$1 million in funding will be granted to nonprofits that offer summer enrichment programming to students who have been most impacted by the COVID-19 crisis outside of the San Diego Unified School District service area.

The application deadline has passed.

Students with butterfly

Students outside playing sports

Summer Learning Matters

COVID-19 has profoundly impacted every single aspect of our lives. Students, our region’s children and youth, have been especially impacted by the disruption to in-person learning and programs for youth. And, despite the resilience they have demonstrated over the past year, the COVID-19 crisis has both highlighted and exacerbated the existing inequalities challenging young San Diegans.

Summertime has always been a unique opportunity to support the whole student experience. But not every student has access.

Research has historically demonstrated that unequal summertime opportunities contribute to poor academic and social emotional outcomes for students who lack access to summertime programs. High-quality summer learning programs can accelerate learning, impart non-cognitive skills that impact academic achievement and nurture a sense of community and belonging.

This summer more than ever, there is an increased need for responsive summertime learning environments, especially for those student groups most impacted by the pandemic.

In response, The San Diego Foundation is proud to work with school districts and nonprofit organizations across San Diego County to bring our young people a summer of learning and joy.

In the City of San Diego, The San Diego Foundation partnered with San Diego Unified to deliver the Level Up SD Grants Program, a funding opportunity for nonprofit organizations delivering reimagined and enhanced summer enrichment programs for students enrolled with San Diego Unified. The Level Up SD Grants Program application deadline has passed.

The San Diego County Summer of Learning and Joy Grants Program is intended to support nonprofit organizations delivering summer enrichment activities to students with little to no-access to summer enrichment opportunities outside of the San Diego Unified School District service area.

To receive more information on Summer of Learning and Joy or Level Up SD grant opportunities, submit a “Subscribe for Program Updates” form.

Contact summerlearning@sdfoundation.org for questions.

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Summer of Learning and Joy Grants Program

In response to the learning and enrichment needs of students most impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, The San Diego Foundation seeks proposals from nonprofit organizations to reimagine and enhance the 2021 summer school experience with free enrichment programs for students enrolled in a San Diego County K-12 school.

San Diego County Summer of Learning and Joy grants to nonprofit community organizations will fund summer enrichment activities. Grants are intended to expand the amount of summer enrichment activities available, at no cost, to students most impacted by COVID-19.

At this time, $1 million is available to fund these efforts. Grants are intended to support expanded learning programs in summer 2021. Funding is possible for programs beginning in summer and extending into the 2021/2022 academic year.

Grant amounts are expected to range from $10,000 to $100,000. A wide range of nonprofit community organizations will be considered, including high-capacity organizations with existing, scalable programs, organizations with new program models, grassroots nonprofit organizations, and organizations with a track record of service in communities most impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.

The application deadline has passed.

Frequently Asked Questions

General

What is the San Diego County Summer of Learning and Joy Grant Program?

In response to the learning and enrichment needs of students most impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, The San Diego Foundation seeks proposals from nonprofit organizations to reimagine and enhance the 2021 summer school experience with free enrichment programs for students enrolled in a San Diego County K-12 school.

San Diego County Summer of Learning and Joy grants to nonprofit community organizations will fund summer enrichment activities. Grants are intended to expand the amount of summer enrichment activities available, at no cost, to students most impacted by COVID-19.

How much funding is available?

At this time, $1 million is available to fund these efforts. Grants are intended to support expanded learning programs in summer 2021. Funding is possible for programs beginning in summer and extending into the 2021/2022 academic year.

How much funding can a nonprofit organization receive?

Grant amounts are expected to range from $10,000 to $100,000. A wide range of nonprofit community organizations will be considered, including high-capacity organizations with existing, scalable programs, organizations with new program models, grassroots nonprofit organizations, and organizations with a track record of service in communities most impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.

How can a nonprofit organization apply?

The application deadline has passed.

When is the application deadline?

The deadline to submit was Friday, June 4, 2021 before 12:00pm (PST).

Can an organization partner with other nonprofits?

Yes, nonprofit organizations can partner with other nonprofits, but when applying, there will need to be one main applicant – the organization that receives the funds and is the main contact. An organization can only apply as the lead applicant and contact on one application but can be mentioned as a partner/collaborator on more than one application.

Eligibility

Who is eligible to apply?

Applicants will meet the following criteria:

  • Be a nonprofit, community-based organization with 501(c)(3) public charity status in good standing, located in San Diego County. A 501(c)(3) public charity may serve as a fiscal sponsor for another applicant to administer the grant and provide regular financial reporting to The San Diego Foundation so long as the applicant is located in San Diego County and serves San Diego County students.
  • Be an organization proposing a program that primarily serves students attending a school in a school district that is not San Diego Unified School District

This grant opportunity will not fund endowments, existing obligations/debt, scholarships (defined as awards of financial aid for post-secondary studies), singular events – such as one-time workshops, or projects that promote religious or political doctrines.

