FAQ for WA Equity Relief Fund for Nonprofits

FAQ for WA Equity Relief Fund for Nonprofits

Get your questions answered about the WA Equity Relief Fund for Nonprofits.


How long is the application?

The application for the WA Equity Relief Fund awards is brief, and online. Eligible applicants will need to provide demographic information on their organizations and leadership and a short narrative. 

When will the application open and close?

The application opened on Monday, October 26, 2020 at 12 pm PDT and closes on Friday, November 6, 2020 at 11:59 pm PST.  

How will applications be scored? What are the funding priorities? 

The priorities for this fund are organizations:

  1. Serving Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) communities;
  2. Have staff and leadership reflective of communities they serve; and
  3. Are serving populations in economically vulnerable areas especially in rural, remote and tribal communities.

Small organizations and those serving unincorporated areas are encouraged to apply.

How big will the relief payments be? Is there a minimum and maximum amount planned for payments?

Payment sizes will range from $25,000 to $50,000. There will be no payments smaller than $25,000 and none larger than $50,000.

How many relief payments will be awarded?

The number of payments awarded will depend on multiple factors, including the total number of applications received; financial information included in the applications; and equitable geographic distribution across Washington State.

Will the application be translated into other languages?

If you need technical or translation assistance for this application, please email Community Outreach at the Washington State Department of Commerce. Please provide your name, phone number, the county you live in, and what language you need assistance in, and we will help connect you to someone who can help you. Translations of the fund announcement are available to view below:

Cambodian Khmer Russian
Chinese Somali
Korean Spanish
Lao Vietnamese         

Can my organization apply if it is not a 501(c)(3)?

To be eligible to apply for funding, programs/organizations must be a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization based in Washington State or be fiscally sponsored by a 501(c)3. Philanthropy Northwest will verify 501(c)3 nonprofit tax status on all programs/organizations selected for funding before actual awards are made. Programs/organizations that apply through a fiscal sponsor will be required to upload verification of the fiscal sponsorship in the online application.

When will the funds be awarded and distributed?

Finalists will be notified of their relief payment by the first week of December 2020. Relief payments will be paid electronically through Automated Clearing House (ACH). Recipients will be required to return an ACH authorization form and proof of 501(c)3 status via DocuSign within seven calendar days of receipt. Payment can be expected by mid-December.

What are the reporting requirements? 

Because these are relief funds, there are no future reporting requirements for these awards. Funding will be upfront, so no reimbursement documentation will be required. 

Are there any restrictions on how funds can be used? 

Relief funds cannot be used: 

  1. To fill a shortfall in government expenses (i.e., taxes or licenses for state or federal government) and
  2. For lobbying expenses or activities. 

Otherwise, the funding is flexible for organizations to use how and when they need it.

What if an organization is not specifically led by and for BIPOC?

Organizations not specifically led by and for BIPOC communities are still eligible to apply. They are not precluded from applying.

Are organizations eligible if they don’t serve people in Washington?

No, payments will go to organizations in Washington serving people in Washington.

Should an organization with multiple offices or serving multiple locations in Washington submit multiple applications?

No, an organization should submit one application.

Will there be information sessions to find out more about this funding opportunity?

Two information sessions will be held virtually in English via Zoom.

  • Tuesday, October 27 from 10-11 am PDT
    • See a recording of this session here.
  • Thursday, October 29 at 7-8 pm PDT 
    • See a recording of this session here.

More information sessions may be added. The Zoom conference line for both sessions is: 

Zoom Meeting ID: 898 8060 1482
Via phone: +1 253 215 8782 US 

How can I find out more information?

Read the fund announcement or for more information, email the relief fund directly. Responses will be sent during regular business hours. Should there be any new information, this FAQ sheet will be updated.