Q:   We have an individual who is in a job-training programs, and his story would be a great client story for STS. He secondarily will benefit from the food program that we will seek STS funding for. Can we submit his story as one of our client stories?

A:  Thanks for asking this. Nonprofit story telling is something we all practice, especially to help supporters understand mission. Good stories are what make this program work as well. Stories help to illustrate the issues our community faces, and when the story can highlight the help and outcome on a personal level, this helps readers understand the value and real impact in a very concrete way.

Any story an organization submits can be about a participant in ANY of the organization’s programs. The organization may request funding to support that same program mentioned in the story as helping the individual client, or make a request for funding of another program instead. In other words, the program funding request does not have to match exactly with the story submission.A client willing to talk about how they were helped may have already graduated from services, but still make a compelling case for supporting that same program.

Q:  What if I do not have a story idea?

A:  Every application must provide a story topic at time of application.

Q:  Can I submit more than one request/application for consideration?

A:  You may only submit one application per organization.

Q:  I am trying find out if there are any forms that need to be submitted with the grant proposal. Thank you.

A:  Only the online application needs to be submitted; no additional forms are needed for a grant proposal. If grant request is funded, a report form must be submitted in January.

Q:  May we submit the same topic as we did last year?

A:  There is no restriction on the number of times a story idea may be submitted.   Only about half of the grantees each year are selected for a story.  There just is not time to run a story on each recipient. Keep in mind – the story topic is the most important component of the grant application, and the grantees selected for a feature story in the newspaper are chosen based on the strength and fit of the story topic submitted on the application.

Q:  Our has multiple programs. May we submit a request about the overall programming or do we need to highlight a specific program?

A:   As outlined in the grant documentation, funding requests do not have to be tied directly to the story topic or a specific program.  Funding does have to be utilized by end of January. Keep in mind – the story topic is most important yet all elements of the application, whichever your selection for funding request, can be used to enhance your overall application.

Q:  We would like to apply this year but our grant writer will be on vacation when the portal opens. Is it possible to post the questions before the portal opens? ( Given that there are limited number of applications accepted, we would like our application to go in early and wish to have our grant writer prepare ahead of time so we can submit as early as possible. )

A:  The grant application will not be available until August 1st. The Grant Parameters and Grant Overview documents discuss content for the application, but do not provide the application questions in advance. The grant application does not significantly change most years, and in every year, the suggested story topic is principal part of application.

NOTE:  We are considering this as a suggestion and will possibly publish application questions in advance in 2020.

Q: We provide services to a variety of low-income areas in Alameda County only. Do we need to be working in both counties, or can we apply working in just Alameda County?

A: Please read the program documents posted on the page carefully. We do use phrase “Alameda and Contra Costa” because the program serves both counties. Here is the text from Grant Program Overview: “Share the Spirit grantees will represent a wide diversity of programs, populations and geographic areas with particular emphasis on youth, families and seniors across both counties served. (Note: Services must be provided in one or both of these counties regardless of agency location.)”