Frequently Asked Questions

If my organization has never been funded by PDF, what kind of grants can we apply for?

First-time applicants may submit applications for the Community Organizing Grants docket.

Can an organization receive more than one grant from PDF in the same year?

Yes. An organization may receive grants from more than one of PDF’s funding programs. For example an organization may receive a Community Organizing Grant and a Donor Advised Grant from PDF in the same year.

Does PDF offer fiscal sponsorship?

Yes. Click here to read more about PDF’s Fiscal Sponsorship program.

What if I am already fiscally sponsored?

PDF will fund groups sponsored by 501(c)(3) organizations or by federally recognized tribal governments. This means that another tax-exempt organization is willing to sign the grant contract and receive any funds that the applicant is awarded. In practice, PDF would legally make a grant to the fiscal sponsor for the organization that it is sponsoring and write the check to the fiscal sponsor. The fiscal sponsor would then provide the funds to the sponsored organization in accordance with the agreement between the two organizations.

If my organization is fiscally sponsored by a larger organization, who should apply?

Your organization should apply. Information will be requested on the fiscal sponsor as well as the organization making the application. If the grant agreement and check needs to go through the fiscal sponsor, legally PDF will grant to the fiscal sponsor for the organization making the request.

If several organizations are collaborating on a project, who is the applicant?

When groups work together in a coalition, it is the coalition that should apply. One member of the coalition may be listed as the fiscal sponsor. The answers to the application questions should reflect the position of the coalition as a whole, although reference may be made to individual members.

Can we apply if we are not tax exempt?

Yes, PDF is able to make grants to non 501(c)(3) organizations that carry out charitable and educational work that further the mission and goals of PDF.

If my application is denied, when can I submit a new one?

If a proposal is denied, a group may submit a new application for consideration in the next fiscal year (July–June). Applicants are encouraged to contact the PDF program staff and discuss the reasons why a grant was declined before submitting a new proposal.

Who decides which groups receive funding?

The Board of Directors make all grant allocations for PDF. Board members read proposals and review references that are provided. The board then discusses each proposal and votes on funding.

Who serves on the Board of Directors?

PDF Board members represent the diversity of the communities that we support. Our Board members are social justice activists with deep familiarity with community organizing.

Why does PDF have a word/page limit for the application?

PDF receives hundreds of proposals a year for funding and each proposal is read by one or more staff or Board members. Limiting the size of the applications allow PDF to provide due consideration for each potential grantee.

If my proposal is incomplete, what will happen?

PDF will try to notify you in a timely way so that you can send in the missing information. If the missing information is not received by the deadline date, your application may not be considered for funding.

Can we apply for funding if we have an outstanding report due to PDF?


Who should I call if I have questions?

For more specific information about our Grantmaking Programs, please call 415-642-0900. You may also e-mail us questions.