Program details

Shine Awards are available to incorporated nonprofit organizations located in and serving communities within SMUD’s service territory. Read the FAQs to learn about eligibility, funding and application details.

Funding levels

Spark: Up to $10,000

 Amplifier: $10,001 - $50,000

 Transformer: $50,001 - $100,000



If awarded, recipient nonprofits must match funds for their project as follows:

  • Spark:  50% match
  • Amplifier and Transformer:  100% match

Collaborative projects and joint applications between nonprofits are encouraged.


Eligible project categories


Social Well-being

Healthy Environment

Prosperous Economy


  • Community education
  • Community safety
  • Infrastructure improvements
  • Collective impact partnerships
  • Under-served community development
  • Air quality improvements
  • Carbon emission reduction
  • Climate readiness
  • Environmental justice
  • Health equity
  • Tree canopy
  • Digital accessibility
  • Economic development
  • Small business development
  • Low-income programs
  • Workforce development
  • Technology skills training
  • Electric vehicle
  • Autonomous transportation
  • Public transit access
  • Charging station
  • Walkability
  • Shared mobility access

Learn how the Sustainable Communities initiative uses innovative programs and local partnerships to help bring environmental equity and economic vitality to neighborhoods in our service area.


 View program guidelines     Download program flyer

2020-2021 Award recipients

Our 2020-2021 Shine Award partners virtual celebration had over 55 attendees, including all of our Shine community partners, SMUD Board members and the SMUD executive team!  

Shine awards meeting 

“We’re proud to partner with local nonprofits to improve our local communities,” said SMUD Board President Nancy Bui-Thompson. “By supporting our community with job training, academic and community services, we‘re making a lasting impact in our neighborhoods.”


Drive-through ceremony

The 2021 recipients were recognized in a drive-through ceremony, where they received their award while following proper COVID-19 health and safety protocols.

Shine awards sign


Shine awards

Award recipient Faith Galati, Breakthrough Sacramento with Directors Fishman
and Herber

Shine awards

Award recipient Kelly Keys, Sojourner Truth African heritage Museum with
Director Herber

Shine awards trees

Shine awards

(Left to right) Director Rosanna Herber and Director Gregg Fishman

Shine awards

Award recipient Anna Hooper, Cosumnes Community Service District with Directors
Fishman and Herber and Shine Project Manager, Betty Low (back)

Shine awards
Award recipient Haroon Abasy, Asian Community Center with Directors Fishman
and Herber

Shine awards

Congratulations to our Shine partners! We look forward to seeing all the positive impacts from this year's Shine Award projects.


Our partners

AGC of California Construction Education Foundation
Award: $40,000

Project Description:
Career exploration and Workforce Development with high school population in underserved communities. Creating variety of outreach strategies to increase Girls in Construction through online platforms with video until in person outreach is safe.

Alchemist Community Development Corporation
Award: $10,000

Project Description:
Friendliest Bus Stop in Town at 3834 MLK Blvd. Adding a bench, shade structure, solar power kiosk cell phone charger/Wi-Fi for public use, Free little library, bike rack, bike pump and repair stand.

Asian Community Center Senior Center
Award: $16,400

Project Description:
ACC will provide 80 refurbished laptops to seniors sheltering in place to participate in technology education and job skills development workshops. Laptop set up will be in home as health interns visits the seniors.

Breakthrough Sacramento
Award: $25,000

Project Description:
Online academic support in math and science for middle school students in an academic year long as well as summer program for students in Sacramento Unified School District, San Juan Unified School District and Twin Rivers Unified School District.

Center for Land-Based Learning
Award: $10,000

Project Description:
Student and Landowner Education and Watershed Stewardship in Del Paso Heights at Grant Union High School.

Christ Temple Apostolic Church
Award: $20,100

Project Description:
Upgrading HVAC units for multi-use gym.

City Year Sacramento
Award: $35,839

Project Description:
City Year Sacramento will provide academic support during school hours and after school hours to teachers and students through multiple online formats. Social engagements and resources will also be provided to the families.

Cosumnes Community Services District
Award: $42,000

Project Description:
Elk Grove Nature Park co-located next to Jessie Baker School, California Montessori Project and for public use. This Park with a Purpose will have ADA accessible pathways over wetlands for close interaction with habitat for education curriculum and social inclusion.

Eta Gamma Omega Chapter Foundation
Award: $51,000

Project Description:
Highlighting Global Opportunities: Historic landmark in Oak Park; Facilities and equipment improvements including electrical upgrades, technology infrastructure.

