- November 2022 -

Please note the firm deadline of Monday, December 19th - 9:00pm Eastern Time

PSEF is happy to offer this support opportunity to its members.  


1. Purpose:  Top priority is to support members in early-stage efforts towards the formation of an ownership entity to advance a solar project - e.g. community education or mobilization to build initial buy-in, incorporation, bylaws, etc. Second priority is for the development of important early stage needs - e.g. business plan development, fundraising planning, raising local equity, further community education, participatory planning, membership development.

2. Grant Size: generally $2,000-$5,000, so that PSEF can apply these limited funds to many groups and over the long-term (not merely in the first round). However, if at any point the demand does not appear to jeopardize PSEF’s goals, then we may consider a demonstrable, compelling need for higher amounts. Therefore, while applicants should aim for the $2-5k likely allocation, a higher amount may be requested if there is such a compelling need, which we will do our best to consider. 

3.  Selection Process: to ensure a fair and thorough but simple & speedy process –

  • Decisions will be made on a rolling basis. The deadline to apply for the second round of mini-grants is December 19th, 2022 - 9pm Eastern Time. 
  • PSEF will aim to decide and make payment within 10 business days if you submit your application by December 1st, 2022 - 5pm Eastern Time. For the applications that we receive after December 1st, we will aim to decide and make payment by January 11th, 2023 - 5pm Eastern Time. 
  • If there are many inquiries, staff may request some board members - not affiliated with groups currently applying - to assist in the review (but this is not optimally desired in order to ensure a rapid streamlined process, and in order to minimize conflicts of interest.)

4. Criteria and/or Preference for Selection:

i> General :

  1. Preference for applicants who have been PSEF members for at least 6 months … have attended at least half the Membership Meetings since they joined … and are generally in good standing (admittedly not yet defined within PSEF but we trust there will be a fair definition of this over time)

  2.  Applicant shares a brief (minimum 1 page) statement of purpose/goals for the grant.

ii> Group Legal Status :

  1. Either a Board, incorporation and bylaws are already established (please submit), or,

  2. Minimum outcomes of this grant will include these as goals.  

iii> Leadership and Diversity :

  1. Preference for Board or key leadership group of at least 5, of which 50% is BIPOC (admittedly a higher threshold than our general expectation of at least 20% BIPOC participation given the importance of engaging BIPOC leadership early on, and our push to ensure greater BIPOC representation and leadership in this movement)

iv> Constituency :

  1. Preference for groups that have at least 20 people signed up & participating, with the majority of these being BIPOC and/or Low Income individuals.

v> Solar regional awareness :

  1. Preference for groups that are aware of the state of solar around them (e.g. other solar developers nearby? any of them non-profits or community-driven?; …)

5. Grant Period and Limitations:

  •  Maximum 4 months, since these grants are aimed at meeting immediate needs.
  • Applicants may apply up to 4 times or up to a maximum allotment per member of $10k; however, priority for future grants will be given to first time applicants (with a strong application)
  • 2 months must pass between the completion of one grant and the submission of a subsequent application.

6. New Grant Cycles:

  • As long as funds remain, PSEF will aim to make an open call for grants on a quarterly basis.

7. The Application - shall be short and streamlined but must include -

  • Cover sheet (provided by PSEF) that will ask the basics noted above.
  • Brief statement of grant purpose (as noted above)
  • Evidence of BIPOC and/or low income community support.
  • Indication of solar activity nearby.
    [See below for the application link.]

8.  Payout and Reporting: 

  • Payment will be made via ACH payment to the bank account of the organization or its fiscal sponsor - within 72 hours of the grant award and account information being provided.
  • Reporting - following a simple PSEF template of just a few questions - shall occur within 5 months after the grant (i.e. 1 month after the max 4 month term). Reporting completion will be a requirement for future grant eligibility.

Thank you for your interest in the PSEF Mini-Grants.