314-399-8812 info@investstl.org
Small Dollars

Small Dollars Action Fund (S$AF) offers small grants for community members to connect with their neighbors and take action together. We encourage you to dream up ideas to activate and connect with your fellow neighbors, build relationships and grow the possibilities.

Small Dollars Action Fund is OPEN

The Application is open until May 16

Eligible Applicants:

Small Dollars Action Funding is intended for neighborhood-based resident groups like Neighborhood Associations, Block Units, Tenant Associations or resident-led committees of a neighborhood CDC (community development corporation). These groups are led by volunteers who live in the neighborhood where the group’s activities are focused. Residents may also apply as an informal collective including at least 3 neighbors, all living in the same neighborhood. All team members will be prompted via email to verify their participation upon submission of completed application.

The eligible neighborhoods for funding are indicated on the linked map and are listed in the FAQ below.

Eligible Activities:

 

Funded activities are intended to build community connection, engage neighbors, and  must also meet the following requirements:

  • Free and open for members of the neighborhood

  • Feasible and ready to implement or begin implementing 1-2 months from the award date

  • Place-based, occurring for the benefit of and with participation from neighbors of a specific eligible neighborhood

  • Resident-led, involving neighbors in the creation and implementation of the project.

  • Primary intent of activities is to build and strengthen community.

  • Total funding requests may not exceed $2,000.

Small Dollars Action Funding can be used for:

 

  • Providing childcare and refreshments at a regular neighborhood committee meeting.

 

  • Hosting a block party, National Night Out, or other neighborhood celebration. Engaging each other in joy is action!

 

  • Creating meet and greet kits to introduce the neighborhood group to new neighbors.

 

  • Creating and distributing yard signage, posters, or other neighborhood swag.

These suggestions are meant to spark your imagination and provide some potential direction. We encourage you to consider other unique ideas to activate and connect with your fellow neighbors and grow the possibilities.

Funding may not be used to fill gaps in high budget projects or activities where the total project budget is higher than $5,000. Funding is not intended for long-term programs that require extensive consulting, subcontracts or paid staffing.

HOW S$AF APPLICATION CYCLES WORK:

The S$AF application will open for Spring, Summer and Fall cycles. To ensure the funds reach as many neighborhoods and organizations as possible across the region, applicants (groups and individual members) cannot be awarded in consecutive cycles.

Ready to Apply:

The Small Dollars Action Fund Application is OPEN. The application will close on May 16. 

Application Resources

Frequently Asked Questions

What will I need to apply?

To complete the application you will need information about your group, your activity, and an activity budget. You can view the full application here to prepare yourself and know what to expect.  To apply online using Submittable, you will have to create an account using your email address to access the application. You may also fill in the application PDF and email it to us at SDAF@investstl.org. with your supporting documents. If you complete the online application, you can edit your responses once you start. 

Who is eligible to apply for funds from the Small Dollar Action Fund?

Applicants are resident-led neighborhood groups (Neighborhood Associations, Block Units, Tenant Associations, resident-led committees assembles as a part of a community development corporation and informal collectives (a group of at least 3
residents, all residing in the same neighborhood) who are active in the eligible areas. Neighborhood groups are led by resident volunteers who are residents of the area where the organization’s activities are focused.

Please note: all members of the group must be aware of the application and will be asked to verify their participation via email upon submission of the completed application.

This fund is not intended for churches, regionally-focused nonprofits or foundations, issue-based nonprofits or for profit businesses (ie: daycares, salons, restaurants etc.)

What types of activities are eligible for funding?

This fund is intended for activities that strengthen community, encourage connection and engagement among neighbors, and are ready to start within 90 days. Funded activities could include implementing neighborhood or block events, creating and sharing welcome kits, mailers, yard signs and other neighborhood pride swag, providing food and babysitting to attract folks to your community meeting, neighborhood beautification efforts like alley and street cleanups, among others.

