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A Neighborfest is a locally organized gathering, also known as a block party, that offers neighbors the chance to come together, have fun, and build a stronger, more connected community. Neighborfests are unique because at the heart of each event is a table top activity called “Map Your Resilientville” that allows you and your neighbors to work with City staff, and/or local community organizations, such as the Red Cross, to conduct a disaster preparedness activity for your neighborhood.
In addition to the CIG Program funding, your neighborhood will receive the following for hosting a Neighborfest event:
Most of all, through Neighborfest, your neighborhood will have the opportunity for neighbors to get to know each other, strengthen existing relationships, nurture community cohesion and ultimately become better prepared to respond and support each other during and after an emergency.
CIG funds may be used to for a specific community improvement project, but the project must take place within a Neighborfest event. Projects may include: creating a community or school garden; installing a memorial bench; painting a mural; crosswalk or other approved street art; or a neighborhood cleanup project.
The goal of the Community Improvement Grant Neighborfest Program is to empower residents to host great community produced events that will result in greater community cohesion and connectedness among neighbors. Research has shown that the more connected neighbors are to each other, the stronger their resilience is after an emergency:
In other words, neighbors are more willing to check on each other and help each other during a disaster if they’ve already developed social relationships. In addition, residents who map out an emergency plan with their neighbors are more likely to be able to respond effectively during a disaster.
 Guenther, D. Social Cohesion: The Root of Resilience. Feb. 2016. Mithun. http://mithun.com/2016/02/09/social-cohesion-root-resilience/.
 Professor Daniel Aldrich, PhD, North Easter University.
Neighborhood groups, including neighborhood associations, homeowner associations, and less formal groups, may apply for funding to hold a Neighborfest event and to implement a project or activity during their Neighborfest event. Neighborhood partners such as nonprofits, service clubs, community organizations, and schools may also apply to host a Neighborfest event within the Santa Rosa city limits. Applicants do not have to have an established organization to apply for the funds; any large or small group of neighbors or community members who want to host a Neighborfest event where they live can apply for these grants.
There are two different types of funding levels for this grant program:
Under Tier 1, applicants may apply for up to $2,500 in grant funds. Projects for Tier 1 funding must meet the following requirements:
Under Tier 2, applicants may apply for up to $5,000 in grant funds. Projects for Tier 2 funding must meet the following requirements:
Applicants will be asked to select from the following list of dates to hold their Neighborfest. Please note, all dates are subject to change.
Eligible Grant Expenses include contractor fees, supplies, equipment rentals, permit and insurance fees or costs, other permits related to the project, project supplies and materials, tools, and/or food (see Appendix A for a sample budget).
Costs that are not reimbursable by CIG funds include:
CIG funds must be matched by funds from other sources that meet or exceed your grant request. These may be actual funds or in-kind donations (e.g. donated supplies, volunteer hours, etc.). All projects MUST demonstrate a minimum 1:1 match. For example, a project requesting a $500 grant must have a minimum of $500 in matching funds, for a total project budget of $1,000. The maximum grant amount is $2,500 for Tier 1 projects and $5,000 for Tier 2 projects. However, there is no maximum match funds amount. Please make sure to list all actual funds or in-kind donations going into your project.
Donated cash, labor, materials or equipment (or any combination) qualifies as matching funds. This includes volunteer hours. Materials should be valued at market rate, equipment should be based on actual rental rates, and volunteer labor should be valued at $22.14 per hour per person.