Grant Seekers


Step 1: Determine your eligibility

We support organizations whose work qualifies as charitable, according to the IRS definition. This includes organizations with a 501(c) 3 status, public agencies, and projects sponsored by public charities.  Only organizations serving the WSJF’s targeted regions of Northern California and Washoe County, Nevada are eligible for grants.  We do not make grants to individuals or contribute to capital campaigns.  We do not make grants to international organizations.  For county chapters of state organizations, proposal invitations are generally only offered to the state organization.

Step 2: Determine your project’s fit

Review our funding priorities and list of previous grants to determine whether your efforts advance one or more of the Foundation’s goals and objectives. If you determine that your project/program aligns well with our strategy, please proceed to Step 3.  Please review our Funding Priorities .

Step 3: Contact us

If you have determined that your project is eligible and it is a fit for The WSJF funding priorities, please contact our Program Officer: Yali Lincroft to see whether you should submit a proposal.  Often, a Letter of Inquiry is requested prior to a full proposal submission.    The Walter S. Johnson Foundation does not accept unsolicited proposals.

Step 4: Submit a proposal (by invitation only)

If you have been invited to submit a proposal, a WSJF Program Officer or Grants Manager will send a proposal packet electronically. Please submit your application by the deadline that you have been given (typically several months prior to the board meeting at which your proposal will be considered). The proposal application packet consists of instructions, a checklist of required documents, and the foundation’s expectations with respect to the proposal. When completed, submit proposal and attachments electronically to our Program Officer: Yali Lincroft.

Please note, it can take approximately 3 to 6 months for program staff to conduct the necessary due diligence (which may include but not be limited to a site visit, follow-up meetings with key staff, reference checks, and program/financial assessment) to present funding recommendations to our Board of Trustees. During the review process, staff will keep you informed about your proposal’s status.

Step 5: Proposal review and funding determination

Program staff will notify you if and when your proposal will be presented to the Board of Directors and when to expect a decision. The Board meets four times each year to make funding decisions (February, May, August, and November).  Proposals are generally due 3 months prior to the board meeting.

Please note that the Foundation typically provides no more than two or three years of consecutive funding to its grantees.