Call for Collaboration Request for Proposals

  • Overview and Access to Webinar and Q&A’s

    The California Community Foundation (CCF), in partnership with the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG), is issuing this request for proposals (RFP) for nonprofit organizations that are advancing community-centered strategies that grow the supply of housing in a sustainable and equitable way.

    View the webinar to review this RFP held on Monday, February 1, 2021 at 10:00am PST. 

    Download the webinar’s Q&As.

    Access Sample Budget Template

  • Background & Problem Statement

    California faces a tremendous challenge in meeting our collective housing needs. Throughout the state, we have failed to create enough housing to meet our growing demand, which in turn has led to price increases that everyone feels. When we do create housing, it is too often targeted to higher-income households, leaving the bulk of our workforce competing for an aging housing stock. This production imbalance most likely leads to unnecessary real estate speculation and displacement in communities of color. In addition, the development of housing at all income levels – higher-end and affordable – often faces opposition from fear that new development will negatively impact neighborhoods.  Anti-growth stakeholders tend to exercise political power disproportionate to their actual numbers. Addressing these systemic issues not only requires bold action in Sacramento that reforms our complex land-use system, but it also underscores the need for local voices that are not always plugged into the decision-making process to champion responsive or new ways to grow our housing supply.

    The California Community Foundation (CCF) is partnering with the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) and other foundations to fund the development of community-based policies and plans through a “Call for Collaboration” that help cities and counties reach aggressive new housing targets set by the administration of Governor Gavin Newsom. These targets call for 1.3 million new housing units across the six-county SCAG region (Imperial, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura counties), planning for more than 40% affordable to households earning less than 80% of the Area Median Income.

  • “Call for Collaboration” Initiative Description

    In July 2020, the SCAG Regional Council voted on a resolution to work in partnership with others to close the gap of racial injustice. In a parallel move the Regional Council unanimously agreed to set aside $1 million towards this “Call for Collaboration” program from their allocation of the Regional Early Action Planning (REAP) grant from the State of California to develop and support deeper community engagement in planning activities and programs that accelerate housing production throughout the SCAG region. There is a wide range of activities that are eligible for funding with these planning grants. These activities include programs and plans designed to promote pro-housing policies, streamline the housing approval process, develop community support for new housing and remove barriers to new housing development. All activities must show a nexus supporting increased housing production.

    Building from the ideas and successes of housing innovation challenges across the region, the Southern California Call for Collaboration focuses on making ideas into reality through strategic partnerships and empowering community based organizations to bring voices to the table that are often left behind, but are also the most impacted by the policies in question. This initiative will fund innovative and strategic models, diverse community-driven approaches, and new partnerships and coalitions to shape and execute a vision for growing our housing supply in a sustainable and equitable way. Strategies such as promoting racial equity, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and design or financing innovation in the planning and development of housing are encouraged.

    The program will fund about 16 grants through two opportunities that are further described in Section III:

    Partnership Programs: Awards of up to $125,000 to support the expansion and/or implementation of existing plans, initiatives, and/or partnerships that promote equitable growth strategies.

    Spark Grants: Smaller, capacity-building grants of around $50,000 (1) to seed new models of collaboration and engagement to support community-driven approaches and partnerships that promote equitable growth strategies.

    Selected grantees will also benefit from a small amount of training and technical assistance from a team of housing, planning, and legal experts that will advise them on the development of their plans, provide unique data analysis, advice on legal contracts and other documents (like by-laws, etc.), or other organizational support as needed.

    1. Spark Grants are targeted to a maximum of $50,000 but grants of up to $75,000 may be considered based on the proposed scope and funding available.
  • Grant Terms and Initiative Timeline


    Examples of initiatives and partnerships that this RFP can fund are:

    • Support for CBOs to engage in local planning processes, e.g., cities’ housing element updates and implementation, developing community-based frameworks for new specific plans and overlays that facilitate sustainable infill and affordable housing development (infrastructure financing tools, right-sizing parking requirements, and visualizing context sensitive multi-story developments.)
    • CBO engagement in developing plan(s) or policies upzoning commercial corridors or low-density neighborhoods with value-capture strategies, including an educational and community organizing action plan.
    • Helping a public entity partner with a non-profit developer(s) and other CBOs to develop a city-wide permit streamlining ordinance that expedites the entitlement and permitting process for affordable or supportive housing.
    • Supporting CBOs in developing and/or implementing a framework and organizing agenda for a new, local Affordable Housing Trust Fund or Community Land Trust.
    • Development of policies to affirmatively further fair housing for lower-income households in areas of opportunity.

