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Community Partner Grant Program

Applications open Monday, March 4, 2024 at 9 am PT and are due Friday, March 29, 2024 by 5 pm PT.
For complete Call for Proposals and instructions on how to apply, please see the 2024 Community Partner Grant Program grant guidelines. Submit questions to Emma Shlaes by March 13, 2024 at eshlaes@commute.org with the subject line “Community Partner Grant Program questions”.

Overview

Commute.org is a government agency in San Mateo County with a mission to reduce vehicle miles traveled and solo driving trips to work by people who travel to/from the county for work. We do this through a variety of free programs, including shuttles to/from Caltrain, BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit), and the SF Bay Ferry; rewards for biking, carpooling, and vanpooling; and transit incentives. In 2023, the agency conducted outreach to priority audiences that have been less represented in our programs and the agency has now developed a pilot program to improve engagement with those audiences.

In addition to fostering increased involvement and awareness of Commute.org’s programs, the Community Partner Grant Program is designed to generate mutually beneficial outcomes. While the grant size is modest, its impact is envisioned to be meaningful for the diverse communities served by our Community Partners. Two-way interaction ensures that the benefits of transportation programs are effectively communicated as well as tailored to the specific needs of priority communities. Commute.org envisions a symbiotic relationship, where financial support catalyzes enhanced access to transportation services and benefits and fosters a deeper connection between our organization and the diverse audiences we aim to serve.

The objective of this pilot grant program is to increase participation and input from communities currently underrepresented in Commute.org’s programs. Through this grant program, we hope to see sustained engagement with Community Partners that represent and serve these communities, thereby increasing awareness and use of our programs and services. The goal is to make new audiences aware of the transportation benefits and services available to people who live and work in San Mateo County.

To achieve this goal, Commute.org is creating an outreach grant program for up to 5 Community Partner (non-profit) recipients. The types of engagement will be determined through the application process, with organizations being compensated for their time and effort collaborating with us.

Grants will be awarded $5,000 per organization for work to be completed within one year, starting July 1, 2024.

Grant recipients will be asked to:

  • Provide accurate information about Commute.org’s programs and services to their community
  • Help enroll their constituents in Commute.org programs
  • Collaborate with Commute.org on the development and refinement of programs and services that best meet the needs of the community

Grantees will be provided:

  • $5,000 grant
  • Outreach materials/marketing toolkit in relevant languages, including digital and print flyers, social media posts and graphics,
  • Presentations or tabling by Commute.org staff twice per year
  • Information on other relevant transportation benefit programs in the region
  • Exclusive raffles for Community Partner Grantees’ constituents
  • Commute.org swag/prizes for your audiences
  • Personalized STAR network for your organization/constituency

Grant Program Eligibility
All 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations, or their fiscally sponsored projects, with an established track record of public outreach, communications, providing social services, or case management in San Mateo County are eligible and encouraged to apply.

Timeline

This timeline is subject to change.

  • March 4, 2024, 9 am PT: Applications open
  • March 8, 2024: Call for Proposals Workshop: Virtual via Zoom (optional) View recording here.
  • March 15, 2024: Questions due for Q&A. Please send questions to Emma Shlaes eshlaes@commute.org with the subject line “Community Partner Grant Program questions”
  • March 20, 2024: Q&A posted on Commute.org website
  • March 29, 2024: Proposals due by 5 pm PT
  • April 18, 2024: Board meeting to approve grantees; Grantees selected and notified
  • May and June: contracting
  • July 1, 2024: Grant period begins

Application materials and more information: see links below