- Round 3: November 2023 -

Please note the deadline of Monday, December 15th (End of Day - for your time zone) 

As we close out 2023, PSEF is happy to once again offer Mini-grants to support members with end-of-year, early-stage project-related expenses. Please click the link (Adobe Icon) below to download the mini-grants application form.

1. Purpose:  First 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. Third priority is to support groups in need of funds to pay for immediate assistance developing applications for project-related tax credit incentives, grant applications (Federal, State or Private/Philanthropic), or exploring models which take advantage of the IRA-incentive programs.

2. Grant Size: generally $2,500-$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 $2.5-5k 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 –

  • The deadline to apply for this round of mini-grants is December 15th, 2023 (EOD).
  • PSEF will aim to decide and make payment by early-mid January.

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.
  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. 
  • 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.  

Please click the link (Adobe Icon) below to download the mini-grants application form.