First Step Communities
Award: $25,000

Project Description:
The Grove Emergency Bridge Housing: Electrical System Upgrade.

Food Literacy Center
Award: $15,000

Project Description:
STEM curriculum development for outdoor classroom. Nutrition, curriculum translation for multiple languages, kitchen tools and recipe book for 700 families for interactive educational workshops.

Freedom Through Education
Award: $8,000

Project Description:
Providing technology education and employment skills to 30 justice involved adults through a new computer lab located in South Sacramento.

Gateway Community Charter Foundation
Award: $24,000

Project Description:
Development and implementation of Firehouse Café at the Firehouse Community Center in the Del Paso Heights area. Workforce development opportunity for 24 students as well as a Community Living Project at the Firehouse Community Center.

JUMA Ventures
Award: $35,000

Project Description:
Juma Ventures Sacramento Youth Connect 2020: Workforce development in STEM with underrepresented populations and in collaboration with Los Rios Community College District.

National Academic Youth Corps/dba Sojourner’s Truth African Heritage Museum
Award: $35,500

Project Description:
Four installations of art sharing the history of the African American heritage with interactive technology engagements with small learning sessions facilitated by educators in South Sacramento.

National Coalition of 100 Black Women of Sacramento
Award: $1,725

Project Description:
Support STEM online mentoring with female students at Natomas Middle School and professional women in STEM fields to promote interest and engagement in STEM careers through Saturday sessions and some academic supports sessions afterschool.

NeighborWorks HomeOwnership Center Sacramento
Award: $10,000

Project Description:
Del Paso Heights Energy Olympics. Energy kits/track usage in collaboration with Brother to Brother mentoring program.

Orangevale Food Bank
Awarded: $9,000

Project Description:
Food Bank capacity improvements to meet increased needs. New roof LED parking lot lights; electrical pallet stack jack; shelving; concrete walkway for forklift.

Ronald McDonald House Charities of Northern California
Award: $22,000

Project Description:
Upgrade family kitchen and flooring in Home-Away-From-Home program.

Sacramento Native American Health Center
Award: $10,000

Project Summary:
Infrastructure support for new Medical Center in South Sacramento.

Sacramento Public Library
Award: $10,000

Project Description:
Electric vehicle charging station at Sacramento Public Library’s Southgate Library.

Shiloh Baptist Church
Award: $39,040

Project Description:
Upgrade kitchen and food pantry: Energy efficient all electric kitchen equipment, upgrade HVAC unit.

Soil Born Farms
Award: $17,000

Project Description:
Edible City Initiative: Outdoor classroom space in Rancho Cordova serving diverse community of cultural gardening. Collaboration with FCUSD, SCUSD and CA Native Plant Society.

Street Soccer USA Union Pacific Park
Award: $25,000

Project Description:
Lighting at Union Pacific futsol site serving Marina Vista, Seavey Circle. Formerly homeless adults and youth. Lighting will allow for evening leagues/hours of play for an additional 720 hours. Annual increase of 2720 hours with lights and additional workforce development for youth coaches during evening hours after school.

The River District
Award: $30,000

Project Description:
North 16th and A Street Lighting Project: Improve lighting in pedestrian tunnel, secure water pressure cleaner and art mural.

Volunteers of America
Award: $20,000

Project Description:
Improving the transitional housing for veterans at Bell Street property. 12-unit apartment complex for veterans and their families. Building a laundry room and upgrading washers and dryers.

Washington Neighborhood Center
Award: $27,000

Project Description:
HVAC, electrical and security system upgrades for a Neighborhood Center serving in underrepresented, underserved area near Downtown.

World Relief Sacramento
Award: $1,430

Project Description:
World Relief Sacramento will host gender and culturally specific workshops for computer literacy and workforce development skills for Afghan women and community. Funds will be used to supply internet hotspots and wireless mouse for laptops. COVID shift recently is provide direct support to Afghan families through home visits on behalf of the San Juan Unified School District to assist with digital access for students.

Youth Development Network
Award: $5,000

Project Description:
Nueva Epocha Latinx Emerging Leaders Development Program. Emerging leaders from Hispanic/Latinx community with mentorship for early career professionals.

Applicant: American River Parkway Foundation
Award: $15,000

Project Description:
Improvements to the River Bend for STEM classes.