    1. Spark Grants are targeted to a maximum of $50,000 but grants of up to $75,000 may be considered based on the proposed scope and funding available.
    2. Equitable growth strategies identified in the 2020 SCAG Connect SoCal Plan include, for example, development accessible to jobs, services, recreational and educational facilities, transit-oriented and mixed-use development, housing and housing supportive infrastructure development in Priority Growth Areas and High Quality Transit Areas (HQTAs). Additional examples of equitable growth strategies included in the EJ (Environmental Justice) Toolbox of the plan and applicable to planning for new housing development include capacity building community engagement workshops and techniques, community-based home ownership options, inclusionary zoning, resilient energy efficient design, use of renewable energy sources, acoustical site design, and plan and site design incentivizing active transportation.
  • Application Questions

    Interested parties should submit the following information for consideration:

    1. Organization: Introduce the lead organizational applicant and primary organizational partners (if any) for this proposal and the history of the partnership. Describe the experience and capacity of the participating organizations and individual team members to carry out this project. In the attachment section, be sure to include the following:

    • Biographies of senior leadership and program staff that will be working directly on this project.
    • IRS W9 form indication that the Lead applicant is incorporated in the county(ies) in which the grant activities will take place.
    • If the proposal is a collaboration of multiple entities, include letters of support from each organization indicating their commitment and support for the initiative in the attachment section.

    2. Proposal: Identify the funding opportunity for which the Applicant is applying (Partnership Grant or Spark Grant). Provide a complete description of the proposed project and how it will be carried out. Include at least three goals you will seek to accomplish with this grant. In the narrative, be sure to describe how the initiative aligns with the eligible activities as described above.

    3. Short Term Objectives and Outcomes: In this section, describe how you are planning to evaluate and report on the progress of this project. Make sure to state objectives to achieve the proposed goals of the project and include metrics for which your organization will measure and report on the grant’s outcomes. In this section, please also include a projected timeline for grant-funded activities with benchmarks and milestones.

    4. Long Term Outcomes: How will the proposed project result in the production of new housing in a sustainable and equitable way in the long-term? Why do you believe the strategy will be successful? What challenges do you foresee and how do you plan to address them? Include any past experience, research, or case studies that support your strategy.

    5. Geographic Targeting: In which of the six SCAG counties is your proposed scope of work located? In which community/ies or sub-county geographies will your proposed project focus? Describe the demographics of the communities you are planning to target, the landscape on housing affordability, and the barriers to increasing housing production, especially affordable housing. Include an analysis of the other stakeholders, both supporting and opposing your proposed project, and the decision-makers you will need to work with to be successful.

    6. Community Engagement: How does your project reflect the voices of the communities that will be impacted? Describe how your proposal will advance racial equity and prioritize marginalized communities. How will staff continue to collaborate and seek input from these communities?

    7. Budget: Applicants should include a detailed budget for the project, along with a narrative describing each of the project’s line items. Access Sample Budget Template

    8. Training and Technical Assistance: Selected grantees will benefit from a small amount of training and technical assistance from a team of housing, planning and legal experts, depending on funding availability. Describe the type of supplemental training and technical assistance you would like to receive from this program, and how that would enhance the outcomes of your project.

    Required Organizational Attachment Checklist
    – Agency Operating Budget (current fiscal year)
    – Organizational Chart
    – List of Board Members with Demographics
    – Bios of Key Staff
    – IRS W9 Form
    – Letters of Support from Partnering Organizations (if any) (note that a formal resolution is not needed)
    – List of Funders (for organization)
    – Strategic Plan (most current)
    – Financial Projections (2 – 5 years)
    – Most recent Audited Financial Statements

  • Evaluation and Selection Process

    This is a competitive grant process. A review panel comprised of experienced staff from CCF, SCAG and other funders/experts will evaluate the application narrative and required documents to determine which proposal is likely to have the most significant impact or innovation in the SCAG region. Applicants may receive a video call and/or other type of communication from CCF staff as part of the review process. It is the goal of the funders to identify qualified applications in each targeted County. Proposals will also be evaluated using the following criteria:

  • Questions

    Questions regarding the RFP can be emailed to housing [@] calfund [.] org. Only questions emailed, no later than February 5, 2021 at 5:00pm, will be answered – CCF and SCAG staff are not able to respond to questions through any other way. An FAQ document will be added to the online application portal with all questions submitted and answers.

  • Apply Now

    To apply, please login in via Nonprofit Connect and select the “SCAG Equitable Growth Initiative RFP” application.

    Apply Now

    Note: Username and password is required to access the online portal. For detailed instructions on how to register, please click here.

    For questions, please contact Francisco Covarrubias program manager, housing, at
    fcovarrubias [@] calfund [.] org.


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