Catherine Geanuracos
July 20, 2021

Case study: Santa Monica designs community microgrant applications for inclusion on CityGrows

Affordable software for small community grants

We're proud to partner with the City of Santa Monica's Office of Civic Wellbeing to support applications for the third cycle of the City's Wellbeing Microgrants. Applications for $500 microgrants are open to Santa Monica residents and organizations through January 15, 2020. If you're a local - please consider applying! This cycle of grants focuses on elements of the Santa Monica community that were identified as needing attention in its recent wellbeing surveys: community connection, health, education, environment, and economic development.

These small grants, which have been awarded to more than 15 community leaders to date, have supported everything from neighborhood events to pop-up businesses featuring local artisans, and free cooking and other classes for community members.

Santa Monica was CityGrows' first client, and our company probably wouldn't exist if we hadn't won the City's "Hack the Beach" challenge in 2016.  We first worked with the Mobility division to digitize a complex transportation demand management workflow, and then the City decided to switch its block party permits from paper to digital, in part because the Wellbeing team found that many Santa Monicans didn't know their neighbors, and block parties are a great way to make neighborhood connections.

When the Wellbeing team decided to create a new microgrant program, they realized they could adapt CityGrows to accept applications from community members, collect team feedback, and notify recipients that their idea had been accepted. Now on its third cycle, Microgrant applications on CityGrows have been submitted by more than 100 Santa Monicans!

Impact: Easy setup and inclusive application process

The Wellbeing program is focused on inclusion, and the Microgrant application is the first on CityGrows to be set up to be fully bilingual (Spanish/ English) and the program has received several applications in Spanish and awarded grant funds to monolingual Spanish speaking community members.

We're proud that the globally-recognized Wellbeing team in Santa Monica continues to choose CityGrows for its microgrant applications. Contact the CityGrows team to find out more about using CityGrows for grant applications and grant reporting. And if you'd like to create your own microgrant program, you can easily duplicate and customize Santa Monica's application here.

Catherine Geanuracos

Catherine is the CEO and a Co-Founder of CityGrows. She's dedicated to supporting local governments and helping them improve outcomes for their residents and staff members. She is a former VP of the City of Los Angeles Innovation and Performance Commission and co-founder of LA's Code for America Brigade Hack for LA. She's based in Los Angeles.

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