Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Access Code that I need to enter after I register with the on-line system?

Type the initials of the foundation in the box on the upper left of your screen = “sif” (all lower case)

When is the next deadline to fill out an on-line concept application?

August 15, 2017 at midnight PST.

What questions are on the concept application?

The on-line concept application totals about 3 written pages.  Click here for a PDF of the Concept Application Questions.

Will I get feedback if I send my concept application in before the deadline?

No. The trustees review all concept applications in the fall.

What if I am not sure if our research project fits the Foundation guidelines?

Call us and ask. We like to hear about your work and are eager to help if we can.

What is the difference between community based research and traditional academic research in communities?

We hope applicants are very familiar with community-based research.  Community based research is a collaborative and participatory approach to research in which community organizations (schools, residents and civic leaders) partner with academic researchers (faculty, academic staff and students) to produce knowledge that solves real world problems. Community based research seeks community engagement at each phase of the research project. Community Based Research does not specify one model of research over another; models are selected based on what is most appropriate to the problems to be studied and solved.

Will the Foundation make research grants to individuals?

It can only support research projects sponsored by not-for-profit organizations. If you are an individual, for example, you would apply through your university, university department, research institute, or a community organization.  The foundation gives priority to organizations working in partnership with other allies, community groups, and advocates.

Will the Foundation fund dissertation research?

No. Applicants should be aware that they will be competing with well-established community organizations, research institutes, and seasoned scholars/activists in the field whose research is an integral part of larger community, institutional, and social change effort.

Will the Foundation support research projects outside the United States

No. The Foundation does not make exceptions.

Does the Foundation make multi-year research grants?

The Foundation prefers to make one-time awards to organization in support of specific research projects or research project components.  We acknowledge the importance of multi-year foundation support, but lack the resources to provide long-term funding.

Will the Foundation provide basic support for ESL, job training, and other human service programs?

The Foundation does not support direct services. It favors requests related to community-based research used in conjunction with advocacy, community organizing, social activism, and other strategic efforts that promote change in organizations, communities, public policy, and in the social sciences.

Does the project have to include a research component?

Yes. All projects must have a strong research component. The mission of the Foundation is to support projects that use research and related strategies of assessment and inquiry to build knowledge and help address social concerns.  Program evaluation projects are not a priority for the foundation.

Can our request include overhead/indirect costs?

The Foundation does not have a strict policy about funding overhead for community organizations. It will not, however, support indirect costs of universities and large organizations.  Applicants should justify all of the costs they are allocating to the grant.

What do we put down for our organizational budget in the concept application if we are a university?

We use this figure as a proxy indicator of organizational size and capacity. Put down the department budget if you know it or put a zero or 1 if you are a big organization.

Who should register with the on-line application system?

The primary investigator at the lead organization should register with the online application system.  It will help with routing funding and information with the “point person” for the project.

Are past grants indicative of what types of research projects will be funded in the future?

Not exactly. The Foundation continues to evolve and refine its grantmaking program as it identifies opportunities and sharpens its mission.

How many times per year does the Foundation accept proposals?

Once in November.