How to Apply for a Grant

The Campbell Foundation is pleased to accept unsolicited grants. These opportunities are only open to new grantees, not organizations that are current or previous grantees of The Campbell Foundation. Don’t know if the organization was a grantee? Search our grantees to ensure eligibility.

We welcome you to submit a proposal for the following Cycle:

Cycle 1 – 2022 – Pacific Office – General: Open
Proposals for this cycle will be due no later than 5 pm, Pacific Time on Thursday, March 31, 2022. Winners will be announced no later than April 30, 2022. We accept proposals for all subject areas, all geographies, and all types of programs.

Cycle 2 – 2021 – Pacific Office – General: Closed
Proposals for this cycle were due no later than 5 pm, Pacific Time on Tuesday, August 31, 2021. Winners will be announced no later than October 31, 2021. We accept proposals for all subject areas, all geographies, and all types of programs.

Please review the Frequently Asked Questions below prior to contacting foundation staff. If you do not follow these guidelines, you may be declined or disqualified from applying.

If you have questions after thoroughly reviewing the below guidelines, please contact Caroline Harper only. Do not contact other staff.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q:  How do I apply?
A:  Start by registering your organization. We also suggest that you bookmark our grantee portal so that you can easily access it. If your organization is already registered and eligible to re-apply, contact Tech Support for a link to start the application.

Q:  Can I see what the proposal form entails?
A:  Once you register to start a proposal, you will be able to view each section and see what’s required. You can also download a Word version of the proposal here. Please note that you will not be able to submit the Word doc as a standalone but will need to copy and paste into the grantee portal form. It is estimated that the proposal form will take 30-60 minutes to complete, depending on how much information you have readily available. Please carefully consider your own capacity in deciding whether to submit a proposal. On average, 12% of proposals are approved.

Q:  Do I need to be a 501(c)3?
A:  Yes. Fiscally-sponsored projects and private entities will not be considered. We only accept requests from US-registered 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations and California Resource Conservation Districts.

Q:  When can I submit a proposal?
A:  Our next deadline, for Cycle 1, 2022, is 5 pm, Pacific Time on Thursday, March 31, 2022. No exceptions will be made for late submissions, and no extensions will be granted.

Q:  If I submit a proposal early in the cycle, will I hear back sooner?
A:  Decisions about grants will not be made any sooner than the decision date listed above, regardless of when the proposal is submitted. Grants are reviewed as individual requests, but also in comparison to other requests in the same pool.

Q:  How much are the grants?
A:  Grants will vary in size, but may be no greater than $25,000. Our budget for unsolicited grants is very limited, and we anticipate that demand will be high.

Q:  What is the budget for these types of grants?
A:  The budget for each cycle in 2022 is $50,000.

Q:  How competitive are the cycles?
A:  You can view information about how many applications we received per cycle, and how many and which ones received awards here. On average, 12% of proposals are approved.

Q:  My project or organization works in the Chesapeake or another geographic area outside of the Pacific region. Can I submit an unsolicited request?
A:  Yes, you can submit a request. We are open to funding work in any part of the United States or in the world; however, please be advised that the applying organization must be a US-registered 501(c)3 nonprofit organization or a California Resource Conservation District. The Foundation’s unsolicited grants program is run by the Pacific office, so please select the Pacific office from the drop-down field on the form when applying.

Q:  What is the grant period?
A:  Programs can be ongoing, but the expectation is that the funds would be expended within 12 months of the receipt of the grant.

Q: Can we apply for a reimbursement grants?
A:  No. These grants are intended to cover future, rather than past, expenses and activities.

Q:  May I contact Foundation staff with questions about the Foundation’s interests and priorities?
A:  We regret that we are not able to provide information about the probability of funding until we have reviewed your complete proposal. Please review the What We Fund section of our website, as well as the searchable Grantees database.

Q:  I looked at the description of the grants that won, and looked at the Grantees database, and I don’t see that a grant has been awarded to a program like mine. Should I still apply?
A:  Yes! These are our most open cycles, and we’re looking for good organizations doing good work, even if they don’t fit into our programmatic “boxes”. We are accepting proposals for all subject areas and types of programs.

Q:  Can I submit a request for General Support, Capacity Building, or Capital Campaigns?
A:  Yes! We welcome these types of requests.

Q:  Is it possible to meet with Foundation staff prior to submitting materials?
A:  Unfortunately, it is not possible for staff to meet with all applicants. If your proposal is being considered for a grant, a request for a meeting may be made by Foundation staff.

Q:  May I call the foundation with questions, or to discuss my grant?
A:  Due to anticipated volume, we are not able to accept or return calls from prospective unsolicited grantees.

Q:  Should I send an LOI or other inquiry prior to completing the proposal? What about a proposal I’ve sent to another funder?
A:  The Foundation will only respond to full and complete proposals submitted through our grants management system.

Q:  May I submit more than one request?
A:  One request per organization only.

Q:  How does the Campbell Foundation choose the recipients?
A:  Proposals are reviewed on a number of factors, including, but not limited to:

  • Program effectiveness
  • Board giving
  • Completeness of proposal
  • Organizational financial health and sustainability
  • % the ask is compared to the organizational or project budget
  • Size of organizational/project budget
  • Ability to adhere to cycle guidelines

Q: When will Campbell Foundation respond to my request?
A:  You’ll receive an email confirmation that we’ve received your proposal when it is submitted, and we will make our funding decisions as noted above.

Q:  Will the Campbell Foundation tell me in detail about why I was declined?
A:  Due to volume, we are not able to provide feedback to individual grantees if you are declined.

Q:  Should I follow up with the Foundation about a decision?
A:  Due to volume, follow-up on unsolicited proposals is not encouraged.

Q:  Should I add the Campbell Foundation to our mailing list, or send correspondence or materials beyond the proposal?
A:  We prefer not to be included on your mailing list unless we request to opt-in. We also appreciate your support of our effort to help reduce paper consumption; please do not mail any hard copy materials.

Q:  I’m already a Campbell Foundation grantee or have been in the past; can I apply for one of these grants?
A:  Unsolicited grants are for new grantees only.

Q:  If I was declined for an unsolicited grant, may I apply again?
A:  Yes, but you have to wait. Organizations are eligible to apply for an unsolicited grant every other year. In other words, if you applied in August 2020 and were declined in September 2020, you will be eligible to reapply in September 2022.

Q:  If I’m awarded a grant, will I be eligible to reapply for a renewal the following year?
A:  This will be determined on a case-by-case basis. The vast majority of grants that come in through this unsolicited cycle are one-time grants, and fewer than 5% are renewed.