CalNonprofits Articles

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Thanks to advocacy by CalNonprofits and others, the California Small Business Grant program explicitly includes nonprofits as eligible grantees! CalNonprofits is partnering with the California Office of the Small Business Advocate (CalOSBA) and the grant administrator Lendistry to provide grant program and application information to nonprofits across the state. 

UPDATE 1/13/21: The grants program deadline is 11:59 pm tonight (January 13th.) If you've started an application by tonight, you can work to complete it until the close of the second round. Hopefully, there will be less traffic on the site later this week and next week. The silver lining is that half of the allotted funds are being held for the second round of funding (dates TBD). We continue to be available to help you complete the application, but we are not able to help with technical problems on Lendistry's website. 

Contact Sue Sigler, CSBG Program Manager, with questions about the program at sues[at]calnonprofits[dot]org or 415-535-0738. Click "read more" below to see the latest updates and links to webinar recordings and an FAQ.

The application process for Round One began at 6:00 AM on Wednesday, December 30, 2020, and ends at 11:59 PM on Wednesday, January 13th, 2021. Grants will range from $5,000 to $25,000 depending on the size of the organization. There will be two rounds of grants totaling $237.5 million each.

Watch out for scammers: information and support for this program are FREE! Do not pay for help completing or submitting this application.

UPDATE 1/11/21: Frequently Asked Questions - with 7 pages of answers!

UPDATE 1/11/21: LENDISTRY EXTENDED CALL CENTER HOURS: Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday (January 11-13) Lendistry's call center will remain open until 11pm.

UPDATE 1/8/21: Got your password but can't get back into your account? Make sure you use the link in the email with the password, or go to the portal for the partner through which you applied. For example, if you applied by selecting CalNonprofits as your partner, go to to login and view your application status, or complete your application and upload documents.

UPDATE 1/7/21: Nonprofits who file the 990-N are now eligible for the program! 

NEW: Online Q&A with Lendistry (1/11/21) (webinar)
Watch the recording on Youtube

Did you miss the webinar on January 6th where Lendistry representatives reviewed the grant program and the application process?
Watch the recording on Youtube
Download the slides

Applying and Getting Help

1. Lendistry is the administrator of this grant program on behalf of CalOSBA. Apply for a grant here: (The grant application has many questions that don't apply to nonprofits. Please see our FAQ for guidance answering them.) The website is having trouble meeting the demand, but the good news is that grants are not "first come, first served" and Lendistry is working hard to fix the problems.

2. CalNonprofits is pleased to be named as an application partner for the California Small Business COVID-19 Grant Program. Our role is to support nonprofits in getting the most updated information and answering your questions. Questions about the application? Contact Sue Sigler, CSBG Program Manager, with questions about the program at sues[at]calnonprofits[dot]org or 415-535-0738.

3. If you apply on the Lendistry site instead of the CalNonprofits partner page, you must choose your county and a partner from the list. Choosing CalNonprofits as the partner helps us continue to demonstrate both the need in the nonprofit community and the strength of nonprofit networks!

   Note: You do not have to be a CalNonprofits member to choose us as your partner. (But we hope you'll consider joining! Membership info here.)

4. The application partner organizations (including us) do not have any influence or input into which organizations are chosen or rejected for grants.

5. For problems with the website contact Lendistry (the administrator of this grant program) is also available to answer questions by phone at 888-612-4370 from 7am to 7pm PST or by email: careliefgrant[at]lendistry[dot]com. EXTENDED CALL CENTER HOURS: Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday (January 11-13) Lendistry's call center will remain open until 11pm.

Please pass this information along to other nonprofits!

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