The Policy Project 2024 Grant Round Guidelines and Criteria

About The Policy Project

The Community Foundation for Southern Arizona, with the generous support of The Melody S. Robidoux Fund, is launching The Policy Project.

This unique funding opportunity provides non-profit 501(c)3 organizations with an opportunity to impact their community by increasing their public policy and public advocacy efforts over the course of up to three (3) years. This grant provides flexible funding for organizations to use dollars as they see fit to address emerging or existing public policy issues, helping to lead our community to a healthier, safer, and more innovative future. The Policy Project is rooted in mutual trust, with the philosophy that grantees understand their unique needs and can demonstrate and achieve impact.

Organizations may apply individually or as part of an advocacy-based coalition. Funding may be used to advance advocacy and public policy efforts via increasing or retaining current staff members, purchasing technology or other advocacy related equipment, or other necessary items to allow for the expansion of quality advocacy efforts in our community.

Application Guidelines

Applications open on Monday, April 29, 2024. Join us for a virtual information session on grant guidelines and criteria on Wednesday, May 1, 2024, from 12:00 PM to 1:00 PMRSVP for this session here.

Important Dates

  • April 29, 2024 | 12:00 AM MST: Application Opens
  • May 1, 2024 | 5:00 PM MST : Information Session
  • May 20, 2024 | 5:00 PM MST: Application Due
  • May – June 2024: Application Review
  • July 2024: Award Notifications

Questions? Contact our Community Impact Team at or by phone at 520-770-0800.

To Apply

All applications must be submitted through an online process with Common Grant Application. We strongly encourage you to review the tutorial video, which contains important information on how to register/login and submit an application.  To view the video: click here.

  • First-time users of Common Grant Application, click here to register for an account.
  • If you have already applied for a grant using Common Grant Application, you should have an account. Returning users click here.

Public Policy Project Grant Priorities

The Public Policy Project grants are scored according to a rubric representative of the following characteristics.

  • Systems Change: Applicant demonstrates the ability to create lasting systems change efforts that meet a present or emerging need in the community.
  • Educational Awareness: Applicant demonstrates the ability to increase the education and involvement of their consistency, clients, or the general public in order to advance their public policy goal or agenda through collaborations, coalitions, or other partnerships with community-based organizations and groups.
  • Organizational Sustainability: Applicant possesses a business model that provides ongoing financial support and stable governance for their organization.
  • Results: Applicant utilizes different methods of evaluation and data collection to inform decision-making, as well as develop appropriate services to the community.
  • Effective Advocacy/Public Policy Efforts: Applicant can clearly speak to the importance of the policy goal in relation to their organization’s mission, programs, and strategic plan. The organization’s advocacy goals must be achievable within the timeframe of the grant period.

In addition to meeting the Public Policy Project values, organizations applying for these grants must meet all the criteria below. Organizations will be screened for basic eligibility criteria by staff at the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona to ensure they meet the criteria before advancing to committee review.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Applicant must be a 501(c)3 in good standing and have been operating for at least 2 years or apply using a fiscal sponsor.
  • If applying with a fiscal sponsor, the fiscal sponsor must be a 501(c)3 in good standing, located in Southern Arizona (with the exception of the Technical Assistance Partnership of Arizona (TAPAZ).
  • Applicant must be based in Southern Arizona (we welcome applicants from all counties south of the Gila River, including Cochise, Graham, Greenlee, Pima, Santa Cruz, Yuma, and relevant areas of Pinal County).
  • Applicant must be current in all reporting to CFSA.
  • Applicant must have an annual operating budget over $100,000 or apply using a fiscal sponsor.
  • Grants are not made to individuals, for-profit organizations, government entities, capital fund drives, agency endowments, debt reduction, individual schools, religious organizations for sectarian purposes, or pure sports teams.

General Grant Guidelines

  • The Public Policy Project is a three-year grant cycle. First year awards will be made via a competitive application process, with noncompetitive renewal processes to take place in subsequent years. The maximum grant award per year is $30,000 per year.
  • Awards made by CFSA’s various grant committees support organizations that do not discriminate in their employment practices, volunteer opportunities, or delivery of programs and services based on race, religion, gender or gender identity (including nonconformity and status as a transgender individual), gender expression, sexual orientation, age, ancestry, citizenship, ethnicity, familial status, socioeconomic status (economic circumstances), color creed, sex (including pregnancy), phases of parenthood, national origin, marital status, veteran status (past, current, or prospective service in the armed forces), genetic information, physical characteristics or appearance, mental or physical disability, or any other status prohibited by applicable law.