Core Support Grants

The LOI deadlines for Core Support Grants have passed. Check back in Summer of 2017 for next cycle's deadlines!

If your LOI was approved to submit a full proposal, you may login here to complete the full application.


The Satterberg Foundation is pleased to announce a new grant program, the Core Support Grant-- a multi-year general operating grant that funds up to $100,000 per year, up to three years. This program is structured to represent a blend of ideas that we believe contribute to resilient nonprofit organizations, strong partnerships with the Foundation, and ultimately the fulfillment of our mission to create a just society and a sustainable environment. Our previous Open Grant and Capacity Building Grant programs are no longer available for application; these two programs were the predecessors to the Core Support Grant.

Through the Core Support Grant program, the Foundation will partner with organizations most aligned with our mission in the communities of Washington and California. We plan to award up to 60 Core Support Grants in 2017. The Satterberg Foundation values building relationships as opposed to transactional grantmaking, and we aim to create a program that can evolve over time through learning and experiences with partner grantees.


In brief, we will have a three­-stage process consisting of a letter of intent (LOI), site visit, and full application. We will strongly encourage applicants to request grants of $300,000 over 3 years whenever possible, but respect the wishes of organizations who choose to propose less.


Core Support Grant Hosted Info SessionsJuly - October 2016
California LOIs dueOctober 4, 2016
Washington LOIs DueNovember 1, 2016
LOI Notifications to Submit Full ProposalsLate January 2017
Site Visits for California Agencies
February 2017
California Applications DueMarch 7, 2017
Awarded California Agencies Receive FundingLate April 2017
Site Visits for Washington AgenciesMarch - May 2017
Washington Applications DueMay 31, 2017
Awarded Washington Agencies Receive FundingLate July 2017

Program Goals

  • Fund non­profit organizations promoting at least one of Satterberg’s mission focus areas. Partner grantees’ organizational mission statement will be aligned with Satterberg’s mission statement.
  • Mission Balance: 40% of Core Support grantees to focus on just society; 40% of Core Support grantees to focus on sustainable environment; 20% of Core Support grantees to focus on both mission areas.
  • Geography Balance: 40% of Core Support grantees working in/impacting California; 60% of Core Support grantees working in/impacting Washington.
  • Prioritize potential grantees that are committed to capacity building and/or advocacy efforts.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Applicant organization must be a tax­ exempt nonprofit under section 501(c)3 of the IRS code or equivalent, or be fiscally sponsored by a 501(c)3 organization.
  • Applicant organization must be nondiscriminatory in its policies and practices in regards to sex, race, color, marital status, national origin, religious affiliation, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, veteran status, and age.
  • Applicant organization’s mission must reflect its work in promoting a just society and/or sustainable environment.
  • Applicant organization must be located in and/or making an impact in Washington and/or California.
  • Applicant organization must have a current year annual expense budget under $5 million. The fiscal sponsor of an organization does not have to have an expense budget under $5 million.
  • Applicant organization must have at least 1 paid FTE (full time equivalent) employee. Having more than 1 employee to accommodate the 1 FTE requirement is acceptable (i.e. two 0.5 employees or four 0.25 employees make 1 FTE).
  • Grants will not be considered for individuals, political candidates or religious purposes.
  • Current Satterberg Foundation grant recipients may not be eligible to receive a Core Support grant. If you are a current grantee, please contact Satterberg Foundation staff for more information.

Information Sessions

The information sessions for the Core Support Grants Program are full.

  • Click here to listen to a recorded Info Session.
  • Click here for the handout given during the Core Support Info Sessions.
  • In addition, Satterberg Foundation staff are always open to questions. To contact a staff member, click here.

At the information sessions, we cover the following topics:

  1. The Satterberg Foundation methodology and the intent of the Core Support Grant Program
  2. An overview of what makes a good applicant, the grant process, LOI questions, timeline, and some technical information about our grant system.
  3. Any questions you might have for us.

How To Apply

The LOI deadlines for Core Support Grants have passed. Check back in 2017 for next year's deadlines!

Step One: Determine if you are a good fit

Please read through the Satterberg Foundation website and Core Support Grant Program information to ensure your organization is eligible to apply. Understand that Satterberg seeks to partner with organizations whose overall mission is aligned with Satterberg’s mission of promoting a just society and sustainable environment—mission alignment is not considered through program or service offerings. Satterberg first reviews the organization’s mission statement to determine alignment with Satterberg’s mission. Read here on what the Satterberg Board defines as a just society and sustainable environment.

