Full proposals may be submitted to CHCF if: (1) solicited by program staff, (2) through a request for proposals (RFP) process, or (3) invited upon review of an unsolicited letter of inquiry. Proposals should be addressed to the CHCF staff who requested the proposal or as instructed in the RFP.
A complete grant proposal should include:
1. Proposal cover sheet
Download and complete the Proposal Cover Sheet (Word) form to provide summary information about your project.
2. Tax ID information
Unless you or your organization has received funding from CHCF within the last two years, please provide a current W9, signed and dated at least within a year. A blank W9 is available here.
- Line 1 must reflect the legal name as shown on the entity’s tax return (for individuals and for-profit organizations) or as registered with the IRS (for nonprofit organizations).
- Note that CHCF issues grant payments to the DBA name. If you or your organization cannot accept payment in the DBA name, DO NOT include it in Line 2 (leave Line 2 blank).
Additional Instructions for Nonprofit Organizations
- On Line 3, check the “Other” box and indicate both the section of the Internal Revenue Code under which your organization is exempt and its organizational form — e.g., 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation.
- On Line 4, if your organization is exempt from backup withholding, indicate the appropriate exemption code. (See W-9 Instructions for Line 4 for the list of codes.)
Additional Instructions for Individuals and Sole Proprietors
- Include your Social Security Number in addition to your Employer Identification Number (if you have one). This information is required by CHCF to comply with the State of California’s Employment Development Department’s Independent Contractor Reporting rules. Learn more about this requirement.
3. Proposal guidelines
Applicants should follow the foundation’s CHCF Grant Proposal Guidelines (PDF) unless instructed otherwise by CHCF staff or the RFP.
CHCF accepts budgets in two formats:
- Line item budgets are generally provided by nonprofit institutions. These budgets include a list of personnel for the project, full-time effort (FTE) and benefits for each person, direct costs, and indirect costs. Please attach a separate budget justification. CHCF will fund up to 15% of direct costs, excluding subcontracts, as indirect costs for a project (see FAQ for more information). You can use this Line Item Budget Form (Excel).
- Time and materials budgets are generally provided by for-profit entities and individual consultants. These budgets include a list of personnel for the project, their hourly rates and the number of hours each person is expected to contribute toward the project, and a list of direct costs. Please provide a separate budget justification if the fields available in the template do not provide enough room for an adequate description of the cost. CHCF’s indirect rate does not apply, as it is assumed that benefits and indirect costs are included in the loaded hourly rates. Note: Expenses that are directly related to the project may be included as part of the budget, but are reimbursable only if they satisfy the criteria outlined in CHCF Travel and Expense Guidelines for Grantees, Contractors, and Consultants (PDF). You can use this CHCF Grants Time Materials Budget Form (Excel).
- Applicants are encouraged to use CHCF budget templates, or to create a similar budget using a spreadsheet program such as Excel. Budgets may be divided into separate worksheets for each year of a multiyear project, or by major tasks or phases of work if appropriate.
5. California Tax Withholding
For-profit organizations and individuals located out-of-state may be subject to California’s tax withholding laws. As such, CHCF requires out-of-state contractors to complete a California Tax Withholding Form (available on our Grantee Resources page), and CHCF will withhold taxes from payments for services rendered for CHCF in California. Contractors are advised to consult with their tax attorney or accountant for guidance.
Proposal Review Process
Grant decisions based on full proposals are made by either CHCF staff or the board of directors, depending on the size of the request.
- Funding requests under $500,000 are reviewed and considered by CHCF staff on a rolling basis, meaning there are no deadlines for submission. Decisions are generally made within two to three months after a full proposal is received.
- Funding requests over $500,000 must be recommended by CHCF staff to the board of directors, which meets in March/April, June, September, and December each year. Requests that are recommended for board approval are typically in development with active participation from program staff for at least three to four months prior to a board meeting. This timeline may not apply for proposals that were solicited or submitted in response to an RFP.
Questions about writing or submitting a proposal should be addressed to the CHCF staff who requested it. For general questions, such as how to complete the budget forms, contact CHCF Grants Administration. Proposals should be submitted to the appropriate staff as instructed.