SFF COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund

The San Francisco Foundation

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Grant amount: US $5,000 - US $10,000

Deadline: Rolling

Applicant type: Nonprofit

Funding uses: Project / Program

Location of project: Counties in California: Alameda County, Contra Costa County, Marin County, San Francisco County, San Mateo County

Location of residency: Counties in California: Alameda County, Contra Costa County, Marin County, San Francisco County, San Mateo County

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About this funder:



Note: Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. All applicants must submit SFF COVID-19 Emergency Fund applications through our Fluxx system. Please note that you will be asked to identify if your application is for COVID-19-related work.

SFF COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund

The number of people affected by the COVID-19 virus in the Bay Area continues to grow, and many of us are grappling with sudden changes to our everyday lives. For some, the effects are particularly dire. There is a tremendous amount of need in our region—and we are especially concerned about the most vulnerable people in the community such as seniors, people with compromised immune systems, low-wage workers, and undocumented people, to name just a few. We understand this is a dynamic and changing situation; the following highlights our best thinking to date on how we as a community foundation can support impacted communities.

How We Will Help

Direct Funding for Nonprofits from SFF:

Through the SFF COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund, SFF will make a limited number of one-time grants ($5,000 – $25,000) to nonprofits addressing the following four issue areas, described in greater detail below: racial bias, worker protection, homelessness and renter protection/housing security, and food security. If approved, grants will be processed within 10-15 days of application receipt. We also acknowledge that the needs of low-income communities, particularly the impacts for communities of color, related to COVID-19 will continue to evolve and grow over time. As a result, we anticipate having multiple waves of funding over the next several months to meet these needs. For more details on funding priorities and how to apply, see the bottom of this post.

If you are interested in contributing funds to SFF’s COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund, please click here.

Region-wide Grantmaking:

We are partnering with the Silicon Valley Community Foundation to point donors to the SVCF COVID-19 Coronavirus Regional Response Fund, which will support key organizations serving each of the ten Bay Area counties and assisting with their immediate efforts to address challenges related to COVID-19 in their respective counties. 


In addition to our funding, as a community foundation, we are positioned to weigh in on key policy issues and we see this as one of the most important tools we can use to advance racial equity and economic inclusion in the Bay Area. This is particularly true in light of COVID-19. As a first step, based on what we’re hearing from the community, a group of SFF staff will develop a set of policy priorities focused on eviction prevention as a result of COVID-19. SFF staff will advocate for these priorities with various levels of government.

More details on the SFF COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund:

There are multiple efforts to support organizations and communities responding to the impact of COVID-19. Please email programs[at]sff.org with any questions about other resources. The following areas were selected based on feedback we’ve received from community partners and alignment with SFF funding priorities:

Worker supports

Low-wage workers, particularly people of color, will be among the communities that feel the economic impact of COVID-19 the most. The food, travel, leisure, and hospitality industries are already being hit hard, and workers in these industries often have low pay and minimal access to paid sick leave. Reduced work hours and sudden layoffs will have a dramatic impact on their lives and their families’ well-being. As schools close, workers whose jobs are not directly impacted may have to choose between caring for their children and earning a paycheck. Many domestic workers and janitors are receiving inadequate training and safety equipment to protect themselves from health risks. SFF welcomes proposals from organizations supporting efforts to protect and support vulnerable workers in the workplace and with their families during this time.

Homelessness and Renter protections:

Those who are homeless are particularly vulnerable right now, and our fund will help support them. For people who are housed but living month to month, lost wages will make it difficult to pay rent. This is particularly true in the Bay Area, where over 50% of households are rent burdened (meaning they pay over 30% of their income on housing). SFF welcomes proposals from organizations working to protect whose who are vulnerable during this time.

Food security:

The Bay Area remains a difficult place for many families to make ends meet. COVID-19 presents an especially dire threat to already food insecure families who now face an uncertain economic future. Extended school closures also mean that more than 237,000 families currently receiving free- and reduced-lunch (and breakfast) will no longer have access to these meals. SFF welcomes proposals from organizations supporting efforts to increase families’ access to food during this time.

Addressing racial bias:

As swiftly as the virus has spread around the globe since its initial detection in China, it has also stirred up long-held biases about people, especially those of Asian descent. Here in the US, Asian Americans (particularly people of Chinese descent) are experiencing a rise in harassment and even violent hate crimes. SFF welcomes proposals from organizations supporting local communities that have been targeted as a result of their race and ethnicity.

Funding Priorities

The SFF COVID-19 Emergency Fund will prioritize the following:

  • Projects that align with the issue areas identified above
  • Nonprofit and fiscally sponsored organizations in the five-county Bay Area (Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, and San Mateo)

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • SFF will support efforts to connect individuals and families to housing support (including rental assistance) and food.


  • In general, the SFF COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund is not focused on efforts to provide cash assistance to individuals and families, as there are other funds focused specifically on this area.