Applicant: California Conservation Corps Foundation
Award: $75,000

Project Description:
Construction of a state-of-the-art Energy Efficiency Training Lab.

Applicant: Chicks In Crisis
Award: $7,500

Project Description:
Partially pay to purchase and install a new HVAC roof top unit and system and a new tankless, natural gas water heater.

Applicant: Christ Temple Apostolic Church
Award: $2,066

Project Description:
Replacing existing parking lot lights by replacing the ballast and lamps with LED elements.

Applicant: City Year Sacramento
Award: $35,000

Project Description:
STEM career curriculum.

Applicant: Folsom Historic District Association

Project Description:
Facility and equipment improvements adding covered shade structure to the outdoor Amphitheater.

Applicant: Latino Center of Art and Culture

Project Description:
Install outdoor lighting on lighting poles to allow greatly increased programming in our outdoor space.

Applicant: Midtown Parks

Project Description:
Light installations including tree lighting, downlight projections on the fort walls and ambient lighting along the walking pathways and pond for Sutter’s Fort.

Applicant: North State Building Industry Association Foundation

Project Description:
Seven, two-hour hands on STEM connected projects in the construction trade.

Applicant: PRO Youth and Families

Project Description:
Energy efficiency improvements to the Fruit Ridge Community Collaborative that houses 23-Non-Profits.

Applicant: Reading Partners Sacramento

Project Description:
Mini STEM Library at the Fruit Ridge Community Collaborative location.

Applicant: Rebuilding Together Sacramento

Project Description:
Home improvements that contribute to the revitalization efforts in a formal partnership between Rebuilding Together Sacramento and Northern California Construction Training Program. 15-additional neighborhoods with residents who have low-income and/or disabilities will be assisted.

Applicant: Riverside United Methodist Church

Project Description:
Construct a multi-use outdoor community gathering spaces on its premises.

Applicant: Rosemont Community Foundation

Project Description:
Volunteers will provide enhancements of Rosemont to include landscaping, weed removal, flowers, greenery and repairs to brick and mortar.

Applicant: Sacramento LGBT Community Center

Project Description:
New Headquarters relocation to 1015 20th Street.

Applicant: Sacramento Valley Conservancy

Project Description:
Camp Pollock Energy-Efficiency & Lighting Improvement Project will install new and upgraded lighting in a community recreational room, with critical updates to the main-hall and kitchen facilities.

Applicant: Saint John’s Program for Real Change

Project Description:
Phase 1 facilities improvements to decrease the energy footprint.

Applicant: Sierra Service Project

Project Description:
Year-long home repair program for residents of North Sacramento and Del Paso Heights.

Applicant: Stockton Boulevard Partnership

Project Description:
Addressing issues in the community such as lighting, security, trash clean-up, graffiti, façade updates and code issues.

Applicant: Alchemist CDC

Project Description
This revitalization and neighborhood cleanup project will address residential blight; cleanup of Pansy Community Garden Park and the renovation of residential blocks in Oak Park.
Applicant: Cordova Lancers Leaders & Legends

Project Description
This workforce development and neighborhood cleanup project provides Cordova High School’s vocational program students basic lawn maintenance skills and how to repair and maintain the equipment they are using.
Applicant: Del Paso Boulevard Partnership Foundation

Project Description:
This crime prevention through environmental design project is to improve safety, reduce crime and raise visibility with the installation of 22 security cameras along Del Paso Boulevard from Highway 160 to Lampasas Avenue. The system includes servers and an upgraded Wi-Fi system for Boulevard business owners in partnership with Sac PD.
Applicant: Fair Oaks Park Foundation

Project Description
This crime prevention through environmental design project will install a solar-augmented electrical system to support security lighting, refrigeration, lighting and power for the Food Closet Farm’s storage shed.

Applicant: FosterHope Sacramento

Project Description
This lighting improvement project increases safety and visibility during supervised visits of foster children by parents and guardians.
Applicant:  Franklin Neighborhood Development Corporation

Project Description
This new construction project for Mercado marketplace for low to middle income entrepreneurs will include food trailers and a commercial kitchen that supports new food business incubator programs.

Applicant: Freedom Through Education

Project Description
This workforce and neighborhood cleanup project will provide workplace training for those reentering Sacramento communities from prison and work opportunities to improve the low-income, high-crime community nearby. The neighborhood cleanup project offers free landscaping to low income and disabled residents.