If your organization has questions about eligibility and whether your organization may be a good fit, we’re happy to hear from you. Contact a Satterberg staff member if you have any questions.

Step Two: Submit a Letter of Inquiry (LOI)

If you think your organization may be a good fit, you may get the ball rolling and submit an LOI. Since Core Support Grants are funded once a year, there is a year­long LOI collection process via our web­based grant application system. All LOIs will be considered for funding in the next calendar year (so, if you submit an LOI in 2016, you will be considered for funding in 2017). We do our best to let you know as soon as possible if you are not the right fit for a Satterberg Core Support Grant (and we will tell you why, too). For those organizations that may be a good fit, we will hold onto your LOI until the end of the year and notify you in January if you are invited to be considered for a grant. Each year, we have two LOI collection cut­off dates: one for organizations working in California and one for those working in Washington.

  • California applicant organization LOI deadline is October 4, 2016.
  • Washington applicant organization LOI deadline is November 1, 2016.

We encourage you to submit an LOI earlier in the year. You will hear from us sooner about the status of your LOI, we’ll be able to spend more time in discussion with you about your organization, and you’ll ensure you won’t miss the cut­off date! Applicant organizations may only submit one LOI per year.

Step Three: Notification

If you are not a good fit for a Core Support Grant, we will notify you as soon as possible. For organization that are moving forward for consideration, a final notification will be communicated in January (submitting an LOI and not hearing back from us with a decline within a month or two means you’re still being considered). Final notifications advising either a decline or an invitation to submit an application will be communicated in January.

At any time, we encourage you to reach out and ask the status of your LOI. If your organization is not moving forward for grant consideration, we are happy to share with you Satterberg’s thoughts on why a Core Support Grant does not seem like a good fit or how you might be more eligible in the future.

For organizations moving forward in January for grant consideration, Satterberg wants to get to know you and have a sense of how you work. We may request a site visit and/or a phone call to spend time with the organization’s leadership, and build an understanding of your organization’s abilities, insight, dedication, and vision.

We will also ask you to submit a full application that includes your thoughts about the work you do, and how capacity building and advocacy are a part of your work. We will also take a deeper dive with a brief analysis of your organizational documents that you should already have (for example, an operating budget, board list, etc).

Step Four: Decision

If everything aligns, and the Satterberg Foundation wants to partner with you, we will let you know after our Board meeting. For funding decisions, California organizations will be reviewed by the Satterberg Board in Quarter 2, and we will let you know the funding decision very soon after that. Washington organizations will be reviewed in Quarter 3 and we will also get back to you after the decision meeting.

State LOI Deadline LOI Notification Site VisitsApplication Deadline Funding Starts
California October 4, 2016 LOI declines are made throughout the year and application invitations are sent in late January 2017 February 2017March 7, 2017Late April 2017
Washington November 1, 2016 LOI declines are made throughout the year and application invitations are sent in late January 2017 March - May 2017May 31, 2017Late July 2017

We also look forward to building a relationship with you as one of our partners. This could include a kick­off call/meeting to talk about potential (and reasonable) milestones you hope to achieve in the life of the grant, engaging Satterberg family members to spend a day in your shoes so we can roll up our sleeves, work alongside you, and get a first­hand view of your work. We may also invite you to attend a convening with other grantee partners to discuss common issues, trends, and capacity building. We are all about collaboration and building relationships with each other!

Frequently Asked Questions

What are your granting priorities?

  • Creating a just society and sustainable environment is Satterberg’s mission and the Foundation does this through granting to organizations supporting:
    • Access to housing
    • Access to food
    • Access to health care
    • Access to education
    • Access to employment
    • Empowerment to have one's voice heard
    • Advocacy and policy/systems change for a just society
    • Environmental resilience
    • Environmental conservation
    • Nature preservation and protection
    • Pollution reduction and avoidance/clean policies
    • Education about environmental stewardship
    • Environmental advocacy and policy/systems change

In addition to advocacy, do you also fund lobbying?

  • Under federal tax law, the Satterberg Foundation cannot fund lobbying. For more information about what we consider advocacy verses lobbying, visit Council on Foundations or Bolder Advocacy.

