2019-20 Jim Guthrie Community Service Grant Program


The City of Arroyo Grande is a participant with the County of San Luis Obispo and other cities therein as an "Urban County" under the Federal Department of Housing and Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program. The City has historically funded social service agencies, as well as Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) access barrier removal projects, from available CDBG funds through the CDBG Program.

Over the years, available CDBG funding has been gradually decreased, which has made the process cumbersome for awarding small social service agency grants. As a result, in response to CDBG funding limitations and restrictions, the City established the Arroyo Grande Community Service Grant Program separate and apart from the CDBG Program.

Program Description

The City's 2019-20 Jim Guthrie Community Service Grant Program is intended to provide monetary grants to eligible community non-profit organizations. The City recognizes the value of such groups that provide specialized social service, educational, cultural, beautification and recreation programs and projects benefiting its citizens. Grants awarded will be in minimum amounts of not less than $250. Funding is limited to $20,000 for Grant Year 2019-20.

Eligibility Standards

To be eligible to apply for grant monies under the City's 2019-20 Jim Guthrie Community Service Grant Program, a community organization must satisfy the following standards:

  • Operate as a non-profit 501c3;
  • Serve the Arroyo Grande community;
  • Use funds provided to directly provide* a social service, educational, cultural, beautification or recreation program or project to Arroyo Grande residents and/or businesses;
  • Not restrict participants based upon race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, ancestry, disability, medical condition, or age; and
  • Not use grant monies specifically for religious activities.

* "Directly provide" means that the community non-profit organization conducts the social service(s) or cultural program(s) itself rather than through a separate entity to which it sub-awards grant monies.

Application Process and Deadline:

All interested non-profit organizations must complete an application form, including the following:

  • Name and address of the non-profit organization (applicant is required to list the local branch if it represents a national or statewide organization).
  • Description of community services provided.
  • Relationship of non-profit organization to the community.
  • Current membership figures and approximate number of City of Arroyo Grande residents served by the non-profit organization.
  • Amount of funds requested.
  • Proposed project and budget plan for the use of the grant funds.
  • Proof of 501(c)(3) status with a copy of the letter from the IRS.
  • Past two years financial statements including the current year with balance sheets, profit/loss statements and indicating the percentage of revenue that is used for administration, salaries and program costs (Please denote what salaries are directly related to administration and/or program costs).
  • Applicants are requested to provide information on their annual sources of revenue received.
  • Any applicant who received grant funds from the City in the past is to indicate when the funds were received, the amount of funds received and document how the funds were utilized.
  • In addition to the original application, please submit eleven (11) additional copies: double-sided, 3-hole punched and paper clipped.

Completed application forms, along with supplemental documents must be submitted by 5:00 p.m., Wednesday, November 27, 2019 addressed to: 

City of Arroyo Grande
Community Development Department
Camilla Karamanlis, Program Analyst
300 E. Branch Street
Arroyo Grande CA 93420

Please download and save the following form to your computer, then complete, print, and sign. APPLICATION FORM

Community Service Grant Committee

The Community Service Grant Committee is a panel consisting of one member each from the City's Planning Commission, Architectural Review Committee, Traffic Commission, Parks and Recreation Commission, Historical Resources Committee, and Historical Resources Committee. The Committee reviews all applications and develops recommendations for consideration by the City Council.

Evaluation of Applications and Selection Process

Following the application deadline (usually in November), the City Council's appointed Jim Guthrie Community Service Grant Committee will review and consider proposals from community groups. All proposals will be evaluated to ascertain which non-profit organizations best meet the needs that the City seeks to satisfy. Factors to be considered include, but are not limited to, the following: 

  1. The non-profit organization's responsiveness in clearly stating the benefits to be derived by the resident of the City of Arroyo Grande, if grant funds are awarded; 
  2. The number of City of Arroyo Grande residents by age group served by the non-profit organization; geographic area(s) and total number of clients served by the non-profit organization; 
  3. The non-profit organization's history of providing community services to the residents of the City of Arroyo Grande; and
  4. The non-profit organization's financial need for grant funds to service the City of Arroyo Grande residents.

Award of Funds

Following the Jim Guthrie Community Service Grant Committee's screening process, the Committee will present its recommendations to the City Council. The City Council will review the Committee's report and consider award of funds to selected non-profit organizations. In all cases, the City Council retains sole and absolute discretion in administering this program, including which applicants will be awarded funds and the total level of funding in each instance.

Execution of Agreement

Non-profit organizations selected to receive funds will be required to sign and execute an agreement with the City of Arroyo Grande. NOTE: If award of funds is made, a recipient non-profit organization will be required to expend grant monies prior to the close of the calendar year.


For more information regarding the Jim Guthrie Community Service Grant Program, please contact Camilla Karamanlis, Program Analyst, Community Development Department, at 805-473-5448.