Applicant: Girls Scouts Heart of Central California

Project Description
This facility and equipment improvements project brings STEM education to under-served, low income girls with a new Mobile STEM Center + MakerSpace.  Through collaboration with 25 schools and their after-school program providers, GSHCC will deliver a combination of STEM and leadership programming to 500 low income girls in the first-pilot year of operation.

Applicant: Girls Self-Esteem Program

Project Description
This facility and equipment improvements project renovates the spring dance floor, replaces the broken ballet barre and mirrors of a deteriorating dance studio in Oak Park.

Applicant: Improve Your Tomorrow

Project Description
This STEM program for Decoders Anonymous summer coding camp – in partnership with Square Root Academy, CA State University, Sacramento and Cosumnes River College – will place 100 rising juniors in an intensive four-week coding boot camp.

Applicant: La Familia Counseling Center

Project Description
This facility and equipment improvements project for the renovation of Maple Neighborhood Center on Franklin Boulevard serves as a hub for civic engagement, continued learning, entertainment, social interaction and economic empowerment.

Applicant: Los Rios Colleges Foundation

Project Description
This workforce development project for Tiny Home Village and sustainable landscape will provide workforce training in designing and building energy-efficient tiny homes and sustainable landscaping that can serve as a living lab on the Cosumnes River College campus.

Applicant: Midtown Sacramento PBID Corp (MBA)

Project Description
This lighting improvements project for the installation of LED tree lighting at the corner of 24th and K Streets will enhance the optics of multiple restaurants, entertainment and residential customers.

Applicant: Parent Teacher Home Visits

Project Description
This STEM program is for STEM educators who are trained to detect biased behaviors in high-needs schools in Sacramento County. The 4-phase STEM program will:
• Train STEM teachers on using PTHVs relational model of home visits and current research to understand and disrupt unconscious bias in the classroom; 
• Utilize PTHVs model to build relationships with their students and families by visiting their homes; 
• Provide training to understand the current research on unconscious bias and the role it plays in STEM education;
• And develop a professional process that helps teachers recognize and change thoughts and behaviors that have a basis in their own unconscious bias, and that could be inadvertently limiting their students’ achievement.
Applicant: Pioneer Congregational United Church of Christ

Project Description
This energy-efficiency building upgrades project will renovate a defunct kitchen, which serves approximately 1,800 homeless residents. Pioneer is a winter shelter for the homeless and year-round resource for the housing insecure.

Applicant: ReIMAGINE Mack Road

Project Description
This lighting improvements and workforce project installs new and upgraded lighting in a community recreational space and provides supportive employment opportunities to at-risk youth residing in the Valley-Mack neighborhood in South Sacramento.
Applicant: Roberts Family Development Center

Project Description
This energy-efficiency building upgrades project will update the bathroom and kitchen facilities and a portion of roof repairs and a sprinkler system in the Main Center Hall. The Main Center serves 10 youth daily, 50 parents weekly and 25 outside agencies annually. The Hall is used for over 15 family events annually.

Applicant: Sacramento Neighborhood Housing Services, Inc. / NeighborWorks

Project Description
This workforce development and neighborhood cleanup project with NeighborWorks, in partnership with “Brother to Brother” organizes groups of former gang-affiliated men with criminal history who are now active in improving their community and providing leadership to mentor young men. This neighborhood beautification project organizes cleanups and gleans produce from neighbors’ yards. 
Applicant: San Juan Unified School District

Project Description
This STEM program will provide materials and equipment for Rio Americano High School’s Robotics Team World Championship International Robotics Competition in Houston, Texas.

Applicant: Sierra Nevada Journeys

Project Description
This STEM program and workforce development project assists with a teacher boot camp to help educators implement the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) adopted in 2013. The Boot Camp focuses on teachers in under-served communities, such as North Sacramento.

Applicant: Watt Avenue Partnership (80 Watt District)

Project Description
This crime prevention through environmental design project will make the district a safer place, while increasing business/customer traffic through the installation of security cameras to address pervasive crime, increase property values, attract businesses and improve the neighborhood's image.

Applicant: Watt Avenue Partnership
Award: $4,910

Project Description
The proposed project is to make the district a safer place at night, while increasing business/customer traffic, through the installation of five additional nightlights within the boundaries of the partnership.