Are schools eligible?

Schools are not eligible for this grant program.

Program Design

What is The San Diego Foundation looking for in funding proposals?

Proposals will be assessed on:

  • Background and organizational track record of serving youth and executing the strategies above
  • Programs that prioritize in-person format
  • Past performance providing outreach to underserved communities and the ability to provide access to activities for underserved students
  • Staff qualifications in designing and implementing enrichment programs for youth
  • Health and safety protocols, including staff to student ratios
  • Proposed methodology and workplan that demonstrates an effective program design to provide access and equitable programs for a variety of underserved communities and San Diego students not enrolled in San Diego Unified, in particular:
    • Students from low-income households i.e. households of less than 50% AMI and between 50% and 80% AMI
    • Students who were most impacted by the COVID-19 crisis including but not limited to foster youth, disconnected youth, English Language Learners, students with different learning styles, student identifying as a member of the LGBTQ community, and students from Black, Latinx, Indigenous, Asian Pacific Islander and underrepresented racial and ethnic communities
  • Clear and achievable outcomes for learning and social engagement
  • Additional unique and strong features of the program shall include:
    • Trauma-informed design/delivery
    • Culturally relevant and affirming spaces of learning
    • Multi-generational and/or engage and empower caregivers as educational partners/advocates

Does my program have to be an in-person model?

The intent of the San Diego County Summer of Learning and Joy Grant Program is to fund nonprofit and community-based summer enrichment programs that: respond to the needs of students most impacted by the COVID-19 crisis; accelerate student learning; support the development of well-being, knowledge, and skills through the summer; and promote a sense of hope, belonging and anticipation for the coming academic year. In-person program models are better poised to achieve these objectives. While organizations may submit an application for a variety of program models (in-person, hybrid, virtual) fully in-person models will be prioritized in the review process.

What program focuses will be considered for funding?

The San Diego Foundation encourages nonprofit organizations with existing programs or new program ideas to think expansively and creatively about this funding opportunity. Consider all the ways your organization has dreamt of expanding your summer offering, and/or ideas for new summer offerings to serve the young people your organization engages. Submit a proposal to reflect that aspiration. A wide variety of programs will be considered for funding, including, but not limited to:

  • Academic tutoring
  • Exposure to career pathways and paid internships
  • Outdoor nature experiences
  • Performing and musical arts programs
  • Reading and writing experiences
  • Sports and fitness programs
  • STEM and STEAM related experiences
  • Visual and media arts programs

What will improve our chances of funding, a program model that has more contact hours or a program that has wider reach and serves more students?

Program design is at the discretion of the organization. Applicants are invited to consider and present the program model that is best suited to their mission, expertise, capacity, and desired outcomes.The goal of this grant program is to fund the maximum value of enrichment offered to students.

Are there a certain number of hours or days a program is required to run?

There is no set requirement. The frequency and duration of the proposed program will be taken into consideration when determining grant amounts.

Can weekend programming be considered for this funding program?

Yes, programs may be scheduled for weekends.

Can funds be used to support summer programming for transitioning college students?

Yes, funding is available for programs offering enrichment to students who will be enrolled in a San Diego County K-12 school for the 2021-22 academic year and students enrolled in their first year of college in the 2021-2022 academic year.

Can students be transported out of the county (i.e., other county college visits)?

Travel as a program feature is at the organization’s discretion. Note however, travel expenses outside of the county are not a permissible expense for this funding opportunity.

Will there be a requirement to provide free lunch for summer camp programs?

No, this is not a requirement, but highly encouraged. Grant funds may be used for food and reflected in your budget and amount requested.

What are the insurance requirements an organization must hold?

Applicants must provide proof of their own insurance. Awarded organizations are expected to carry $1 million of coverage as a minimum. Awarded organizations will be asked to add The San Diego Foundation as an additional insured.

Are programs inclusive of students with IEPS prioritized?

Programs serving students with IEPs are highly encouraged to apply.

Budget & Financials

What are allowable budget expenses?

Grant funds may be used to support staff salaries, supplies, temporary technology needs of staff or participants, personal protective equipment, consultant/contractors, general operating costs (indirect), or any other program costs or needs tied to the effective delivery of programs for students in summer 2021.

Can the budget include indirect costs?

Yes, your budget may include indirect costs (sometimes referred to as overhead or general operating costs). These are generally items that cannot be directly attributed to the project or program for which you are requesting funding but are necessary for the organization to operate. These may include: facility rent, utilities, general office supplies, salaries for executives, accounting and legal expenses, insurance, and human resources and payroll costs.

Is there a cap on indirect cost rate?

No, there are no minimum or maximums on the indirect rate (administrative/general operating cost). We encourage applicants to submit a budget that reflects reasonable costs that allows the organization to deliver the program effectively while achieving an optimal cost-per-student ratio.

