$5,000
Food Bank Coalition of San Luis Obispo CountyTo support Children’s Farmers Markets which empower children to take ownership of their eating habits and contribute to their families’ food resources.$5,000
Foundation for the Performing Arts CenterTo support the experience of performing arts opportunities for K-12 students.$5,000
Jack’s Helping HandTo support youth camps benefiting children with special needs and cancer.$5,000
North County Adaptive Sports and Recreation ProgramTo support weekly one- on- one supervised adaptive sports for individuals with developmental disabilities at no cost.$3,800
One Cool EarthTo support programs associated with the creation of school gardens for youth.$5,000
RISE San Luis Obispo CountyTo support youth camps aimed at breaking cycles of domestic violence and sexual abuse.$3,000
San Luis Obispo Repertory TheatreTo support high-quality theatre and arts education training and performance opportunities.$5,000
San Luis Obispo Wind OrchestraTo support musical education experiences for children.$5,000
SLO Youth BaseballTo support the development and appreciation of baseball in a positive team-oriented group.$5,000
SLO County YMCATo support financial assistance for kids to play sports and to replace old basketball equipment.$5,000


Connect With Us
Cassandra Wagner Director of Grants & Programs 805-543-2323