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Communities of Opportunity (COO) Black Led Systems and Policy Change

Grants to Washington Black-Led Nonprofit Partnerships
to Advance Policy Change for the Black Community

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Seattle Foundation and King County

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

10/27/20 5:00 PM PST


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Grants to Washington Black-led nonprofit organizational partnerships to advance Black communities in eligible locations. The purpose of the funding is to promote policy changes that reduce inequities for communities and populations that have been affected by racist systems and policies. Applicants must provide services and activities in King County.

This Request For Proposals (RFP) invites proposals from community-led and community-engaged efforts to transform systems and policies for stronger community connections, economic opportunity, better health, and/or housing that will decrease and/or prevent continued inequity in communities that have been most harmed by racist and oppressive policies and systems, particularly low-income communities and communities of color in King County.  

What the Foundation Seeks to Support

  • Community-based efforts focused on changing policies, rules, systems or regulations in order to reduce and eliminate inequity and advance antiracism.
  • Efforts to reduce inequity through systems and policy change. Efforts can be targeted at a wide variety of institutions including but not limited to; government, regulatory agencies, schools and post-secondary institutions, hospitals and health care delivery systems, and places of employment.
  • Efforts that demonstrate deep community leadership in the identification of issues and development of solutions.
  • Efforts that demonstrate knowledge of the practices, policies, rules, systems or regulations they seek to change.

Funding and Allowable Activities

The Foundation recognizes provision of stipends and direct services can serve as a point of contact and an initial exposure to organizing and systems change work. They also recognize the challenges inherent in working on long-term systems change while foregoing immediate needs that can be met through immediate support. Simultaneously, philanthropy historically has underinvested in critical organizing and systems change work. The core purpose of the COO Systems and Policy work is to support the organizing, advocacy, research and policy work needed to make a more just society. Organizations are encouraged to develop proposals that respect the intellectual property, time value and other resource costs of doing community-based work as appropriate for the individual organization or coalition. This includes stipends for participant time, travel or childcare as well as staff time to help community members navigate systems and receive social supports.

Community Engagement Spectrum

COO seeks to support community leadership and deep community engagement in systems and policy change efforts. The community engagement spectrum (above) provides a framework for different depths of community participation in decision making, along with examples of each type.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 172365

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Estimated Size of Grant:

Grants will be awarded as $145,000 partnership grants.

Term of Contract:

All grant resources must be spent down by December 31, 2021.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Organizations and individual applicants can apply.

Organizations may not apply as individual organizations, this funding is only available to support organizations of two or more working together towards a common outcome.

Who Should Apply:
-Partnerships or coalitions in which leadership and organization staff represent the Black (including African immigrant and diaspora) community
-Partnerships or coalitions working specifically in the Black community to further Black liberation
-Partnerships or coalitions that are led by and for the community in which the proposed grant work takes place.
-Partnerships or coalitions that center racial equity in their work and approach.
-Partnerships or coalitions with strong relationships and trust in the community.
-Partnerships or coalitions seeking to make policy change at the neighborhood, city, county or state level.
-Partnerships or coalitions must demonstrate the impact of their work in King County
-Partnerships or coalitions that are currently receiving funding or participating through other COO strategy areas, including Cultural and Place-based community partnerships, are eligible to apply, providing their proposal meets the criteria in this RFP.
-All applicants must have 501(c)3, nonprofit status or have a fiscal sponsor that qualifies as a nonprofit 510(c)3 organization.
-All applicants must be based within the state of Washington.

Lobbying limitations: The funding supporting Communities of Opportunity is a blend of philanthropic and public funds. COO systems and policy change grants can support limited lobbying through the use of philanthropic dollars. Local government funds have specific lobbying restrictions. In addition, political activity is a prohibited use of public funds: None of the funds, materials, property, or services provided directly or indirectly with public funds shall be used for any partisan political activity or to further the election or defeat of any candidate for public office. Please clearly identify any actions that include lobbying activities when submitting your proposal

Pre-proposal Conference:

Question and Answer Sessions:
Seattle Foundation will host question and answer sessions for potential grantees at the grant mid-point and right before the close of the RFP. These sessions are an opportunity for folks who have questions about the grant program to drop in and ask questions to Communities of Opportunity staff about the grant opportunity and grant process. The Question and Answer sessions will not be recorded and will not be posted on the website. Please register using the Eventbrite link, registrants will receive the zoom login information the day prior to the Q&A.
-10/7: 11-12 p.m.
Register to attend here:
-10/23: 11-12 p.m.
Register to attend here:

Information Sessions:
COO will hold one information session over Zoom: 9/22: 12:30-1:30 p.m.
Register to attend here:
The informational session recording will be posted following the webinar.

Pre-Application Information:

-Applications Open: Sep 9 2020 08:00 AM (PDT)
-Proposals are due by Friday, October 27, 2020 at 5 P.M. (PST).

Application Guidelines:

Contact Information:

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


Please contact Dionne Foster at for any questions.

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Washington: King County

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