What makes this program different to your previous grant programs?

  • This program is more competitive in the area of mission alignment.
  • These funds are only for general operating.
  • Organizations up to $5M can apply for funding up to $100k a year, as opposed to the budget-adjusted amounts in the previous grant programs.

Why is the maximum ask per year $100,000?

  • Given our Foundation’s assets, breadth of mission and geographic focus, and our desire to provide substantive general operating support to nonprofits, this amount allows us to give both broadly and deeply in the topics identified by our Board.

Is there a minimum operating budget size required to apply?

What if our organization is based in Washington or California but does not serve those areas?

  • The applicant organization must have an impact in either or both Washington and California but does not does not need to be located in either.

What if our organization is headquartered outside of Washington or California but serves one of those areas?

  • It does not matter where the applicant organization is based but an organization must make a meaningful impact in either Washington or California to be eligible for Satterberg Core Support funding. must primarily serve either state in order to be eligible for funding.

What if our organization does not meet some of the eligibility criteria now, but will by the time we could receive funding from the Satterberg Foundation?

  • The current status of your organization is what will be used to determine your organization’s eligibility for Satterberg Funding. Therefore, if you do not meet the eligibility requirements when you apply, you are not eligible. If you become eligible later, we suggest revisiting applying for our funds at that time.

How will you ensure that the funder/grantee relationship is not one that is only transactional?

  • The Satterberg Foundation places an emphasis on relationships and transparency.
  • We invite our partner grantees to attend convenings with other Satterberg grantees in order to build a Community of Practice (Community of Practice: convenings, listening sessions, and other cross-grantee engagement).
  • We facilitate connections with other funders to help support our partner grantee and their work.

How will the Satterberg Board and Family be engaged in this process?

  • The Satterberg Board and F\family may engage with the Core Support Grant process through LOI and Application review committees, as well as attending convenings with grantees, Satterberg family trainings, and other appropriate opportunities. The Satterberg Board determines funding based on the recommendations from review committees.

What does a site visit entail and do you require a site visit prior to grant approval?

  • Generally, we will request  a site visit with agencies who have been invited to submit a full application and site visits will be scheduled with applicant grantees before the application deadline. For applicants in California, we will conduct site visits during Jan-March of 2017 and to applicants in Washington we will conduct site visits during March-May of 2017. While we consider your organization for a grant, Satterberg wants to get to know you and have a sense of how you work. We may request a site visit and/or phone call to spend time with the organization’s leadership, and build an understanding of your organization’s abilities, insight, dedication, and vision. We also want to know if you are having fun doing the work you do, and if it is apparent that the work of the organization is truly guided by the organization’s mission.

Technical Tips for Using our Online Application

Below are a few steps that you can take to help prevent issues when accessing and filling out our online grant forms: 

Use Internet Explorer or Firefox.

  • While you can access our applications and see the questions using most browsers, only Microsoft Edge or Firefox will correctly open and display the entire form. Some browsers may have issues related to cookies and some will not display the navigation buttons for the application.

Cookies must be enabled on your browser.

  • To enable cookies on Internet Explorer browsers:
    1. Go to the Tools menu, select Internet Options. You will see the Internet Options dialog that provides a number of tabs that allow you to set your browser preferences.
    2. Click the Privacy tab.
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    4. Locate and click the checkbox next to “Always allow session cookies.”
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    4. Restart your browser to apply the settings.

Save and close your application between sessions.

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Write your answers in a separate word document before copying and pasting into the online application.

  • This ensures your information is not lost if your application is not saved.

Do not open other browser windows while completing your application.

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Do not format answers in application answer fields.

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Add to your safe senders list to ensure you receive all system communications. 

  • All automated communications from the system, including submission receipts, will be sent from the email To add this email to your safe sender list in Outlook:
    1. Click Junk in the Delete section of the Home tab.
    2. Select Junk E-mail Options from the drop-down menu.
    3. On the Junk E-mail Options dialog box, click the Safe Senders tab, then click Add.
    4. On the Add address or domain dialog box, enter the above email address in the edit box and click OK. 

Access your saved application instead of starting a new one.

If you created an online account and are now unable to log back in, contact us.

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If an online account was created by an employee who is no longer with your organization, contact us to reset your password.