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Community Giving – Frequently Asked Questions

Community response to COVID-19

How is Wells Fargo responding to COVID-19?

We are facing a situation that has created unprecedented disruptions throughout the world, and we are responding to a dynamic and fluid situation. As part of a series of comprehensive actions  that Wells Fargo is taking to help employees, customers and communities experiencing hardships related to COVID-19, Wells Fargo is donating $175 million to help address public health needs, small business, housing, and financial health for vulnerable populations. Learn more

What are Wells Fargo's primary focus areas for giving?

We are deploying resources to help address immediate and longer-term needs for shelter, rental assistance, housing, small business support and financial stability. While we are providing additional flexibility in our grant making to help nonprofits address operations, staffing costs and other urgent necessities, we continue to focus on supporting organizations that are strategically aligned with our funding priorities: housing affordability, small business growth and financial health.

How does my organization apply for COVID-19 recovery funding?

Given the overwhelming demands of COVID-19, we are currently working with our existing portfolio of grantees and are not currently accepting any new applications.  Please check back later in the year for any potential updates.

Overview

Does Wells Fargo give local or national grants?

Both. Wells Fargo distributes money through both national grants and local grants. Grants vary in size and geographic distribution, but all applications must be submitted through the official Wells Fargo grant online application.

What are Wells Fargo’s primary focus areas for giving?

Our giving focuses on national and local proposals that help address three complex societal issues:

  • Housing affordability
  • Financial health
  • Small business growth

Does Wells Fargo approve funding for areas outside the three major focus areas (housing affordability, financial health, and small business growth)?

We also may provide local support for programs in the areas of arts and culture, civic engagement, education, the environment, human services, and workforce development.

How do you assess who you are going to support?

We make decisions based on alignment to our priorities and available funds. We assess applications by the proposed programs and projects, as well as the nonprofit’s viability and mission.

How does my organization apply for a grant?

Applications for grants – large and small, national and local – must be submitted through our official online application, www.cybergrants.com/wellsfargo/communitygrants. Partnering with CyberGrants, we have streamlined the process for collecting consistent information from large and small nonprofits and communicating with them on our decisions. Be sure to check eligibility information on the grant process before you start your application.

Please note that the Wells Fargo Foundation has made some changes to our grant-making process given the overwhelming demands of COVID-19. We are currently working with our existing portfolio of grantees and are not currently accepting new applications. Unfortunately, we are unable to respond to unsolicited letters of inquiry or support every grant request. Please check back later in the year for any potential updates.

When is the best time to apply for a Wells Fargo grant?

Our grant application portal is now open through September 2020.

Eligibility

We would like to apply for a local grant. Our organization is located in a county not included in your list of eligible counties. Can we still apply?

Please contact your local community relations representative. We give priority to organizations providing services in the communities we serve.

Will Wells Fargo sponsor my charitable fundraising event?

Wells Fargo prefers to fund programs and projects rather than unrestricted sponsorships and events for nonprofits. However, we do a limited amount of sponsorship for fundraising events. To be considered, please apply online at least 90 days prior to the event.

Do I need an invitation code in order to apply for a grant?

Typically, local grant requests do not require an invitation code. National program grants do require an invitation code.

We'd like to apply for a national program grant. How do we get an invitation code?

National grants go through a slightly different process from local grants. If you would like to apply for one of our national grants, begin by introducing your organization to the Wells Fargo representative most relevant to the sector you serve.

Application content

Do you have any advice for how to structure our request?

Your submission should be thoughtful and concise and closely follow section guidelines. It’s important that it tells a compelling story of the problem and how funding will help your organization address the needs effectively.

  • Funding purpose and project description – Your executive summary should give a brief overview of who you serve, the need for support, what your project does, and what impact you plan to expand or sustain.
  • Detailed project information – In no more than 2 to 3 pages, give specifics on your project and how the funding will be used.
  • Previous year funding – If you received a grant from Wells Fargo in a prior year, explain the impact of that funding. What were the benefits and the successes? Why should you receive continued support?

Do I have to submit all documentation, even if my request is small?

Yes, you must complete all required fields within an application in order to submit. Required fields are marked with an asterisk (*).

Will someone from Wells Fargo make a site visit to our organization?

Due to the volume of requests we receive, it is usually not possible for us to do site visits. A site visit isn’t required for your grant to be approved.

How do you define low- to moderate-income individuals and families?

The threshold we use is a total annual income of less than 80% of the median for the community.

Application process

Can I submit my request to someone locally?

Requests must be submitted through the online application. Proposals are then directed to local community relations representatives for consideration. Applications submitted via mail or email will not be considered.

I did not receive an email confirmation after submitting the application.

An email is sent automatically when an application is received. If you don’t see one, try:

  • Looking in your spam/junk folder.
  • Checking that your submission was completed. Go back to the online application and click Continue to access your application. Review it to make sure all required fields have been completed. On the final page, select Save and Proceed. On the final page, select Submit.

When can we expect the check if the request is approved?

A check is typically sent within 6-8 weeks after a proposal has been approved.

Contact questions

Who do I contact if I'm having technical issues while I'm completing the application?

In the online application select Need Support and a customer support representative will contact you within 24 to 72 hours. Forgot your password? There is a link on the Log In page to reset it.

Can I contact Wells Fargo to discuss the proposal so we know if we have a chance of being funded?

Due to the large number of requests we receive, we can’t discuss grant proposals before they are submitted. Review our guidelines to see whether or not your proposal matches our funding priorities. If your proposal is for a local community grant, please make sure the program is located in a county we serve by checking the state list on our local grants page. If so, we invite you to submit a proposal online.

Who do I contact to check on our application status?

Please wait at least 120 days after submitting your proposal to contact your local grants or national grants contact. In most cases, you will have heard from us by then. If not, check with your local or national contact.

Unsuccessful applications

If our proposal is declined, can we reapply?

Organizations may submit one grant application per calendar year. You are welcome to reapply a following year.

If we are turned down, can we contact you to find out why?

Wells Fargo receives far more grant proposals from organizations than we can support each year. We make decisions based on alignment to our priorities and available funds. We can’t answer specific questions about why grant requests were declined. We appreciate the time and effort you spent in preparing the application. However, we ask that you accept the final decision you received by email.