OVERVIEW: This funder provides grants of around $5,000 to nonprofits addressing underserved populations in regions of Arizona, California, Oregon and Washington. Funding supports a range of community services, from basic needs like housing and health, to life skills and enrichment through education and the arts.
FUNDING AREAS: Affordable housing, community revitalization, education, financial literacy, community health, human services, arts.
IP TAKE: Keep your grant proposal brief and use bullet points to describe your project. The Los Angeles area is a big part of Opus’ California grantmaking.
PROFILE: The Opus Community Foundation was established by Opus Bank on September 30, 2010 and supports nonprofits in the areas in which it does business. OCF’s California funding is largely centered in the Los Angeles area, with some support going to the San Francisco Bay Area and San Diego. Opus Bank has about 55 locations in four states.
Opus’ affordable housing and community revitalization grants go toward the creation of safe neighborhoods in the local community and economic self-sufficiency for the residents that live here. Education grants often go toward after-school activities, literacy, and mentoring programs. The financial literacy funding here is focused on the pre-K through grade 12 demographic. Health grants usually assist children, the elderly, and underserved populations in the community by supporting community health clinics, free meal providers, food banks, and safety net services. A sizeable chunk of Opus art grants to towards arts education programs for children.
Bank employees regularly volunteer to teach financial literacy to youth and prepare them to get jobs. On the human services side of things, employees volunteer with organizations including Families Forward, Share Our Selves, YWCA, Clothes the Deal, Dress for Success, and Working Wardrobes. A list of nonprofits that Opus has supported can be found on the Community Partners page.
There are no deadlines to apply for a grant, and unsolicited applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Make your grant request for no more than $10,000; however, most grants are about $5,000. Site visits are commonly conducted before a funding decision is made, and preference is given to proposals that serve low- to moderate-income communities.
Applications can be downloaded from the Apply for a Grant page. Mail it to the foundation, and also email a copy to GrantApps@opuscf.org. Keep in mind that this is not a funder of disease causes, school trips, fundraising activities, conferences, private foundations, or individuals. General questions can be directed to the foundation staff at GrantApps@opuscf.org as well.