Science Education and ALS Research are Top Issues for this Huge Arizona Funder

The Arizona Community Foundation received and processed over 3,500 grant applications last year, so clearly it’s a go-to source for groups in need of support all over the state. As a community funder, ACF awards competitive grants through its online grant portal, with unique grant competitions in each of its six affiliate regions. It also awards discretionary grants from Field of Interest Funds and Funds for the Common Good and advised grants at the recommendations of donors who establish specific funds.

Let’s take a closer look at the biggest causes that ACF has supported lately.

ACF announced $16,159,104 in grants between September 30 and December 31, 2015. This money was awarded in both discretionary and advised grants from funds of the foundation and its six statewide affiliates in Cochise, Flagstaff, the Gila Valley, Sedona, Yavapai County and Yuma. In the most recent grant cycle, the foundation awarded approximately $5.2 million to education and nearly $5.3 million to health.

Over 1,200 schools, education nonprofits, and community groups received ACF education grants in this cycle. Many of these grants fell between $25,000 and $500,000 in size. Sample grantees included Empower Kids Palestine, the Burton Family Foundation’s Support My Club, and Tonto Creek Camp. Both program and general operating support were provided. The Empower Kids Palestine grant, for example, was $500,000 and is going towards installing solar panels in K-12 schools and teaching staff and students about renewable energy.

The biggest recent health grant, of $1 million, went to the TGen Foundation to support ALS research over a period of five years. However, 530 organizations received grants in this category to support health, health care, medical research and human services causes. These other grants fell in the $10,000 to $150,000 range and went towards causes such as feeding the hungry, medical screenings for the homeless, and supporting extended family caregivers as an alternative to foster care.

The remainder or lesser grant areas broken down like this:

  • $1.9 million for environmental sustainability
  • $1.3 million for scholarships
  • $1 million for community development
  • $406,204 for arts & culture.

The foundation has awarded recent environmental grants toward educational programs, local animal humane societies, and nature conservancies. Meanwhile, it's given community grants to transitional housing programs for the homeless and domestic abuse victims and investments in social entrepreneurs. Eighty-nine arts and culture groups in Arizona received grants in this round, including support for local public radio, young musicians, and art and history museums in the state.

To throw your hat into the ring for the next round of grants, check out the foundation’s Current Grant Opportunities page or reach out to Kristen Nelson, lead philanthropic advisor of grants management, at (602) 682-2028. It’s also a smart idea to look at the foundation’s Events page periodically to see if any topics are relevant for your organization, and the foundation blog to keep up with what the staff cares about most at any given time.