This funding is not intended to fill gaps on large budget projects that have total budgets of more than $5,000. If you are unsure that your activity will be eligible for funding, reach out to us for more direct guidance. Funding is not intended for long-term programs that require extensive consulting, subcontracts or paid staffing. Examples of ineligible activities include semester-long after school programs, equipment for a regional youth sports team, purchasing personal property, and individual home improvement projects.

What geographic areas are eligible for funding?

The eligible funding areas are linked in this map and include:

Academy

Alta Sita
Baden
Bel-Ridge
Carr Square
Castle Point

Claremont / Fairlawn
College Hill
Columbus Square
Country Club Hills
Covenant Blu-Grand Center
Dellwood
Dutchtown

Edgemont
Fairground
Flordell Hills

Fountain Park

Goose Hill / Emerson Park
Glasgow Village
Gravois Park
Hamilton Heights
Hanley Hills
Hillsdale
Hyde Park
Jeff Vander Lou
Jennings
Kingsway East
Kingsway West
Kinloch

Lansdowne / Rose Lake

Landsdowne West
Lewis Place

Marine Villa
Mark Twain
Moline Acres
North Normandy
Northwoods
North Point
O’Fallon
Old North St. Louis
Pagedale
Penrose
Berkeley
Pine Lawn
Southeast Ferguson

Southend / Franklin Park

Spanish Lake
St. Louis Place
Ville/Greater Ville
Uplands Park
Vandeventer
Velda City
Velda Village Hills
Visitation Park
Walnut Park East
Walnut Park West

Wedgewood / Dayton
Wells Goodfellow
Wellston
West End

Winstanley

 

What is an informal collective?

An informal collective is defined as at least 3 people who reside in the same neighborhood, will implement the funded activities and have the capacity (time, support, people) and ability to implement the activity. If you are unsure if you should apply as a collective, take a look at the STL Neighborhood Map and see who is active in your area that you can connect with.

Why are informal collectives included?

Not all neighborhoods have an organization, but may still want/need to mobilize action in their neighborhood. Including informal collectives creates a point of entry for everyday people to access funding for their neighborhood.

Can my organization receive multiple awards in a funding cycle?

No, your organization can only be awarded once per funding cycle and cannot be awarded for consecutive funding cycles. An organization or individual can only submit one application for consideration per cycle. This allows more neighborhoods and groups from across the region to access funding.

How much funding can I receive through this grant?

Your total funding request may not exceed $2,000.

Will I receive funding for the full amount listed on my budget?

We ask applicants to include a budget for their activities, the total request to Invest STL and any other sources of funding that are going toward your activities. It is possible you will not receive your full request based on the amount of applicants in a particular cycle, and the neighborhoods those applicants intend to serve. As funding cycles continue, we will prioritize neighborhoods and groups who have not received funding lately. Applicants are encouraged to collaborate their funding requests with other neighborhood groups in their neighborhood.

How will I receive funding?

You can receive funding in one of three ways:

Visa E-Gift Card, Plastic Visa Gift Card, or Check.

Visa E-Gift Card: The card will be emailed to you. You can use it immediately online to make purchases or to transfer the grant funds to Paypal, Venmo or your bank account. 

Plastic Visa Gift Card: The card will be mailed to your preferred address.

Check: The check will be mailed to your preferred address.

After you receive your award notice, please allow 3-4 weeks to receive funding by the method you selected.

Will I have support in implementing my plan?

Applicants are expected to have the capacity to implement their activities. If you run into roadblocks or need assistance, please reach out to us at any time so we can help you navigate any issues and complete your activity. We will check-in with each awardee 45 days in to see how each effort is progressing. This is also a great time to request support or connections.

What if my plans change?

Stuff happens. If your plans change, reach out to us as soon as you can at SDAF@investstl.org. Depending on the timing, we can work with you to shift or adjust your award period, adjust your award amount or adjust whatever else needs adjusting.

Will I have to report on my funded activities?

There will be a brief check-in 45 days into your award period to see how your effort is progressing and if any help is needed. We will reach out to you 30 days after the funding cycle to see how the effort went and capture learnings. This will take place by online survey. We will also request to share any social media posts or images you capture from your activities.

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