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County of Santa Clara Launches $10 Million Community-Based Organization Grant Program

The VMC Foundation to help distribute the American Rescue Plan Act funds 

En español

SANTA CLARA COUNTY, CALIF. – The County of Santa Clara will launch a Community-Based Organization (CBO) Grant Program using $10 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds. The program will bolster the social safety net and help nonprofits respond to negative economic impacts and racial inequities heightened by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“Community-Based Organizations are tremendous partners in helping the people we serve,” said County Supervisor and Board Vice President Susan Ellenberg. “They have been critical in the County’s effort to lift our most vulnerable populations, especially during the pandemic. This funding enables these organizations to help people in need, which in turn helps all of us.”

The County has partnered with the Valley Medical Center (VMC) Foundation to administer the grants and received input from stakeholders – such as Silicon Valley Council of Nonprofits and the Racial Equity Action Leadership Coalition – to help shape the program to meet critical needs identified by the CBO community. 

“The ARPA funds are critical to help make communities whole again as we navigate our way out of the pandemic,” said County Chief Operating Officer Greta Hansen. “CBOs have faced challenges due to increased demand for services and they have had to adapt to different operational needs, as well as declines in revenues in donations and fees. These funds will help them recover so they can continue to provide crucial services to our residents.” 

There are two grant categories of up to $150,000 each that CBOs can apply for. Resilience funds would be awarded to assist nonprofits in addressing negative economic impacts of the pandemic that caused losses or under-investment in organizational infrastructure. Sustainability funds would help CBOs plan or implement organizational change to strengthen racial equity, diversity, and inclusion within organizational operations and/or in the provision of services. 

“Our goal is to make this a process as straightforward as possible,” said VMC Foundation President and Executive Director Michael Elliott. “We will have a dedicated team in place to provide support during the application process and will continue to partner with and support grantees through the end of the program in September 2024.”

To be eligible for the grants, CBOs must be considered “nonprofit” under ARPA—specifically those that are 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(19) tax-exempt organizations. The VMC Foundation grant portal will open on Nov. 14. and applications are due on Dec. 19, 2022.  

The VMC Foundation will hold two informational meetings for CBOs to ask staff questions and get more information on the process. There will be an in-person meeting from 1 – 4 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 7 at the Sobrato Center for Nonprofits, 1400 Parkmoor Ave., San José, Cupertino Room. There will be a virtual meeting from 9 – 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 9. CBOs can RSVP for the meetings and apply for grants at


The County of Santa Clara government serves a diverse, multi-cultural population of 1.9 million residents in Santa Clara County, Calif., making it more populous than 14 states in the U.S. The County provides essential services to its residents, including public health protection, environmental stewardship, medical services through the County of Santa Clara Health System, child and adult protection services, homelessness prevention and solutions, roads, park services, libraries, emergency response to disasters, protection of minority communities and those under threat, access to a fair criminal justice system, and many other public benefits. 
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Media Contact: Quan Vu/Matthew Rudig, Office of Communications and Public Affairs, [email protected], (408) 299-5119