What Are the California Community Foundation’s 2014 Funding Priorities?

The Los Angeles-based California Community Foundation (CCF) has traditionally been somewhat of an equal opportunity funder for Los Angeles County nonprofits. The foundation makes grants in the program areas of arts, civic engagement, education, health care, housing and economic development, immigrant integration, and transition-aged youth. However, the foundation’s latest round of grants seems to suggest which areas are being given a higher priority for this year. (Read California Community Foundation: Los Angeles Grants).

CCF recently announced $1,470,000 in new grants to nonprofit organizations in Los Angeles County. A total of 18 grants rounded out the first of four grant dockets scheduled for the 2014 calendar year. Nine of these grants were renewal grants and the other nine went to previously unsupported organizations. Three grants totaling $235,000 went to small and mid-size community arts organizations to increase minority groups’ participation. Four grants totaling $420,000 went to community health organizations to improve access, affordability, and quality of health care. And two grants totaling $200,000 went to housing and economic development organizations to help low-income residents thrive in Los Angeles Communities.

And that’s it for program grants. The remaining first-quarter grant money went toward CCF’s initiatives: Scholarships, Civic Engagement, Immigrant Integration, and Preparing Achievers for Tomorrow. Three initiative grants were also made through CCF’s Opportunity Fund to expose contemporary Islamic art to non-Muslims and encourage small business growth near transit hubs. Each of these initiative grants ranged from $40,000 to $200,000, making them just as relevant as the standard program area grants.

So what does all this data mean for grantseekers looking to tap into the remaining 2014 grant dockets?

Well, it suggests health care in Los Angeles is a top priority. More and larger grants were awarded to health care organizations than anyone else in the first quarter. CCF’s health program strategies are pretty broad and include clinical direct services, health care system navigation, community policy and advocacy, and technical assistance. The next health program Letter of Intent (LOI) deadline is June 2, and the final deadline of the year is July 17. Grantseekers are asked call to Program Officer Rose Veniegas directly before submitting an LOI at (213) 413-4130, ext. 250.

CCF’s first round of grants also suggests that the foundation’s initiative grantmaking is nearly as strong as its program area grantmaking. This is good news for organizations with projects that lie outside of traditional funding areas. The Preparing Achievers for Tomorrow initiative is particularly hot right now. The most recent of these grants was $170,000 and used music and sports to build academic achievement and self-esteem in low-income South Los Angeles/South Bay students. This is a five-year $12 million initiative, and we expect to see the next grant application period open in November 2014.

Immigrant Integration causes are also expected to receive a fair amount of CCF support this year, as the foundation offers two–year support grants of up to $150,000 in the Immigrant Integration Initiative area. LOI deadline dates for board review in December 2014, March 2015, and June 2015 are TBD and should be released soon. In the meantime, you can contact Elizabeth Hynes at EHynes@calfund.org with general questions about the Immigration Initiative.