Rapid Response Grants
In order to be eligible for Rapid Response funding, groups must:
- Be a current Seeding Justice grantee;
- Have an annual operating budget of less than $500,000; and
- Not have received another Rapid Response grant in the same fiscal year (Seeding Justice’s fiscal year is from July 1 to June 30)
Proposals for Rapid Response grants must clearly articulate the urgency for funds or immediate need of the organization. If the request is not urgent, we encourage groups to apply for our General Fund grants.
Rapid Response grants are not meant to be used for major climate or global catastrophes such as the COVID-19 pandemic, floods or wildfires. They are very small grants to address an unanticipated opportunity or challenge, such as attending a conference, purchasing new technology, or getting some professional help when there’s a leadership transition in the organization.
Grant Types and Amounts
Maximum of $4,000 for immediate and critical needs. For example, organizing community gatherings or meetings in response to traumatic events; unexpected challenges within the organization, such as an executive transition; or unique and timely opportunities, such as having an expert present to your organization.
No more than $1,500 for organizations that are faced with unexpected travel-related expenses. Examples of things we would consider funding include registration fees and/or travel-related expenses for attending conferences, meetings or events that are unexpected but that present a unique opportunity for the group to network, learn and grow. Priority will be given to organizations based outside of the Portland Metro area.
Up to $1,000 for grassroots organizations for unexpected technology needs. For example, replacing a malfunctioning computer, paying for technology that would allow your staff/community members to meet remotely, or renting equipment for a community gathering or training. Priority will be given to organizations based outside of the Portland Metro area.
Organizations may apply for Rapid Response grant funding on a rolling basis provided that funds are available. Seeding Justice replenishes the Rapid Response grant funding each fiscal year on July 1 and January 1.
To the extent possible, we try to make Rapid Response grant funding available quickly, but we encourage groups, if at all possible, to plan ahead and apply for funds at least two weeks before they need the funds.
General Fund Grant opportunities open twice a year, in the spring and fall. Rapid Response Grants are open throughout the year while funding is available.
Frequently Asked Questions
If there are funds available in the program (and your group is otherwise eligible), you can apply for Rapid Response grants via our online grants platform, Submittable.
If the application for Rapid Response grants does not appear in Submittable, it means we ran out of funds. We replenish funds on July 1 and January 1 each year.
To receive a grant, your group must be Oregon-based and either a 501(c)(3) organization or a group that’s fiscally sponsored by a 501(c)(3) organization. Occasionally, we may fund groups that are neither 501(c)(3) or fiscally sponsored. (Question 4 below addresses this scenario.)
For a list of projects we cannot fund, please check out Question 5.
If you’re applying for funds to attend a conference, you will apply for a Travel grant, even if the conference is local and you technically don’t need to travel to get there.
The purpose of Rapid Response grants is to deploy funds quickly and efficiently, which is difficult to do with our participatory grantmaking approach. Thus, we prioritize funding the current grantees, whom we know well and have already vetted.
We would consider funding other groups we know, such as former grantees (provided they are otherwise eligible).
If your group isn’t a current grantee, please don’t submit an application via Submittable—contact us to set up a time to chat first.
If you’re seeking funds for an event, you may also explore applying for a sponsorship. If there are available funds in our Sponsorship pot, the application will be visible in Submittable.
After we receive applications, a few of our General Fund grantmakers are assigned to read and vote on whether we should fund the group.
The most common reasons for applications being declined are:
- Your group is not a current Seeding Justice grantee;
- The request is not for a critical or time-sensitive issue; and/or
- Your group has received another Rapid Response grant in the same fiscal year (July 1- June 30)
If you’d like to receive specific feedback about your application, please contact us.
Unfortunately, no. Rapid Response grants are meant for smaller organizations with annual budgets under $500,000.
The maximum amounts for Rapid Response grants are:
- Critical Response: $4,000
- Travel: $2,000
- Tech: $1,500
If you’re applying for a Critical Response grant, you’ll need to submit a very simple project budget.
For Travel grants, we ask that you attach some documentation regarding the items you intend to purchase, such as: conference registration fees, airfare or car rental prices, Google map showing the mileage you intend to travel, etc.
For Tech grants, we ask that you attach documentation regarding the items you intend to purchase, such as: an estimate for the equipment rental, a link to the computer/tablet you want to buy, vendor estimate, etc.