Applicant: Stockton Blvd Partnership

Project Description
The purpose of the Block by Block Program is to identify and assess blocks with high crime statistics, chronic homelessness, prostitution issues, or extreme blight using Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED).  This program will address specific issues such as lighting, security, trash clean up, graffiti, facade updates, and code issues.  The Block by Block program will enhance the physical environment of Stockton Boulevard in order to reduce criminal activity and encourage a safe environment for businesses to thrive and residents and patrons to live, work, and play. Project goals:

1. Identify specific areas along Stockton Blvd between 2nd Ave and 65th Street which are high in crime to complete the contiguous block by block assessment. 2. Complete assessment identifying CPTED issues, using the principles of Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED). 3. Successfully address priority items identified in assessment to encourage a safe place. 4. Educate property and business owners on CPTED, Financial Literacy, Energy Efficiency, and other as needed subjects.  5. Create a new culture that encourages community involvement and sustainability.

Applicant:  Common Ground Community Development Corporation

Project Description
In one of the most diverse areas in one of the most diverse cities in America, The Common Ground CDC Community Garden is establishing an “urban oasis” for the residents of the Valley Hi Community of Sacramento. 

The Urban Oasis exists to provide a place of connection, nutritional education, and access to healthy food for all people. The project embodies the idea that everyone should have equal access to live a healthy life, and that we are simply better together. The Urban Oasis is a community garden that will be managed by students from the local high school in an After School Garden Club that will utilize Hands-On STEM: Garden-Based Education curriculum to reinforce STEM learning outside the classroom. In addition to providing continued STEM learning, nutrition and agricultural education will also be provided.  Furthermore, the students will have the opportunity to conduct community workshops on health and nutrition. Students will also learn soft skills such as teamwork, appreciating differences, public speaking, and stewardship.

Applicant: William Land Elementary - Parent Teacher Association

Project Description
Drought tolerant plants and energy efficient drip irrigation will be installed at the William Land Elementary site. The sidewalk landscape will also be improved by putting a material that prevents run off and withstand the demanding foot traffic from students and their caregivers as they walk to and from the school site. In addition, we will add a Community Library Box that will house Grade level books about the science/botany of the plants we reviewed and other STEM material and include the addition of other books from the community.

Applicant: Greater Broadway Partnership

Project Description
The Greater Broadway District is looking to innovative technologies to help ease our clean and safe issues on Broadway.  We would like to place two Bigbelly trash and two Bigbelly recycle bins in the Tower District of Greater Broadway. The Bigbelly bin is a solar-powered cordless trash compaction system. They will reduce the number of trash collections as well as eliminate trash overflow.  The bins also include Wi-Fi so that a text message is sent out when they require service reducing needless trips.

Applicant: Rosemont Community Foundation

Project Description
This grant application focuses on the maintenance and prevention aspect of neighborhood clean up for community and economic development. The work proposed to be done with this grant includes, as prioritized by circumstances at the time;
• community cleanup of occasional illegal dumps;
• providing assistance in immediately abating graffiti that occasionally appears here;
• sponsoring regular “dumpster days” where residents can bring their unwanted items and dispose of them for free (a recent dumpster day collected over 43 tons)
• doing landscaping and weed abatement work at vacant properties where there is no development or responsible owners;
• supporting the communication systems of RCA in the community;
• maintenance and installation of entrance signage to better identify the community to those who may consider living here;
• securing more code and law enforcement support;
• assisting to support other organizations here that provide complimentary community services.

Applicant: Center for Land-Based Learning

Project Description
Habitat restoration at Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge is the perfect opportunity to provide a real-world learning experience for Valley High School students. This project offers high school students and community volunteers the opportunity to positively contribute to local environmental stewardship efforts while learning. The program is designed around a series of four full-day field trips to an adopted restoration project where high school students participate in a wide variety of habitat restoration tasks. These activities follow the restoration cycle and include planting native vegetation, installing drip irrigation, removing invasive species, building and installing nest boxes for secondary cavity nesting birds and monitoring plant survival.

Applicant: NeighborWorks

Project Description
Through our annual Paint The Town home improvement project, NeighborWorks Sacramento will select a street in the Del Paso neighborhood and work with a 6 – 12 teams of volunteers to complete 15 – 20 home and neighborhood improvement projects, all at no cost to the home owner.

Applicant: Del Paso Boulevard Partnership

Project Description
The Art Nursery of Old North Sacramento will transform a 3/4 acre vacant corner lot and building on Del Paso Blvd into a family-friendly, indoor/outdoor venue with a food and beverage component; a creative placemaking research and design facility; an events center that specializes in community and non-profit events; and, a STEM education facility that includes the arts. Its overarching goal is to create employment opportunities, especially for students, the partially disabled and other disadvantaged sectors.

