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Neighborhood Matching Fund (NMF) - Small Sparks Fund

Grants to Seattle, Washington Organizations and
Groups for Small Community Improvement Projects

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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Seattle Department of Neighborhoods - Neighborhood Matching Fund (NMF)

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

10/31/19 - Submit applications at least six to eight weeks prior to the project.


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Grants of up to $5,000 to Seattle, Washington neighborhood groups, business groups, community organizations, and informal groups for small-scale community improvement projects. Applicants should contact program staff to discuss projects prior to applying. Funding is intended to build stronger community connections.

This program funds a variety of unique and creative community projects. To be eligible for funding, a project must:
- Involve community members in creating and completing the project.
- Create community improvements.
- Be free and open to all members of the public.
- Are feasible and ready to begin within 1-2 months from award date.
- Demonstrate community match.
- Occur within the Seattle city limits.
- Not have received NMF funding within the last two years. (applies only to events)

Expenses must be directly related to the project and fall within the following four categories:

- Expenses related to staff and interns who will manage the project.
- Project management costs are limited to 10 percent of the total project award.

Professional Services:
- Expenses related to consultants, vendors, artists and services.

Supplies and Materials:
- Expenses related to materials needed to complete project.
- Food Expenses are limited to 20% of the award but may not exceed $5,000 per project.

Construction and Capital:
- Expenses related to construction and renovation of parks, facilities, and other public spaces.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 161269

Estimated Size of Grant:

Up to $5,000

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Neighborhood groups, community organizations, informal groups, and business groups who want to work on a project to build stronger community connections are encouraged to apply.

All applicant groups must be open and inclusive, actively engage diverse community members, and be significantly composed of people who live and/or work in Seattle.

Awarded projects are required to have a fiscal sponsor.

Ineligible Groups
- Individual persons
- For-profit businesses
- Religious organizations
- Major institutions; government agencies, universities, hospitals
- Political groups
- Organizations outside the City of Seattle
- Groups that currently have an active NMF project
- Groups that have failed to successfully carry out a project within the last two years

Ineligible Project Ideas:
- Project not free and open to the public
- Duplication of an existing private or public program
- Ongoing and/or existing programs or services support
- Replacement of funding lost from other sources
- Pay for an organization’s operating expenses not directly related to the project
- Projects that do not have property owner permission for proposed improvements

Ineligible Expenses:
- Pay for expenditures or financial commitments before the organization is under contract with the City of Seattle
- Purchase land or buildings
- Pay for out of city travel expenses, lodging, or hotel expenses
- Pay for private transportation expenses including mileage, gas, insurance, car rentals, etc
- Rental or purchase of Bouncy Toys

Pre-proposal Conference:

You are encouraged to attend a Neighborhood Matching Fund workshop to:
- Learn about the new opportunities in 2019.
- Find out how to get funding for your community project.
- Learn what makes a competitive application.
- Understand the application process and requirements.

Interested groups are highly encouraged to attend a workshop to learn about new opportunities with the Neighborhood Matching Fund Program.

Workshop attendance is not required to apply.

Saturday, July 27, 2019, 10 – 11:30AM
Miller Community Center
330 19th Ave E
Seattle, WA 98112

Saturday, August 3, 2019, 10 – 11:30AM
University Heights Center
5031 University Way
Seattle, WA 98105

Saturday, August 17, 2019, 10 – 11:30AM
South Park Community Center
8319 8th Ave S
Seattle, WA 98108

To attend one of these workshops, contact staff or RSVP to

Pre-Application Information:

- Application Deadlines: Accepted on a rolling basis until October 31, 2019. Must be received six to eight weeks prior to start of project
- Notice of Decisions: Within four weeks
- Contracts with City: Within four weeks from award notification date

Applicants must call a NMF project manager for assistance who will help you:
- Understand the program guidelines and application process
- Navigate the online grants system
- Review draft applications

Central to NMF is the community match which requires awardees to match their award with contributions from the community whether as volunteer time, donated materials, donated professional services, or cash.

City of Seattle resources such as City staff time, usage of City facilities, and/or any funding may not be counted as match. Any individual or business paid with award dollars may not also be counted as community match contributions.

Eligible match categories include cash, volunteer time, donated professional services, and donated materials and supplies.

How to Apply:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Apply online through Webgrants:

Neighborhood Matching Fund
600 4th Ave
4th Floor
Seattle, WA 98104

Phone: 206-233-0093
Fax: 206-233-5142

Teresa Bui
Community Funding Advisor
Phone: (206) 256.5947

Allynn Ruth
Project Manager
Phone: (206) 684-0301

Juan Martinez
Project Manager
Phone: (206) 733-9259

Karen Selander
Project Manager
Phone: (206) 733-9256

Minh Chau Le
Project Manager
Phone: (206) 233-7112

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Washington: City of Seattle