Community Partnership Innovation Fund

University of San Francisco's faculty, staff, students and community partners are invited to apply for Engage San Francisco's Community Partnership Innovation Fund (CPIF) of up to $5,000. There must be at least one USF-affiliated applicant and one applicant from an organization providing services in the Western Addition. Funds will support teams in completing a well-defined project that supports the achievement of a community-identified need, while deepening their partnership through an intentional and collaborative process.

Applications are now closed, but please stay tuned for more updates in the Fall of 2021.

For questions, please send an email to


  • Cultivate and deepen transformational partnerships. 
  • Work to achieve measurable community-identified outcomes in the Western Addition.
  • Participate in thoughtful, intentional and on-going critical engagement that moves from a conception of service as charity to a notion of service as social justice. 
  • Incorporate best practices in campus-community engagement. 


  • Teams will embrace an asset-based model of university and community partnership that is grounded in authentic relationships.
  • Teams will support the provision of wraparound services for children and families in the Western Addition.
  • Teams will elevate mutually enriching relationships through long-term commitments and resource sharing. 

Applications will be evaluated according to the following criteria:

  • Well-defined project or research product that responds to a community-identified need.
  • Incorporation of the values of Engage San Francisco. 
  • Prior community engagement experience. 
  • Viability of timeline and plan for sustainability.
  • Quality and clarity of the project description.
  • Detailed list of activities supporting the project proposal.
  • Reasonably detailed budget.

Three teams will be selected in late October and will have a full year to complete their project. The application process includes:

  • Completion of the online application with a letter of recommendation from the Western Addition partner.
  • A project budget outlining anticipated costs and any in-kind contributions or source of income that will inform the sustainability of the project.  

Applications are now closed, but please stay tuned for more updates in Fall of 2021.

More Information, send an email to

CPIF Awardees 2019/2020

"Jonestown Atonement 2020" submitted by USF student Ms. Jada Curry, Dr. James Taylor of USF's Politics Department, and Mr. Jameel Rasheed Patterson and Mr. Majeid Crawford of the New Community Leadership Foundation (NCLF)

  • Jonestown Atonement 2020 will commemorate the victims of the 1978 Jonestown massacre that greatly impacted the Fillmore community through a digital memorial archive coupled with a remembrance ceremony to honor the 918 lives lost. This commemoration will provide an opportunity for the Fillmore community to deeply reflect while empowering the younger generation to learn more and understand their local history. Additionally, through wellness based practices, this commemoration will hold space for participants to engage in activities that will foster intergenerational healing from the tragedy.

"Parent & Family Partnerships in School-based Restorative Practices" submitted by Ms. Teresa Arriaga and Mr. Greg Bailey of Parents for Public Schools of San Francisco (PPS-SF) and Dr. Lisa De La Rue of USF's Counseling Psychology Department/Marriage and Family Therapy Program

  • Parent & Family Partnerships in School-based Restorative Practices, in collaboration with John Muir Elementary School and Rosa Parks Elementary, hopes to strengthen the effectiveness of restorative practices and trauma-informed care as applied in school settings by educating and engaging parents and caregivers more fully with these practices which are being used in schools.

"Entrepreneurship in a Nutshell" submitted by Ms. Liz Jackson-Simpson of the Success Centers and Ms. Vivian Faustino-Pulliam of USF's School of Management 

  • Entrepreneurship in a Nutshell provides entrepreneurship education through programming that helps to develop certain traits, mindsets and paradigm shifts that will support participants in various facets of their career and personal growth. Activities include workshops and lectures, mentoring and networking, and product/service demonstrations. 


  1. What is the criteria for applying as a team?  

    • A team must consist of one Western Addition community partner and one USF-affiliated partner.

  2. Does the Western Addition community partner and the USF-affiliated partner collaborating apply together or separately? 

    • The Western Addition community partner and USF-affiliated partner collaborating must apply together to submit one application.

  3. What defines a Western Addition area organization?

    • Any number of organizations or public entities that serve the Western Addition meet this definition. For example, community partners may be a government agency, community or nonprofit organization, school or an affiliate of a local membership organization. Because the Western Addition does not align directly with zip codes, nor does it align directly with City Supervisorial Districts. The boundaries of the Western Addition for the purposes of the Engage San Francisco Initiative are informed by those identified by the Western Addition Service Provider Cohort as described in their 2011 report:  
      -Van Ness Avenue on the East end of the neighborhood (about the Civic Center)
      -Baker Street on the West end of the neighborhood (one block from USF)
      -Sutter Street on the North Side of the neighborhood (about Pacific Heights neighborhood)
      -Fulton Street on the South side of the neighborhood (about Haight neighborhood)

  4. Can USF students apply for this funding?

    • Yes, USF students can apply for this funding. However, students applying must have a faculty advisor supporting them with this project in addition to a community partner.

  5. Will every team that apply receive funding?

    • No, only 3 team projects will receive funding for up to $5,000.

  6. We received funding from past CPIF and community engagement cycles. Can we apply again? 

    • Yes. Teams who have received funding must have successfully completed their project and submitted their year end report.

  7. We applied for funding previously, but did not receive one. Can we apply again? 

    • Yes.

  8. What should be included in the community partner’s letter of recommendation? 

    • A letter of recommendation shows that the community partner believes a project is needed and worthwhile and that the partner is willing to be actively involved in its implementation. Therefore, the letter should verify the community-identified need, verify that there will be a mutually-beneficial exchange with USF, define the partner’s role(s) in the project and explain the expected benefit to the organization’s stakeholders.
A letter of commitment should address specific types of commitment such as expert staff, space, equipment, food, or access to a population. It should also be on letterhead, signed, and dated.

  9. What is the funding period?

The funding period will be from January 2021 to December 2021. All activities must be completed within 12 months of the receipt of funding.

  10. When will we be notified on whether or not we received funding?

    • Team applicants will be notified via e-mail if their proposal was or was not selected to receive funding in November.