Applicant: CLARA

Project Description
Establish a Neighborhood Community Garden at CLARA (the E. Claire Raley Studios for the Performing Arts at 2420 N Street). Some years back, we established two neighborhood community gardens in this area - both sites are now developed with housing. However, the lawn area in front of CLARA is ideal to replace with a community garden - and we have a plan initially prepared in conjunction with William Maynard, the city community garden coordinator.

Applicant: Sunrise Little League

Project Description
This project is to revitalize and improve safety on two of the four little league baseball fields at C-Bar-C Park located in Citrus Heights. The project is to upgrade the sprinkler system on both fields as well as remove and replace the infield on one of the fields. The watering system is out of date and inefficient to keep the fields in a playable condition year after year. With an update to one watering system of one the fields we hope to be able to bring back life to that field and the other field is to the point where the grass will have to be replaced.

Applicant: Fairytale Town

Project Description
The Sacramento Adventure Playground is a free after-school youth development program, powered by Fairytale Town and located at Maple Neighborhood Center (formerly Maple Elementary School) in South Sacramento. Essentially a maker lab, the Adventure Playground puts real tools – hammers, nails, drills, saws, paints, clay, and such – into the hands of youth ages 7 to 15 so they can bring their creative ideas to life. The Adventure Playground is open year-round during after-school hours and on Saturdays. In addition, the Playground offers a Community Day once a month so children of all ages can participate in the unique play opportunities that are offered there. The Adventure Playground also offers play activities for children participating in the summer lunch program at Maple Neighborhood Center and for school field trips to the Center. Plus, we are developing programs for specific audiences such as children with disabilities and home-school students.

Applicant: Sierra Nevada Journeys

Project Description
Sierra Nevada Journeys provides Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) and outdoor science education to Sacramento area 1st – 6th graders, predominantly from low-income areas, through our Classrooms Unleashed program. The Classrooms Unleashed program will deliver grade-appropriate state science standard based programming to each class during three classroom lessons and a half-day outdoor science experience at a local nature site. In addition to the programming we’ll deliver directly to the children, SNJ will provide their teachers (89 total) with five innovative, ready-to-use STEM lessons that extend and reinforce the concepts, skills and ideas from each unit. SNJ seeks SMUD award to help fund the considerable Classrooms Unleashed program’s growth – nearly double – from last school year.  Current funding through grants and in-kind volunteerism covers 68% of this Fall’s project.  With SMUD’s help, SNJ will be able to provide Classrooms Unleashed programming to all 18 schools and 89 classrooms.

Applicant: Crocker Art Museum

Project Description
The Crocker Art Museum seeks funding in the amount of $35,000 from SMUD to implement Block by Block 2.0, an arts engagement initiative focused on enhancing community life and cultural participation in ways that resonates with diverse audiences, affirms the relevance and value of the arts, supports and encourages creativity and resilience within youth, and most importantly, builds channels for community connectivity and exchange beyond historical, constructed and self-imposed silos. Among other goals, Block by Block 2.0 aims to break down barriers and strengthen connections between the Crocker Art Museum and the community by co-creating neighborhood-based arts experiences with youth, community leaders, and artists interested in using the arts to improve the quality of life in Sacramento’s Promise Zone.

Applicant: California FFA Foundation

Project Description:

The Streaming Towards Your Future project will allow students the opportunity to stream videos that highlight career pathways and give them real-life examples of former FFA members who are currently employed in those jobs within the area. Our project will develop a series of 4 videos’ that will each highlight an individual that is an in-demand career pathway. Pathways will be based on employer needs within the SMUD service territory and will relate to skills currently being honed by local high school FFA chapters.

Applicant: My Sister's House

Project Description:

My Sister's House project is to add a kitchen and storage area to its training area so that its domestic violence survivors and staff and volunteers can have a better food prep and clean-up area for trainings and for self-care, This is especially needed as currently, a bathroom sink is where dishes are cleaned.  There is no kitchen or storage area at My Sister's House training where more than 30 victims receive training one night a week, with their children and are fed immediately prior to the training.  At least 5 days a week My Sister's House holds a group meeting at its training site.

