Grants and Fundraising Resources

Find and Research Grant Opportunities

Instrumentl is an easy-to-use grants research tool that identifies funding opportunities tailored to your specific project needs. The web-based platform provides information on foundation, corporate, federal and state grants, including deadline information, how to apply, and how to get in contact with the funder.

The SFUSD Fund Development Office has an annual subscription with Instrumentl. Please email Ryan Smith at to sign up for a free account and receive a quick tutorial on how to research and manage grants through Instrumentl.

Candid. also offers a comprehensive grants research database, Foundation Directory Online, with records of more than 140,000 U.S. foundations. Visit the main San Francisco Public Library at 100 Larkin Street for free online access. 

GetEdFunding is a grant finding resource wizard, dedicated to helping educators, schools, and institutions identify the funding they need in budget-tight times.

OASIS - We also occasionally post grant opportunities on the SFUSD OASIS Employee Announcements

Grant Writing and Fundraising Training

Candid. Learning offers free online webinars, podcasts, and in-person training in topics such as:

  • Finding and researching grants
  • Writing winning proposals
  • Developing project budgets 
  • Storytelling 
  • and other fundraising topics! 

Visit Candid. Learning to access their learning resources.

Fiscal Sponsorship

The Fund Development Office provides fiscal sponsorship for school sites and central office departments that need a 501(c)(3) fiscal sponsor in order to apply for a private grant or funding opportunity. We are able to facilitate this through Spark* SF Public Schools, which is the district's 501(c)(3) organization managed by the FDO.

In order to qualify for fiscal sponsorship, you must meet the following guidelines: 

  • Project is aligned with the district's mission and priorities 
  • Prior approval has been given by submitting an Intent to Apply Form (required of all private grant applications) 
  • Project complies with district gift acceptance policies and procedures 
  • There is a designated project manager (or project lead) overseeing the project, its implementation, and execution 
  • The project lead agrees to participate in regular check-ins with the Fund Development Office throughout the grant period to ensure timely report to funders and compliance of all grant terms

Volunteer Requests

SFUSD partners with and the San Francisco Education Fund to provide its schools and educators with volunteer resources through the Circle the Schools program. The Circle the Schools program engages local companies to participate in volunteer projects at school sites, including setting up classrooms for back to school, hosting a book drive for the school library, participating in school beautification projects, and more. Corporate partners also provide literacy and STEAM tutoring and work-based learning opportunities to meet the unique needs of their "circled" school site(s). 

Program Requirements: 

  • Be a Tier 2 or Tier 3 school (under-resourced)
  • Identify 3-5 volunteer events/projects throughout the year
  • Sign up through the San Francisco Education Fund - there is currently a waiting list 

Please Note: Circle the Schools is a volunteer program, not a fundraising or financial resources program. 

Backpack Donations

The Family Giving Tree is a great resource for back-to-school backpack donations. Qualifying schools serve a student population where over 80% of all enrolled students qualify for free or reduced-price meals. Donation recipients will need to be able to pick up the backpacks from one of their Bay Area warehouses. 

In-Kind Donations

The Fund Development Office occasionally receives in-kind donations, such as library books, furniture, office supplies, technology, and other equipment. 

If you have a specific need, please email Ryan Smith at and we will add you to the list for future donations. 

This page was last updated on May 6, 2024