Now Accepting Letters of Interest for Round 7!
We are excited to launch Round 7 of our Community Benefit Grant program! To date, the Community Benefit grant program has awarded $6.3 million to organizations supporting the communities of Wilmington and San Pedro. Round 7 will award up to a total of $250,000 in grant funds. For more information about Round 7 priorities and eligibility, please read the Request for LOI.
To submit your Letter of Interest (LOI), visit our online LOI submission form, create a Submittable log-in, and submit your request. The LOI submission process is exclusively online through Submittable. We do not accept paper-based or e-mail submissions. You can save your work and upload attachments via the Submittable form.
The deadline to submit Letters of Interest by 4 P.M. PST, Friday, April 24th, 2020. We will not accept late submissions so be sure to get started early.
This recorded webinar is a supplement to the Request for LOI and further discusses the LOI and RFP application process. We also address some of the questions we have received since the release of the Request for LOI. If you have any questions or need assistance, please feel free to email Tamanna Rahman at email@example.com or call us at 310-997-7116.
Please note that since the recording of the webinar, the deadline to submit LOIs has been extended to Friday, April 24th due to the recent updates related to COVID-19.
PDF version – Updated March 13th
About the Community Benefit Grant Program
The Community Benefit Grant Program awards grants from the Port Community Mitigation Trust Fund, which was established to address Port of Los Angeles and Port-related impacts in the communities of Wilmington and San Pedro.
In the past, HCBF has awarded grants by releasing a Request for Proposals. This model required applicants to complete a full grant application, in response to an RFP, with Staff providing feedback after recommendations were made to the Board of Directors. HCBF now utilizes a Request for Letters of Interest (LOI) for Community Benefit grant rounds. An LOI is a two page summary of your proposed project or program that will help HCBF tackle Port impacts. The LOI model will lower the barrier of entry and allow Staff to provide feedback prior to an applicant being invited to submit a full application. See the FAQ section below for more details.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Community Benefit program?
The goal of the Community Benefit Program is to mitigate the impact of Port of Los Angeles operations in the communities of Wilmington and San Pedro. HCBF is seeking Letters of Interest (LOIs) that can meaningfully tackle impacts through projects or programs.
What is a Letter of Interest (LOI)?
A Letter of Interest, or Letter of Intent, is a two-page synopsis of your proposed project or program. This is your opportunity to let us know how your potential project or program will mitigate Port impacts. The LOI should include a brief description of your organization, a summary of the proposed project or program, how the project or program will mitigate impacts of the Port of LA, and desired outcomes. More information about what to include in your LOI, is detailed in the Request for LOI and also the Submittable form. Remember, this is the first step in the process, so if invited to submit a full request, you will have time to complete an application with more detail.
Who is eligible to apply for Community Benefit grant program funding?
Eligible organizations include, but are not limited to, designated non-profits (such as 501(c)3 organizations), institutions (such as schools), and community-based organizations. Individuals, community groups, and other organizations may be eligible to apply under a fiscal sponsor that is classified as a non-profit, such as a 501(c)3 organization.
What types of programs and projects are eligible for funding through Round 7?
The Community Benefit program is not limited to one type of project or program. You may apply for any project or program that you believe can adequately mitigate a Port impact in Wilmington and/or San Pedro. Since Port impacts are vast and complex, mitigating them requires a multitude of solutions. So long as the primary focus of your project or program is Port mitigation, your idea is eligible. For Round 7, HCBF Board is especially interested in the following topic areas: Air Quality, Community Health & Education, Land Use & Community Safety, and Access to Natural and Other Community Resources. Please read the Request for LOI for more information. Examples of Past Funding section also offers a glimpse into the projects and programs that HCBF has funded in the past to address Port-related impacts.
Are applicants limited to the examples provided in the Request for LOI?
No, we are not limiting applicants to those examples. They are meant to provide some context based on proposals we have received in the past. As long as the applicant makes the case for how the proposed project will mitigate port-related impacts, we will review the application.
What are Port and Port-related impacts?
These impacts are from the operations of the Port of Los Angeles, both on and off-port property, and it is HCBF’s goal to address these impacts by funding projects and programs that mitigate the past, present, or future impacts. The following are Port Impacts that HCBF has previously funded in the Community Benefit program:
- Air Quality
- Health Risk
- Land Use
- Marine Life
- Water Quality
How can my organization help to mitigate impacts if it is not our mission?
Mitigating Port impacts is a unique funding mission that is not typically a direct fit with the mission and scope of many non-profit organizations or applicants. That said, there are many ways that traditional non-profits, schools, and other community groups could mitigate Port impacts using existing programs, beyond typical environmental or health-focused applicants. Please review the examples of past funding section and the examples in the Request for LOI to give you a better idea of how to design a project/program to align with HCBF’s mission.
I’d like to learn even more about Port impacts and the Los Angeles Harbor communities to guide my request. Can you point me in the direction of additional information?
Please read our Research section for access to studies, data, and free tools that provide greater context about Port related impacts in San Pedro and Wilmington.
What have you funded in the past?
Please read our Examples of Past Funding section for a glimpse into the projects and programs that HCBF has funded in the past to address Port-related impacts.
How do I submit my application?
To submit your Letter of Interest (LOI), visit our online LOI submission form, create a Submittable log-in, and submit your request. The LOI submission process is exclusively online through Submittable. We do not accept paper-based or e-mail submissions. All attachments related to your application will be done via Submittable. Be sure to submit your LOI before the deadline, which is by 4PM PST on Friday, April 24th, 2020. We will not accept any late submissions, so be sure to submit early to account for any technical issues that may come up.
I am having technical issues with Submittable and I can’t turn in the LOI by the deadline. What do I do?
If you have any technical issues with Submittable, please contact their technical support right away. Unfortunately, we will not accept late submissions. If you are having technical issues, you MUST notify us via email before the 4pm PST deadline.
How does the LOI process work for Round 7?
Once submitted, your LOI will be reviewed internally by HCBF Staff. Staff will then provide technical assistance to each applicant and make recommendations to our Ad-Hoc Board committee. Staff, along with the Ad-Hoc Board committee, will decide which organizations will move forward to the next step of doing a short presentation of their proposed project or program to the full HCBF Board, with time for Q&A. Following Board discussion and vote, selected applicants will be invited to respond to the RFP and submit a full application. Please know that the goal of implementing a LOI process is to give us the opportunity to make sure applicants are going in the right direction before they invest the time to complete a full application.
Why did HCBF transition to a LOI model for grant submissions?
With feedback from grantees and applicants we realized that grant submissions are time consuming and often overwhelming to schools and smaller organizations. We incorporated a LOI step in the application process in order to lower the barrier of entry for applicants.
What do I need to know about the LOI presentation process?
HCBF received strong positive feedback from the community and past applicants about incorporating presentations during the LOI review phase. During this step, invited applicants will give a brief 3-5 minute presentation to the full HCBF Board, pitching their proposed project and why it is significant to mitigating port impacts in the community. There will be additional time for question & answer from the Board. Staff will provide further guidance to applicants invited to this step. You can get more information in the recorded webinar linked above.