Applicant: Sacramento Parks Foundation

Project Description:

A park improvement project to improve the environment of the park, encourage greater use, and provide amenities that are not currently present at the site.  New items include an addition to the children's play area, an off leash dog area, a group use picnic shelter with new tables and a grill, rehab of the existing tennis courts into a multi-sport facility (basketball court, tennis court, volleyball, badminton, pickle ball, and small court soccer); improvements to the parking area and park pathways to meet accessibility standards; and addition of safety lighting on the park walkways and LED lighting in the parking lot.

Applicant: Square Root Academy

Project Description
The Square Root Academy is proposing to expand its existing Saturday program at John Still K-8 by adding a second 30-student cohort to its weekly schedule. Each week, thirty middle school aged, low-income, minority students are led through a hands on STEM based activity (detailed later in this proposal) by a team of Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) accredited instructors. To ensure the delivery of high impact and personalized instruction, we maintain a ratio of one instructor for every seven students. Support from SMUD would allow for us to double the number of students being served through this highly successful weekly STEM offering.

Applicant:  Health Education Council

Project Description
Walk with Friends - Nielsen Park, a project of the Health Education Council (HEC), will partner with SMUD, Valley Hi residents and the City of Sacramento to revitalize Roy J. Nielsen Park located at 7800 Center Parkway, Sacramento, 95823.

The proposed project will expand community alliances and enhance Valley Hi by working with Charles Mack parents and other residents to identify and complete at least two physical improvements to Nielsen Park making it safer and more inviting to residents. Walk with Friends - Nielsen Park will work with residents, SMUD employees, city leaders and Sacramento Parks and Recreation to complete a Park Audit (see attached documentation) which will determine Valley Hi residents’ top priorities for improvements to the Park. The partners will then work together to complete two short-term physical improvements to the park with the help of SMUD volunteers during the award period and will develop a longer-term plan for completing at least two more improvements after the funding ends.

Applicant: Sacramento Native American Health Center, Inc.
Award: $39,490

Project Description
In 2016, SNAHC completed a major expansion and converted of a pre-1970’s office building into primary care medical and comprehensive dental facilities expanding its midton footprint to just over 40,000 square feet. Although that project was completed, we have yet to achieve the state of the art health environment we envision; an environment that is energy efficient and accessible for all patients regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity or disability. In order to achieve this goal, we seek SMUD’s support with outstanding items that remain a priority for us including;

1) Energy Efficient HVAC Units

2) Handicapped accessible pro-slide automatic doors at both medical and dental entrances; and,

3) New floors in Community Meeting Room

Applicant: Wind Youth Services

Project Description
Wind Youth Services (Wind) is forging a new model for a youth drop-in center that co-locates youth service providers and anchors a plethora of services at one site. The site for this innovative project has been selected and we are in the final stages of escrow. With the SMUD SHINE program as a partner we will be able to install state-of the-art shower and restroom facilities, laundry facilities and install solar power.

The new drop-in Center (Wind Center) is being developed in response to the current lack of services that are not connected to housing, and waits as long as a year for most housing. With such long waits for housing, it is essential that services greet youth on Day 1 so that progress toward diploma, employment, and healing can begin. Without our facilities, they would likely not be able to be employed, and thus will never move out of homelessness.

Frequently asked questions

Who is eligible to apply for Shine program funding?

Nonprofit organizations with a 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(6) IRS designation and municipal organizations may apply for Shine program funding.


Typical examples of eligible nonprofit organizations:

  • Community-based organizations
  • Property-based improvement districts
  • Chambers of Commerce
  • Neighborhood Associations
  • Homeowners Associations

An eligible nonprofit must be the lead agency listed on the application and will be responsible for meeting all terms of the funding agreement.


These may apply as co-applicants with an incorporated nonprofit organization. Requirements:

  1. Identify an eligible nonprofit as the fiscal agent for the project
  2. Awarded funds will be disbursed only to a project’s identified fiscal agent

Examples of municipal organizations include:

  • Cities
  • Counties
  • Special districts
  • School districts

Can an organization submit more than one Shine program proposal?

No. Each primary applicant may submit one application per annual funding cycle. So, pick your best concept and submit the most compelling application.


I’m a partner on an application, but not the primary applicant. Can I still submit my own application for a different project?

Yes. You may be a partner on multiple applications. You may only be the primary applicant on one application in a single annual funding cycle.

