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Robert S. Nelsen Civic Engagement Grants



Applications for the 2024-2025 grants are open on March 27 and will be closed on April 29, 2024. Grant awardees will be announced in mid-May.

The award cycle is July 1, 2024 – June 30, 2025.


The minimum award for this grant is $5,000, and the maximum award is $7,500. Therefore, proposal budgets must fall within this range.

Application Info:

Applicant(s) can only submit one application and may only apply for one of the grants, not for both.

Click here to submit your application

Click here to review the RSN Civic Engagement Scoring Rubric

Click here to review the application questions


The Robert S. Nelsen Civic Engagement grant seeks to fund new or existing innovative projects and programs focused on civic engagement to improve the long-term welfare of the Sacramento Region. The purpose of this grant is to advance civic education, advocacy, and collaboration as drivers of societal advancement by funding projects and programs that promote civic participation. The aim is to initiate positive transformations by supporting endeavors dedicated to enhancing the quality of life in underserved communities through both political and non-political means.

This includes but is not limited to:

  • Civic Education Programs: Educate community members on their rights, responsibilities, and the importance of civic participation.
  • Community Organizing and Advocacy: Supports grassroots organizations that work to address social issues and promote positive change within their communities.
  • Voter Engagement and Mobilization: Projects/programs that seek to increase voter turnout, especially among underrepresented populations.
  • Civic Innovation and Technology: Leverage technology to enhance civic engagement and promote transparency and accountability in government.

Those eligible to apply are Sac State faculty members (tenured, tenure track, part-time), staff members, students, and student organizations.

All awardees will be required to document how funds were used and advanced the University’s dedicated community involvement imperative, and submit a final impact report after the grant cycle.


  1. All applicants must have at least one (1) new or existing community organization partner that is already engaged on the priority issue or project to encourage deep connections within the community (community organization, government agency, non-profit, school, etc.). The community partner organization must provide a letter of support that describes the depth of the existing partnership.
  2. The proposed activities must connect directly to Sac State student success, link to learning outcomes, or encourage student engagement and retention.
  3. The proposed activities will have faculty/staff and student roles.
  4. The proposed activities must advance equity, antiracism, and/or social justice in our community and/or on campus.


  1. The proposed activities will ensure the sustainability of the project or partnership.
  2. The proposed activities will help community partners in their research, evaluation, and/or capacity building.
  3. The proposed activities will expand opportunities for scholarly research or creative activities by faculty, staff, or students.
  4. The proposed activities will enhance Sacramento State students’ sense of community by participating in community engagement projects.
  5. The proposed activities will involve a partnership with another department, program, or center within the University.

Permissible and Non-Permissible Expenses


  • Supplies
  • Materials
  • Equipment
  • Mileage reimbursement
  • Food, drinks, and refreshments
  • Payment to a non-profit organization or K-12 school
  • Payment to non-CSU employed individuals to perform services
  • Payment to a business to perform services
  • Payment to a guest speaker
  • Payment to an individual providing training services
  • Student employment** (the Student Assistant job classification shall be used for all payments to students.)

    **Due to federal law, students without work authorization cannot be paid with General Fund dollars. Campus units looking to hire such students should contact the Student Employment office for questions.


  • Gift cards
  • Tuition assistance or scholarships for enrolled students
  • Student stipend**
  • Paid student internships**
  • Staff stipend or bonus
  • Faculty assigned time/release time
    **For more funding information about payments to students, please click here to visit the Account Services' webpage.

Contact Information

For more information and questions, please contact Anchor University staff at or call (916) 278-6710.