Neighbor to Neighbor (N2N) is founded on the core values of Seattle Foundation: equity and opportunity.
N2N supports grassroots efforts that increase engagement, power and influence of community members affected by poverty and racial disparities. Begun in 1991, N2N is a grant and technical assistance program and a key strategy of Seattle Foundation’s Center for Community Partnerships. Serving community-based organizations in South Seattle, White Center and Kent, N2N plays a crucial role in supporting the Foundation’s mission: to ignite powerful and rewarding philanthropy to make Greater Seattle a stronger, more vibrant community for all.
For more in-depth yearly reports on the annual N2N grantee convenings & more, check out Documenting what we’ve learned from Community below.
Seattle Foundation has moved to an online application system. You will need to create an account to begin the application process. If you already have a Seattle Foundation account, you can use the same log in information. Please contact N2N’s Program Consultant, Aileen Balahadia at 206.250.4299 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org to ensure that you are a strong fit for our current funding strategies before applying online. You can also contact her with questions regarding the application system.
N2N Goals: Increased Engagement, Power and Influence to Achieve Greater Equity
Grassroots organizations increase resident engagement and mobilization
N2N advisory members effectively support community priorities
Communities and funders develop and sustain strong networks and relationships
Community influence to improve practices, programs, initiatives and policies is strengthened
N2N advisory members amplify community voices
What N2N Funds:
N2N supports grassroots efforts that lead to increased engagement, power and influence of community members affected by poverty and racial disparities. Priority is on efforts led by people from under-invested communities such as communities of color, black, indigenous, immigrant/refugee and low income communities. N2N grants are up to a maximum of $6,000. N2N does not typically fund direct social services, ongoing programming, or sponsorship of cultural festivals or one-time events.
N2N Funding At Work:
Work that builds leadership among community members to organize and lead positive change in their communities. Examples include training, or projects planned and led by community members.
Work that mobilizes community members to work with others to take action or advocate for policy change. Examples include direct organizing, advocating for identified priorities, focus groups or surveys to identify community priorities and prompt dialogue, and advocacy training.
Programs that build trust and relationships within and among community members with a goal of increasing equity and improving the community. Examples include convenings or gatherings to bring community members together, community conversations, and cross cultural/ intergenerational exchanges and trainings.
Programs that build partnerships and coalitions among groups and institutions to work together for more equitable neighborhoods. Examples include co-designed projects that address shared community priorities, coalition building, and building capacity for diverse groups to effectively participate in larger coalitions and partnerships.
Funding Eligibility and Criteria:
Required in order to apply:
Charitable status: Applicant organization must have 501 (c) (3) tax exempt status or be fiscally sponsored by another tax exempt organization.
Based in the following geographic areas: Applicant organization must be led by residents of South Seattle, White Center or Kent. South Seattle is defined as areas south of Interstate 90, west of Lake Washington, east of Puget Sound and north of Seattle’s southern border. White Center is defined as the unincorporated area between the cities of Burien and Seattle. Kent is defined as areas south of SE 192nd St., West of Soos Creek, North of SE 272 St and East of and along SR 99.
Equity focus: Applicant’s mission and work must demonstrate a clear purpose to address economic and racial disparities.
Small budget: Applicant must have a small budget, generally under $200K, and not have received significant grants or contracts. N2N is particularly interested in supporting organizations that have limited access to traditional sources of funding.
Repeat funding: Prior N2N grantees are welcome to reapply. Grantees may only apply once a year and must have submitted a final report for past funding before applying again.
Funding decisions will be based on how well the organization and proposed work meet the following rating criteria:
Community engagement: Does applicant demonstrate its ties to the community it proposes to engage through membership, board and staff leadership, volunteer roles, and partnerships? Does the proposal clearly describe how community members are involved in planning, leading, and implementing the project?
Sound plan: Does the proposed work demonstrate good planning and budgeting? Does the applicant identify clear goals, achievable results, and ways to measure progress? Is the budget reasonable in relation to the applicant’s plans?
Financial and human capacity: Are there adequate staff or volunteers to carry out the work? Does the organization have enough financial capacity to implement the work? Is there a strong and active board or steering committee in place? Do they have partnerships that will support this project?
Increased engagement, power and influence. We expect that organizations we fund will achieve at least one of the following results, and we will prioritize support for work that is likely to achieve multiple results:
Increased Engagement: Will the proposed work increase the engagement and mobilization of community members impacted by racial and economic disparities?
Increased Connections: Will the proposed work strengthen or deepen networks, relationships and/or partnerships within and among communities?
Increased Influence: Will the proposed work increase the capacity of residents to influence policies and practices that impact the community?
N2N awards grants on a quarterly basis. The deadlines for submitting applications are January 30, April 30, July 30 and October 30. Organizations are eligible for funding once per calendar year.
Step One: Please contact N2N’s Program Consultant, Aileen Balahadia at 206.250.4299 or via email at email@example.com , to ensure that you are a strong fit for our current funding strategies.
Step Two: If eligible, the second step is to create a login and complete the N2N application. Technical assistance is available to complete the application. As appropriate, staff may assist you in planning your project, identifying a fiscal sponsor, identifying potential partners, reviewing and commenting on drafts of your proposal, and /or connecting you to other available resources in the community.
Step Three: Once your application is completed, submit the application through the online system by the quarterly deadlines.
Once your proposal has been received, we make every effort to schedule a meeting with members of your organization and our advisory committee to learn more about your work, answer questions and discuss your request.
If you have any questions about the N2N application process, please contact Aileen Balahadia at firstname.lastname@example.org or 206.250.4299.
N2N piloted an effort to support a cohort of ten past N2N grantees to pursue self-determined social change projects aimed at building community power and shifting local conditions towards greater racial equity. The 2020 report tells the story of how this project was designed by the community, elevates the grantees’ successes, and offers recommendations to the broader funding community:
April 2020: Advancing Racial Equity Cohort Project Learnings
The annual N2N grantee convenings began in 2015 as a way to lift up the expertise of the N2N community and share their experiences and knowledge in order to advance racial and economic equity. Convenings include aligned partners and funders, celebrate culture and neighborhood diversity and dedicate time for both facilitated conversations and open networking. These Reports share the highlights of the conversations and offer recommendations on how to continue to support grassroots communities of color.
- June 2019: N2N Grantee Convening Report
- May 2018: N2N Grantee Convening Report
- November 2017: N2N Grantee Convening Report
- November 2016: N2N Grantee Convening Report
- December 2015: N2N Grantee Convening Report