Funding Opportunity: California Grants Portal
The following guest blog post was provided by the California State Library.
With COVID-19 related impacts to local government budgets, identifying new funding sources is top of mind for many County Supervisors. As of today, local governments in California can find over 90 grants available to public agencies on the California Grants Portal – a new website created by the California State Library that will publish all state grant and loan opportunities offered on a competitive or first come basis.
We wanted to create an easy-to-use website for all of California’s grantseekers to easily find and search for funding opportunities using filters like applicant type, grant category, deadline, and more. The project was born out of the Grants Information Act of 2018.
Our partners at the California State Association of Counties (CSAC) were instrumental to the development of this project. From the beginning, we envisioned a user-centered and agile approach to creating this site. We embraced our role as a library – a place where people come to find information – to tackle this project, asking ourselves, what are the things we don’t know and who can help us find the answers? We knew we had less than a year from receiving funding in the state budget to meeting the statutory deadline and that this project would never succeed without feedback and buy-in from stakeholders.
Throughout the development process, our partners in local governments, nonprofits, and businesses across the state helped us understand how this website can best serve California’s grantseekers. Ultimately, we connected with nearly 1,000 grantseekers through surveys and virtual discussions to make sure that at each stage of the development process, we were meeting their needs – and when we couldn’t build a functionality that stakeholders hoped for, we transparently explained why and how we would address it.
We also worked closely with state grantmaking agencies and departments to understand challenges from their perspective. Most of the grant information never existed as data before, so we needed to understand how we could work with grantmakers to create a new and effective dataset for the website. We weren’t just building a new home for information, but the first home for all of it. We will continue to build on the website as we learn more about grantseeker and grantmakers’ needs. We know this is just the beginning.
Visit grants.ca.gov to find opportunities for you, your community, and your projects. Grantmakers will add new grants to the site as they become available to the public. You can also subscribe and receive daily or weekly updates about new opportunities from different categories. We’re always looking to improve our site, so if you have any feedback about your experience using the Grants Portal, let us know.
Finally, we’re eager to get the word out about this new tool, and we’d be happy to host a virtual webinar about the Grants Portal for organizations in your community. Reach out to us at CAGrantsPortal@library.ca.gov.