The Discretionary Fund

Existing grantee partners as well as organizations new to SPF may apply for funding. All applicants should fall within the scope of the SPF mission and guidelines: grassroots community organizing for economic, social and environmental justice, in rural communities in the South.

Discretionary support includes (not limited to) grants for capacity building, community organizing events and/or activities, and voter engagement activities. There are three primary funding areas within discretionary

  • General Discretionary: funds in this category will typically be used to support community organizing activities or small projects that fit within SPF guidelines and will lend its self to creating change within SPF funding region.
  • Technical Assistance: The funds awarded in this category will support the capacity building needs of your organization or your constituency. These activities could include (but are not limited to) strategic planning, organizational development, trainings for your base and/or constituency and small technology upgrades.
  • Travel Assistance: This category includes (but again, not limited to) travel to and participation in conferences and actions of civic engagement.

Awards from the Discretionary fund are small in nature and a request will not exceed $1,500. Organizations are allowed to submit a maximum of two requests per year to the discretionary fund and the sum of your awards will not be greater than $3,000.

Note that SPF has limited resources to meet the need regardless of merit. While there is no standard coversheet/application for these requests, please make sure that we have the following information:

  1. Please place the request on your organizations letterhead or include your organization’s
    • legal name
    • The Name of your Executive Director or Board Chair
    • The Address
    • Phone Number
    • Email Address
  2. Please indicate the category you will be applying to:
  • General Discretionary
  • Technical Assistance
  • Travel Assistance

The Request amount of the Request

The number of communities and/or people that will be served by this request.

Brief narrative outlining (1 to 2 pages)

  • The purpose of the request
  • How this request is connected to grassroots community organizing
  • How this request will benefit your organization and your community
  • The goals and objectives of the event, project, program, activities, or upgrades your organization will be working on as it relates to this request
  • The expected outcomes or what your organization will be able to achieve by receiving this award
  • A time line for the work
  1. The Specific budget for funds requested
  2. Your most recent board approved operating budget
  3. A current list of your Board of Directors with demographics and email addresses
  4. Copy of your organizations IRS Letter of Determination (501c3 Letter). If your organization does not have your 501c3 designation, you will be required to obtain a fiscal agent. Your fiscal agent must provide you a letter, on company letter head, indicating that they agree to take fiscal responsibility for your organization and submit a financial accounting of the award detailing all expenses associated with the grant award after the grant term is complete. As well as a copy of their IRS designation letter. If needed, this information must accompany your request.

Program Officer is available for support or to answer questions about the application process or supporting documents. Contact [email protected] for details.

Applications are accepted via email at [email protected] on the 28th of each month by 11:59 p.m.

Please note that it will take approximately 1 month to process your request. We recommend that you submit your request at least 2 months prior to your event, program and/or activity. However, we understand that opportunities and actions on the ground do not always allow for adequate timing; therefore if the event or activity occurs during SPF’s review process and you are awarded the organization will be allowed to reimburse its expenses with the grant award.

Reports are an integral part of our monitoring and evaluation process. Release of any future payments or review of any future grant request will be contingent upon receipt and satisfactory review of interim and final reports.