The Victor & Lorraine Honig Initiative for Bay Area Social & Economic Justice makes grants available for organizations working to advance social, economic, and environmental justice in the greater Bay Area. These grants are intended to provide two years of funding for a new and needed position in a non-profit organization, thereby helping grantees initiate projects that they would otherwise be unable to do.

For 2023, the Initiative focuses on water justice, meaning access to safe drinking water in low-income communities. Organizations working on any aspect of water justice are welcomed to apply. Organizations whose work focuses on other aspects of environmental justice are also welcome to apply, provided that this position intersects with water justice.

Funds can be used for salary, benefits, professional development, and organizational capacity as it relates to the position. The position itself and the nature of its work are up to the applicant to determine, as long as it supports water justice. While a longer timeline would be welcomed, there is no expectation that the grantee continues the position beyond the two-year scope of this initiative regardless of the type of position.

Examples of the types of positions that this grant can support include, but are not limited to:

  • A two-year fellowship
  • “Upgrading” work that already exists within the organization- turning a volunteer role or internship into a paid position, for example
  • A new full-time position

What’s not fundable: Salaries or benefits for existing roles, organizational capacity that is not directly related to the position, or directly financing water infrastructure.

It is expected that the full cost of the position is covered by the grant for two years. Organizations will not be expected to contribute any of their own funds to support this position for the two-year period of the grant. While the type of position, needs, and costs will vary organization to organization, applicants should approach the cost of the position holistically and propose a budget that thoughtfully reflects what a well-resourced person in this role would need.


Grant Details

Applicants must be working on water justice in one or more of the following counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Monterey, Napa, San Francisco, San Joaquin, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano, and Sonoma. Non-501(c)(3) organizations are welcome to apply, but this funding will only cover charitable, non-lobbying expenses.

The deadline for submitting the application is March 10, 2023. A final funding decision will be made the week of March 27, 2023

Selection Criteria
Strong applicant organizations will be grassroots, community-based, pursuing environmental justice, and centered on equity. In review of applications for funding, we will consider the following:

  • The extent to which the organization is driven by community needs — either by responding to pressing needs in the community they work in, or by actively incorporating community participation in their leadership and decision making
  • The extent to which the organization represents historically and systematically pollution-burdened communities, and is committed to building power and leadership in those communities
  • Leadership by Black, Indigenous, and/or people of color. Leadership is defined as staff and board that are responsible for decisions on resources, policies, or the core strategies of the organization
  • The need and importance of the proposed work to a achieve water justice
  • Capacity for position to make a difference in access to safe drinking water
  • The ability of the applicant to quickly hire and onboard an appropriate candidate
  • The ability of the applicant to offer on-the-job training and development for a candidate who might not otherwise work on this issue

Please note:

  • Grants made through the fund need to be fully expended within 30 months of the approval of the grant. This timeline includes potential listing and hiring for the position
  • Should there be unforeseen delays in the execution and completion of approved grant activities a no-cost extension will be considered
  • Current Tides Foundation grantees are welcome to apply
  • The Tides Foundation will make all final funding decisions
  • The grant recipient will be asked for a short one-year report and final report. Reports can be written (1 page) or via phone conversation
  • Future years of the initiative will be selective and focus on different issues. Applicants are welcome to reapply but this grant will not be renewed

Also note that, within the Initiative’s budget, applications will be considered without regard to overall cost.

If you have any questions about eligibility, fit, or any other aspect of the Initiative, please email [email protected].

About Tides
Tides is a philanthropic partner and nonprofit accelerator dedicated to building a world of shared prosperity and social justice. Our mission is to accelerate the pace of social change, working with innovative partners to solve society’s toughest problems. We work at the nexus of funders, change makers, and policy, bringing together a larger and diverse coalition of mission-aligned actors to amplify our power to scale positive impact. Tides aims to strengthen the power of groups who face systemic barriers to resources and opportunities  — especially BIPOC leaders, their organizations, and communities. We are committed to building capacity and growing resources for those who face barriers to power in order to influence a more equitable social change sector.



Please submit answers in a Word or PDF document with any attachments to [email protected].

→ Download RFP PDF here.

  1. Name of organization:
  2. Website:
  3. Address:
  4. Please indicate organization’s tax status:
  5. Does the organization have an affiliated 501(c)(4) organization? If so please name:
  6. Contact person’s name:
  7. Contact person’s title:
  8. Contact person’s email:
  9. Contact person’s phone number:
  10. What is the mission of the organization (1-2 sentences):
  11. Annual organization budget:
  12. Is the leadership of the organization from the community being served? Do leadership and/or staff have lived experience with water justice issues?
  13. The following are a few characteristics that a BIPOC-centered organization may demonstrate. Which, if any, of these examples apply to your organization? This list is not meant to be exhaustive, and other ways of thinking about BIPOC-related organizational characteristics or leadership are encouraged. Please select all that apply:

____ Our organization/project head(s) or leadership decision-making body identifies as Black, Indigenous, or a Person of Color (BIPOC).

____ Fifty percent (50%) or more of our organization’s staff, active members, or volunteers identify as BIPOC.

____ Our organization has programs and services that focus on serving people who identify as BIPOC.

____ None of these characteristics describe our organization.

____ Our organization does not collect this information.

____ Our organization does not wish to provide this information.

____ Other (Please explain)

14. Which historically under-resourced or marginalized communities do you center your work around, if any? Please select all that apply:

____ None

____ Families and communities with low-incomes

____ Rural communities

____ Farming communities

____ Immigrant and refugee communities

____ Other (Please explain)

15. Tell us about the organization’s work. Please share this information in a way that allows us to better understand your work, but feel free to do so in a simple format that works for you (bullet points, language from prior proposals, etc). We expect this section to take no more than five pages total to be answered, but there is no hard limit on length.

1 / What water justice work does your organization do now or wish to pursue?

2 / What role does your organization play in the larger Bay Area environmental justice landscape? What do you see as the major challenges to transformational impact for organizations engaged in this work?

3 / How do you/would you partner with other water/environmental justice and non-water/environmental justice related organizations and/or agencies to advance your goals?

4 / What organizational goals will this position support? How will this position help you achieve those goals?

5 / What infrastructure does your organization have to help this position succeed?

6 / Describe the organization’s commitment to racial equity and social justice, and how its current work supports that commitment.

7 / What would be the two-year budget for a fully-resourced person in this position? When considering the budget, please include any support needed to help the position succeed, including professional development. Feel free to include the budget as an attachment, and to use this space to explain that budget if need be.

16. Request for feedback: Responses to these questions will not affect grantee selection.

1 / How did you learn about the Initiative?

2 / Please rate the application process (1 being very easy, 5 being very difficult)

3 / Please provide any other feedback to help us improve our practices for the future