Guidelines & Eligibility

  • Grants are open to 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations (including universities, colleges, and charter and private schools), public K-12 schools, and public agencies serving residents of Monterey, Santa Cruz, or San Benito Counties.
  • All requested funds must directly benefit residents of Monterey, Santa Cruz, or San Benito Counties.
  • All applicants should be current on reporting obligations for any past grants.
  • Only one grant per applicant will be considered annually, while exceptions are considered in response to an emergency or for a one-time significant, community-wide benefit.

We ask that grant applications be submitted by the following dates:

Summer Cycle:
– April 1 for July review
Deadlines and review dates remain same in future years

Fall Cycle
– 2020-21: August 1, 2020 for November 2020 review
Deadlines and review dates remain same in future years

Winter Cycle
– December 1 for March review
Deadlines and review dates remain same in future years

Only completed applications from eligible organizations will be considered for funding during their specific home cycle timeline. Applicants that miss reporting and application deadlines will be asked to wait a year before applying. Strict adherence to these deadlines is critical to ensure the agency can apply for support annually.

Applicants should make every effort to ensure their application includes all financial, budget, and other attachments required in our online application process. If an application is received incomplete it may be denied.

All applicants must select a Home Cycle. Home Cycles are a strategic choice made by the agency applying. The most strategic timeline for your application may not fall within the next cycle.

We do not allow agencies to switch cycles once they have made their strategic choice. If there are issues with the cycle choice, please contact contact Hana Kong at hk@mpfca.org or 831-649-1533.

Learn More about the Timeframe for Applying

Grant funds will not be considered for the following:

  • Activities that solely promote a religious doctrine
  • Academic research
  • Creation of, or addition to, an endowment fund
  • Expenses incurred before the grant award date
  • Fundraising campaigns or events
  • Organizations classified as private foundations
  • Organizations that discriminate in its employment practices, volunteer opportunities or delivery of programs and services on the basis of race, religion, gender, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, marital status, sexual orientation, or any other characteristics protected by law
  • Organizations that do not have 100% board financial giving (except for public K-12 schools and public agencies)
  • Organizations that have been in operation less than three years
  • Payment of debt or legal settlements
  • Political or partisan purposes
  • Staff salaries for school or public agency employees

The following guidelines (updated June 2018) explain our current requirements.

  • Organizations requesting more than $25,000 are required to submit a financial review completed by a third party for the most recently completed fiscal year. However, a full audit is encouraged.
    • Financial Compilations do not meet this requirement
  • Organizations requesting more than $75,000 are required to submit a full financial audit.
  • Groups that are covered under a Group Ruling MUST submit a letter of good standing from the parent organization that covers the year of application. If you have questions, contact Mary Gunn at mg@mpfca.org or 831.649.1533, before applying.
  • Groups or programs under a fiscal agent should contact Mary Gunn at mg@mpfca.org or 831.649.1533, before applying.
  • Government or other public agencies are recommended to contact Mary Gunn at mg@mpfca.org or 831.649.1533, before applying.
  • Requests for technology will be considered with preference given to requests containing: a plan to sustain upgrades/maintenance from a variety of strong funding sources.
  • Requests for scholarships are considered by invitation only.
  • Exceptions may be made to the above exclusions in response to an emergency, or for a one-time significant, community-wide benefit.

Organizations should be aware that there are many components of determining grant size. If your organization has been historically limited by an audit requirement, please contact Mary Gunn, Director of Philanthropy at mg@mpfca.org or 831.649.1533 to discuss the size of your next request. Please note that this change does not imply that funding will increase.

We believe that ongoing support is a critical element of community grantmaking. At the same time, expectations of similar funding each year can create dependency and limit the development of diverse funding streams. We may begin to ask organizations that have received more than five years of consistent support to take a break from funding for a one year period. Whenever possible, the break will take place after a multi-year award, providing advance notice for planning and to generate other support. We hope that this tool will help build resiliency and strength for our nonprofit partners.

The following guidelines (updated June 2018) explain additional requirements for Public Schools (K-12), Private Schools, School Districts, Charter Schools, Public/Private Universities, Community Colleges, and other education institutions:

  • Individual public K-12 schools are limited to requesting no more than $30,000 per year. Only public K-12 schools may use the Public K-12 School grant application. Use of incorrect application may result in the delay of review. See guidelines for school districts, charter schools, and private schools below.
  • School districts are limited to requesting no more than $400,000 per year for projects critical to a district-wide strategy. Monterey Peninsula Foundation may ask the district to take a year or two off from application after a significant grant has been committed. School districts must apply using the general grant application, and are subject to the same requirements as nonprofit organizations.
  • Charter schools, private schools, public/private universities, community colleges, and other education institutions must have 501(c)(3) nonprofit status and apply using the general grant application, and are subject to the same requirements as nonprofit organizations. The Foundation request, that prior to applying, charter schools reach out to Hana Kong, Program Officer, at hk@mpfca.org or 831.649.1533.
  • Requests for technology will be considered with preference given to requests containing: a plan to sustain upgrades/maintenance from a variety of strong funding sources.
  • Requests for scholarships are considered by invitation only.

For questions about eligibility, please contact Hana Kong, Program Officer, at hk@mpfca.org or 831.649.1533.

For high schools or 501(c)(3) nonprofit groups (i.e. PTA, Booster Club) requesting funds for sober grad events, a grant application is no longer required – visit Sponsorships for details.

In general, grants are awarded for a one-year period. Grantees were recently provided 10 months to spend funds and submit a grant report, to help them stay on the same funding schedule each year.

Multi-year support is considered on a case-by-case basis. We consider a variety of factors to determine the term of the award, including good standing with recent grants awarded, reducing burden, organizational capacity, and more. Public K-12 schools are not eligible for multi-year support.

Check your award letter for specific information on the term of the grant.  Grant terms are calculated based on reporting deadlines.

For questions about multi-year support, please contact Hana Kong at hk@mpfca.org or 831-649-1533.

Impact of New Application Timelines on Duration of Grants

To make deadlines for requirements more clear, each Home Cycle has a consistent reporting deadline each year. Summer Cycle – March 1; Fall Cycle, July 1; and Winter Cycle – November 1. Grant terms are calculated based on reporting deadlines. Please plan accordingly.

Note that your application MUST fall within the Home Cycle you have elected. Home Cycles are a strategic choice made by the agency applying. We do not allow agencies to switch cycles once they have made their strategic choice.

Please contact Hana Kong at hk@mpfca.org if there is a problem with the current cycle or reporting deadlines.

Learn More about the Timeframe for Applying

Need Assistance?

Application Process

For questions about the Online Portal or the application process, contact:

Breanna Wilson
Program Associate at
bw@mpfca.org or 831.649.1533.

Eligibility

For guidance on whether a request would be eligible for support, contact:

Hana Kong
Program Officer at
hk@mpfca.org or 831.649.1533.

Community Initiatives

For questions regarding giving strategies or community initiatives, contact:

Mary Gunn
Director of Philanthropy at
mg@mpfca.org or 831.649.1533.