How much funding can be awarded for my project?
We have 3 tiers for awards:

Spark: Up to $10,000 plus a 50% match requirement

 Amplifier: $10,001 - $50,000 plus a 100% match requirement

 Transformer: $50,001 - $100,000 plus a 100% match requirement

Is there a minimum amount to apply for?
No. We appreciate receiving well thought out budgets which satisfy the match requirements.

 We’re providing matching funds for several Shine program proposals. May we apply on behalf of more than one program? 
Cost-saving collaborations benefit everyone, and we welcome proposals from organizations who receive support by a fiscal sponsor. You may be a fiscal sponsor on multiple applications in the same year, but may only be the applicant on one project during that term.

If we are awarded program funding, can we apply again next year for sustainability funding?
Yes. You may apply for funding – with the required match secured – each year. However, we encourage applicants to design projects with long-term funding sustainability. Applications are scored based on a number of factors, including long-term sustainability.

Can we use the Shine Award as matching funds for another grant application?
Matching funds are required for all Shine program projects:

  • Selected projects must have a high likelihood of success
  • All matching funds must be guaranteed and not contingent upon any unmet conditions or obligations, such as a pending grant.
  • If you have grant funding opportunities that require a match, your Shine program award can be applied to another funder’s match requirement, but Shine program approved project must be independent of those uncommitted funds.
  • We want to ensure that the project completion is not contingent on other, non-committed funding.

Please clarify the funding match. How much cash and in-kind is required?
Shine program award recipients are required to contribute matching funds to their projects. Matching funds can be provided as either cash or in-kind contributions. If matching funds are being contributed by an organization other than the applicant, a letter of commitment from that organization must be submitted with the applicant's submission. The letters of commitment need to distinguish between match that is provided as cash and match that is provided in-kind. For Amplifier and Transformer funding tiers, the in-kind portion of the match cannot exceed 50% of the match requirement.

What qualifies as in-kind services?
In-kind contributions are defined as materials or labor that an organization commits to a project in lieu of cash.
In the case of donated labor, use this formula:

  • The donor’s hourly rate of compensation based on their specialty or field, multiplied by
  • The number of hours that will be contributed over the active term of the project (e.g. Carpenter at a rate of $60/hour x 20 hours labor.
  • In-kind services must be valued at market rate

For materials, we request that applicants use the retail value of the goods or materials provided.

How is this program different from SMUD's other sponsorship program? Which one should I apply for?

Here are the key features of each:


Our general sponsorship program:

  • Year round application
  • Typically limited to awards less than $5,000
  • Most sponsorships are for events

Shine Awards:

  • Applicants must demonstrate their capacity to contribute matching funds if selected
  • Shine applicants will compete for very limited funding
  • Shine Awards will only be considered during a specific application period each year

What kinds of projects can be funded with a Shine Award?

Shine Awards are available for a variety of projects. Here are a few examples:

  • Promotion of energy efficiency, energy conservation, and greenhouse gas reduction
  • New investment in renewable energy resources and technologies
  • Community Education related to energy efficiency, renewable energy, STEM-related fields, health and safety and technology skills
  • Demonstration of an energy technology for which there is no consumer adoption, or limited consumer adoption
  • Services provided to low-income electricity customers
  • Community and workforce development, particularly for diverse and under-served communities
  • Neighborhood revitalization and clean up
  • Public transit access and safety, access and safety for walkability

Is sustainability of my project a factor?

Absolutely. Proposals should address how you plan to secure funding to keep your program in place after this award cycle. During the review process, specific plans which are sustainable will be ranked higher than general plans.


What information is necessary about our board members?

  • Name
  • Board position
  • Name of their business / community

Are MOU’s (Memorandum of Understanding) required for collaborative partners?

No. We do require a letter of commitment signed by a person authorized to enter into commitments on behalf of each partner organization. These may be combined with letters of commitment for matching funds.


Note: We’ll develop MOU’s between SMUD and winning applicants.


Please clarify "collaboration".

If you’re collaborating with others on this project, please give us each partner’s specific role. If individuals, businesses or others are providing cash or in-kind support, delineate the type and dollar value. These partners can help you achieve the match requirements.

How long do we have to complete our project?

Recipients have as follows:


Spark: 3-6 months

 Amplifier: 6 months

 Transformer: 12 months


If SMUD has already provided sponsorship funding for a project, can it also receive a Shine Award?

No. This was allowed only in our inaugural year – 2017.


If our project isn’t selected this year, may we resubmit next year?

Yes! We encourage you to resubmit your proposal.

Contact information

Email or Betty Low at