Applications must be received by August 24, 2018.
Does your organization work with residents in Santa Clara County? Harness the power of your existing communications, outreach and services to help secure a healthy environment and ensure your clients are saving money at the same time!
Silicon Valley Clean Energy (SVCE) invites applications from service-oriented organizations (e.g. nonprofits, senior centers, business organizations, membership organizations, etc.) for a small grant pilot program to collaborate on outreach to residents in Santa Clara County. Applications must be received by August 24, 2018.
SVCE is redefining the local electricity market, providing residents and businesses with new clean energy choices—renewable and carbon–free electricity at competitive rates. Thirteen communities in Santa Clara County govern SVCE, creating a community-owned agency. SVCE is the official electricity provider for these communities.
The following communities make up the SVCE territory: Campbell, Cupertino, Gilroy, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Los Gatos, Milpitas, Monte Sereno, Morgan Hill, Mountain View, Saratoga, Sunnyvale and unincorporated Santa Clara County.
SVCE works in partnership with PG&E to buy clean electricity direct from the source—encouraging the kind of market growth and competition that results in more renewable energy and lower energy generation rates. PG&E continues to deliver electricity over existing infrastructure, maintain power lines and provide customer service as they always have. Your bill continues to come from PG&E, with SVCE’s lower generation charges replacing those from PG&E.
Choosing carbon-free electricity is an easy and economical choice. It’s the single most effective and large-scale action our communities can take to curb emissions and combat climate change.
All service-oriented organizations with an established track record of public outreach, communications, providing social services or case management in Santa Clara County are eligible and encouraged to apply.
SVCE invites service-orientged organizations to apply for small grants to fund outreach collaboration with our agency to provide accurate information about SVCE to your members, clients, constituents and broader audiences. Grants will be awarded in amounts from $5,000 to $20,000 per outreach project, for work to be completed by August 30, 2019, with a report completed by September 27, 2019. This small grant program is a pilot project that may result in renewed opportunities for collaboration funding based on results.
The goals of the program are to collaborate with trusted local organizations to increase knowledge of the following points among residents in the SVCE territory, specifically:
- Understanding of Silicon Valley Clean Energy, its mission and benefits
- Understanding of how SVCE savings appear on residential energy bills
- Knowledge of eligibility for energy discount, efficiency and associated programs
SVCE is especially interested in reaching the following audiences:
- Low-income residents
- Customers eligible for Medical Baseline discounts (see below)
- Customers with low English language proficiency
- Milpitas, south county (Morgan Hill/Gilroy) and unincorporated county residents
Customers eligible for Medical Baseline discounts are dependent on life-saving medical devices that use electricity, and which may significantly raise their energy bills. Target audiences are often senior, chronically ill and disabled populations. Medical Baseline is one of several state public benefit discount programs administered in Santa Clara County by PG&E. Silicon Valley Clean Energy customers are eligible to be considered for all such discount programs administered by PG&E. Medical Baseline customers specifically are exempt from paying a fee which results in an effective 15% discount on the electricity generation line item of their bill, which can result in significant savings.
SVCE expects that organizations will generally include SVCE’s key messages in their existing outreach, communications, services, and programs.
Your organization will collaborate with SVCE staff to provide messaging to a target number of households in the SVCE service territory, identified in your grant application. This number will be based on your outreach capacity and requested financial award, with an expectation of reaching 5,000 households with a grant of $20,000. Organizations that do not have capacity to reach 5,000 households may use this application to apply for grants of smaller amounts proportionate to their outreach capacity.
Outreach may include a mix of in-person presentations and conversations at events, email blasts based on confirmed open rate, confirmed traditional media and/or social media reach, and other creative outreach ideas based on your organization’s capacity. In-person outreach methods are preferred (door-to-door canvassing prohibited).
Grantees will collaborate with SVCE to customize messaging for your audience, with SVCE providing creative content and speakers as needed. SVCE will provide a one-day training on understanding and presenting our key messages which will be required for all grantee staff implementing the project.
Grantees will be expected to produce quarterly progress reports and a final report, according to the timeline above.
Deliverables for All Reports
- Each report will include:
- Expenses and administrative costs by line item
- Statistics on how many people were reached by each outreach method
- Estimated demographics of people reached based on target populations
- Community feedback on SVCE messaging
- Community input on programs
- Lessons learned
- Check-in and mid-point reports will include next steps in your grant project. The final report will include recommendations for SVCE programs that would benefit your target audience.
- Final report will include five high quality photos of your outreach activities, with signed participant waivers allowing SVCE to use.
Grantee organizations will be selected by SVCE staff based on the following criteria:
- Demonstrated outreach capacity to key audiences in our service territory described above
- Quality of proposed plan to meet required grant deliverables
- Preference for organizations based in SVCE service territory
- History of meeting grant deliverables, and/or meeting SVCE outreach expectations
- Diversity of approaches and audiences across our service territory
If this pilot grant program is successful, SVCE may consider additional rounds of funding for outreach collaboration.
Interested organizations are requested to provide the following information in a proposal of no more than five pages including budget. Please email application as an attached Word or PDF document, along with all other required attachments to Paige Wenzel, firstname.lastname@example.org. Questions may also be sent to this email address. All application materials are due by end of day August 24.
Organizations may submit one request for each specific outreach project. Each request may be made in an amount up to $20,000 per project. Grants will be paid 50% up front, and 50% upon receipt of a brief mid-point progress report.
- Legal name of organization, address of local office(s), and email and phone number for your main point of contact.
- One paragraph summary of proposal with amount requested
- Your organization’s history of and demonstrated capacity to reach and effectively communicate with residents in SVCE territory, especially with:
- Low-income residents
- Customers eligible for Medical Baseline discounts
- Customers who communicate primarily in a language other than English
- Residents of Milpitas, Morgan Hill, Gilroy, or Unincorporated Santa Clara County.
- Please provide quantitative measures of outreach capacity specifically in our service territory, such as number of local subscribers to your email newsletters, annual attendees at events and workshops, residents served, annual caseload, etc. Specific measures related to our target audience outlined above are appreciated.
- Your proposed work plan and timeline to meet required grant deliverables during the time period of September through August Please include:
- Your proposed communication methods. All types of communications are eligible, with highest preference given to in-person interactions that allow questions to be answered.
- A specific plan to track the number of residents you reach through each communication method, especially the populations outlined in #3. Examples include counting numbers of people who received information about SVCE while visiting an event booth, providing copies of workshop sign-in sheets, providing screen shots of analytics on open rates of email newsletters or social media post interactions, or tracking number of clients who received SVCE information during case management.
- A simple budget for implementing your proposed workplan, including staff time, overhead, direct expenses, and sources of any additional funding for your proposal.
- Your organization’s history of meeting grant deliverables for other funders, and/or meeting SVCE outreach expectations. If applicable, you may provide contact information for up to three funders as references.
- Required Attachments:
- If applying as a nonprofit please provide a determination letter, for your organization or your fiscal sponsor
- If working with a fiscal sponsor, your fiscal sponsor organization will need to provide:
- Fiscal sponsorship letter taking responsibility for your organization’s fiscal administration
- Letter of request authorizing your organization to apply to SVCE for the amount you are requesting
- Optional Attachments if Available:
- Examples of materials or reports from similar outreach work recently conducted by your organization
- Letters of recommendation