Is there a required template for the budget?

No, you are welcome to submit a budget format of your choosing. Your budget should clearly define the costs associated with the following categories: Personnel costs (salaried and hourly), facilities costs, meals, transportation, instructional costs, stipends, indirect/administrative, other costs tied to the effective delivery of the program. If your organization is looking for a helpful template and guidance for developing your summer learning program budget, check out the Wallace Foundation’s Summer Learning Toolkit – Setting a Budget.

Can a program apply for stipends/paid internships?

Nonprofits are encouraged to submit a budget reflecting reasonable costs tied to the effective delivery of programs for students in summer 2021. Include stipends or costs related to paid internships if this cost is critical to your program model and impact. Elaborate on this point in the budget narrative section.

Why do the guidelines state that ‘scholarships’ will not be funded?

This note refers to financial aid awards for post-secondary education. This type of scholarship is not a fundable expense in this program.

Can awarded organizations charge a student participants a fee or deposit?

A goal of this program is to reduce the barriers communities, in particular low-income and underserved communities, face in securing enriching summertime experiences for children. If your program requires a small fee or refundable deposit to encourage participation that is at your organization’s discretion. The fee/deposit must not pose a barrier to access. Otherwise, please submit an amount request and budget that allows the organization to offer programs at no direct cost to students and families.

What does per student cost mean?

You can calculate the total cost-per-student by dividing the total program budget (irrespective of funding sources or offsets) by the number of students your program serves. For example, if your total program budget is $50,000 and you intend to serve 100 students, $50,000/100 = $500 cost-per-student.

Is there a maximum, or preferred, cost-per-student that TSDF is looking for?

No, organizations should define the cost-per-student in alignment with the program offering. We do not have set minimums or maximums for cost-per-student. We will assess the type of program you propose against the total amount of funds that you request.

Can some of the budget be used to provide travel for out-of-state partners? 

Out-of-state travel is not an allowable budget expense. We encourage applicants to work with San Diego-based partners.

If there is a cost to rent facilities, can we work that into the budget?

Facility rental is a permissible expense and can be included in the budget you submit as part of your proposal to the San Diego County Summer of Learning and Joy Grant Program.

If you are working with a fiscal sponsor, do you upload the fiscal sponsor's financials? Is that optional?

If you are submitting an application for an organization that is fiscally sponsored by another organization, submit your organization’s (the sponsored organization) operational and program budget and audited/unaudited financials. If the sponsored organization does not have audited/unaudited financial statements, submit the audited/unaudited statements of the fiscal sponsor.

If you do not have audited financials, can you submit another financial document?

Audited financials are preferred where possible. However, if not available to you, please submit any financial documentation that will help us understand the financial structure of your organization.

Must funding solely benefit San Diego County students? For example, if we have a current program that serves San Diego County students, as well other children/youth from other counties, and are seeking funding for general operations, can we only seek the amount of costs related to San Diego County students?

Funds awarded from this grant may only go towards costs associated with serving San Diego County students. These costs will be reflected in the budget you prepare as part of your application.

What is a certificate of insurance?

A certificate of insurance is a document that you provide to a third party to show that your organization has insurance. The COI details the type and amount of insurance coverage and the dates and limits of coverage. Awarded organizations are expected to carry $1 million of coverage as a minimum. Awarded organizations will be asked to add The San Diego Foundation as an additional insured.

Awarding & Reporting

Briefly describe the experience and background of the grant readers. Volunteers? Professionals? Educators?

Reviewers include representatives from The San Diego Foundation and community members with experience in curriculum and instructional design, youth development, nonprofit program design and evaluation and equity-oriented program design and delivery.

What kind of reporting will be required?

Awarded organizations will submit a final or a mid-term report by September 30, 2021 sharing overall outcomes and impact of the program. The organization will submit a financial report detailing expenses.

What legal requirements is my organization required to meet?

Legal requirements will be outlined in your award agreement and may include items such as background checks, drug testing and other requirements and practices for working with minors.

Since funding is being awarded on a rolling basis, will all programs submitted before June 4 have an opportunity to be reviewed?

TSDF will review all applications and determine awards based on the strengths of the proposed program and the amount available for funding at that time.

Is there an income eligibility requirement that agencies verify?

While income verification is not a requirement, organizations are encouraged to design programs that outreach to and serve students: 1. with little to no access to summer enrichment (typically students from 50% or less AMI or 50 to 80% AMI); 2. and those student populations most impacted by COVID-19.

What happens if San Diego sees another COVID surge and returns to a high tier?

TSDF is monitoring San Diego County guidance closely. At this time, we do not anticipate returning to a higher-level tier and consider that summer programs have a very high chance to proceed as planned. Should anything change, The San Diego Foundation will proactively communicate and consult with awarded organizations about alternatives available to us at that time.