CZI Community Fund

Supporting organizations working to address challenges in Belle Haven, East Palo Alto, North Fair Oaks, and Redwood City

About the CZI Community Fund

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative believes that every child should grow up in a better world, and that our mission should begin close to home. Our giving in the Bay Area is guided by the belief that those most impacted by challenges should be guiding the development of solutions. To that end, we have been working with local leaders and supporting community organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area since our founding.

While our work to-date to address some of the most pressing challenges in our backyard has focused on education and affordable housing, we are now exploring additional ways to build stronger, more equitable communities. Based on what we have learned and heard through our engagement with local residents and leaders in Belle Haven, East Palo Alto, North Fair Oaks, and Redwood City, we are launching the CZI Community Fund to support locally driven solutions.

This fund will award grants of up to $100,000 to respond to community needs around education, housing, homelessness, immigration, transportation, and workforce development — areas identified by local residents and leaders as top priorities. Eligible requests will be evaluated according to the Fund Criteria below. Final grant amounts will vary and be determined by the scale and scope of the submitted proposal, and organizational capacity, as well as the number of qualified applications submitted to the Fund.


Fund Criteria

All applications will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Alignment with Communities’ Priority Issue Areas – Preference will be given to organizations and projects tackling the issues of education, housing, homelessness, immigration, transportation, and/or workforce development within the Fund’s eligible communities (Belle Haven, East Palo Alto, North Fair Oaks, Redwood City).
  • Potential for Impact – Preference will be given to applications that clearly articulate the challenge(s) they aim to address, their strategy and implementation plan for addressing that challenge, and a definition of what success looks like.
  • Organization/Project Leadership – Preference will be given to applicant organizations whose leadership and staff (1) show demonstrated capacity to implement the proposed project, (2) have a credible track record of successfully executing programs in the communities of Belle Haven, East Palo Alto, North Fair Oaks, or Redwood City and (3) are demographically reflective of these communities.
  • Collaboration – Preference will be given to organizations that demonstrate a collaborative spirit through (1) an awareness of available overlapping and complementary services, (2) a desire to partner to increase impact, where appropriate, and (3) an understanding of local community context and the desire and ability to leverage existing community relationships and/or build new ones.
  • Community Engagement – Preference will be given to organizations that intentionally and effectively engage the communities with which they aim to serve, and (2) demonstrate a long-term commitment to serving these communities.
  • Fiscal Responsibility – Preference will be given to organizations that are able to demonstrate the ability to effectively receive and responsibly spend grant dollars.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicants must be non-profit, 501(c)(3) organizations, or organizations that have a fiscal sponsor or fiscal agent that is a  501(c)(3) organization, school, or municipality working in the Belle Haven, East Palo Alto, North Fair Oaks, or Redwood City communities. The CZI Community Fund does not accept applications from individuals, or for the direct support of an individual.

Applicants must operate without illegal discrimination on the basis of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, national origin or disability.

Application Process

The CZI Community Fund will accept applications through the CZI online grants management system or by mail until 5:00 p.m. PST on December 1st, 2017. Once you submit your application, you will receive an email confirming its receipt. All applications will be reviewed by CZI staff and evaluated based on the eligibility requirements and fund criteria. Applicants will be notified with a final decision by January 15th, 2018. Approved funding requests will have a grant period of January 15, 2018 – December 30, 2018.

A downloadable PDF version of the application can be found here: CZI Community Fund Grant Application and Guidelines.

For more information, please visit our FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS> or email us at

Office Hours

The CZI Team will conduct office hours the week of November 13th, 2017 to provide support and answer questions about the application process. Attending office hours is not required as part of the application, and is recommended only for applicants who are unfamiliar with submitting funding requests and would benefit from additional support. Please email us at if you would like to attend office hours and we will contact you with additional information.


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