Community Arts – FAQs

Below, you will find answers to the frequently asked questions received by the Foundation from prospective applicants. Please review these FAQs before contacting the Foundation with questions.


Applications for all types of grants are accepted quarterly, in March, June, September and December every year.

The Community Arts Project grants provide project-based support to individual artists and small to mid-sized arts organizations. Stability grants are made to support organizational stability (not to provide support for a specific project). Collaboration grants are made to support artistic or administrative collaboration projects between two or more organizations/artists. Training grants are made to support training opportunities for artists and organizations in the arts and culture field in the Bay Area. All applicants must be located in or primarily serve the communities of San Francisco, Alameda and Contra Costa counties, working in the fields of dance, music, theater, visual arts, literary arts and festivals.

Yes. Project grants have an open online application submission cycle. Stability, Collaboration and Training grants begin with a Letter of Inquiry, followed by an invited Full Application.

You may apply for with one project grant per submission cycle. Applicants may submit for funding multiple times throughout the year but are only eligible to receive project funding once per calendar year.

Applicants may submit for multiple types of funding throughout the year; it is possible to receive both a Project grant and a Stability grant in the same calendar year.

Returning grantees must be in good standing with all required reporting submitted before new applications will be accepted.

Your project start date should fall within a six-month window of the grant notification date. If your event is ongoing (for example, a monthly series throughout the year) you may apply when makes most sense for your project and annual budget.

Individuals or organizations that do not have 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status must use a fiscal sponsor. A fiscal sponsorship agreement/ Memorandum of Understanding is required.

Individual artists and applying organizations should use their own information and primary contact for the application. If you are using a fiscal sponsor, you will find a section of the application to include the information for your fiscal sponsor.

All applications must be submitted through Fluxx, our online grant system, at zellerbach.fluxx.io.

Please check your spam folder for the email confirmation of your user ID and password. If you do not receive an email after submitting your registration information, please contact Zellerbach Family Foundation Grants Manager Patrick Taylor at patrick.taylor@zff.org

Yes, as long as you are applying as the same individual/organization you can use your existing user ID and password.

No. You must use the online grant system to apply for Community Arts grants.

On average, the application takes about 3-4 hours to complete.

Community Arts accepts applications only for its Project grants; Stability, Collaboration and Training grants are initiated by submitting a Letter of Inquiry. Applications for the other program areas of the foundation are administered by invitation only.

The Community Arts grants support individual artists and small and mid-sized organizations. Because that distinction varies widely across disciplines, we do not have a budget cap on eligible organizations.

Project based grants are made up to $10,000. Stability grant requests are determined by the size of organization; typical range is between $7500 and $15,000 per year. Collaboration and Training grant requests are determined by the scale and scope of project; typical range is between $10,000 and $25,000 per year.

The following financial statements may be required for your application, depending on what type of funding you are requesting:

  • Project budget
  • Fiscal sponsorship agreement/Memorandum of Understanding (if applicable)
  • Annual budget of applying organization
  • Revenue Worksheet (501c3 only)

The project budget includes all income and expenses associated with the project and demonstrates a realistic and thorough financial plan in place for producing the work. The annual budget of applying organization includes the income and expenses associated with the annual operations and provides context for where this project fits in with the entire scope of the work of the organization. If the project is the only activity of the organization in the year, the project budget and annual budget will be the same.

You may either estimate the cost of your artistic practice as an individual artist (separate from your personal finances) or you may say that you have no annual budget ($0.00).

The brief history and mission statement or artist statement should cover the history and mission of the organization and the scope of current activities or should be a brief statement from the artist about their personal creative history leading up to the proposed project.

Yes, each field has a character count that will guide you; please be succinct in your descriptions.

Near the bottom of the application, there is a blue box with Instructions for Uploading Attachments. Each required attachment is listed, with a small green plus sign next to it. Click on the green plus sign and you will be prompted to upload the required document. Make sure you upload each attachment under the proper category, or your application will appear incomplete. For all other documents, at the bottom of the application there is a box labeled Upload Application Documents. Click on the green plus sign and you will be prompted to upload additional documents.

The work sample should complement the project description and supports what you describe in your proposal. The work sample can be a section of a project previously presented by your organization, showcasing the work of the company and giving the panel members a sense of the scale and scope of the proposed project. It can highlight the work of a particular artist involved in the project – a choreographer, composer, visual artist or author. You may choose to include a section of work from the development of the proposed project, like rehearsal footage. For visual arts, it is great to see examples of a featured artists previous work. Above all, the work sample should give a sense of your project and the applying organizations aesthetic and style.

Contact Grants Manager Patrick Taylor at patrick.taylor@zff.org to have your application reopened. You application can only be reopened before the submission deadline. Once the submission deadline has passed, your application cannot be reopened.

Project grant applications are reviewed for eligibility and to assess its completeness. They are then passed on to our Community Arts panel, a rotating panel of professional artists for evaluation. Stability, Collaboration and Training grants are evaluated by foundation staff.

Community Arts Project grant applications are evaluated by a rotating panel of professional artists. Final approval for all grants are determined by the Zellerbach Family Foundation Board of Directors.

You will receive an email notification of the outcome of your grant after the Zellerbach Family Foundation Board of Directors meeting.

The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the San Francisco Foundation are both generous partners and supporters of the Community Arts program. Some of the funding you receive in your award may have been contributed by the Hewlett Foundation or the San Francisco Foundation; if so, this contribution will be listed on your grant agreement.

We have no requirements on acknowledgement of receipt of a grant. If you would like to acknowledge the Foundation, you may list us with your other donors at the appropriate level, include our logo in your printed materials, or include a short sentence acknowledging the grant.

We will do our best to indicate if there is anything that would strengthen future applications; due to the highly competitive nature of the Community Arts program, there may be a variety of reasons why an application is declined. We are simply not able to fund every project.

Due to the large number of applications the Community Arts program receives, we are unable to accept late applications. If the timeline of your project allows, you may submit at the next quarterly submission deadline.

The Zellerbach Family Foundation welcomes Community Arts applicants and grantees to join us for quarterly informational workshops to discuss and ask questions about the application process. The workshops are held prior to each open submission window for the Community Arts Program. You must RSVP to the workshop you plan to attend.

Margot Melcon
Program Executive, Community Arts
margot.melcon@zff.org
(415) 421-2629 ext. 111