Community foundations often have a broad range of funding interests, and the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona (CFSA) is no exception. Back in 1980, it was known as the Greater Tucson Area Foundation, but since then, this local funder has distributed over $145 million to nonprofits and educational institutions. In mid-2013, the funder reported over $107 million in assets and over $6.5 million in total giving.
These are just some of the diverse groups that are seeing CFSA’s support right now.
The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender & Straight (LGBT&S) Alliance Fund is a Community Foundation of Southern Arizona program designed to address community issues related to sexual preference. And these are the specific interest areas in which grants are made: Youth and Youth-Parent Issues, Human Service Issues, Political Advocacy & Involvement, Education Issues, LGBT Community Infrastructure.
This fund has been around since 1999, and since then, it has awarded more than 100 grants to more than 40 different organizations totaling over a half-million dollars. The most recent funding deadline passed on March 2, and these grants are being awarded for up to $5,000.
“The grant round is the most important thing we do all year. Our donor’s money helps fuel local organizations to make necessary social change.” said Kristen Birner, board chair.
African American Funding
CFSA’s African American Initiative hasn’t been around quite as long, but has been gaining a lot of steam in the last year. Following the foundation’s most recent March 2015 deadline, it will award $50,000 in grant money to organizations that address the most pressing needs in the African-American and greater Tucson community. The focus of this initiative is on Pima County.
Another vulnerable demographic in Arizona is the veteran population, and CFSA has recently funded veteran causes related to employment and community service. There are approximately 166,300 veterans in the six southern counties of Arizona, making up about 9.4 percent of the region’s population.
Over 150 people gathered at a community meeting last December to begin work on a Southern Arizona Military Veterans Initiative, which still appears to be in the works. The focus of this initiative will likely be on employment first, then higher education, behavioral health, and legal assistance.
Other areas of recent CFSA funding include the arts, education, women’s health, children & youth, and animal welfare. CFSA is run by a staff of 13, with Clint Mabie at the top as president and CEO. Another top name to know is Barbara L. Brown, who is CFSA’s vice president of program services and community initiatives.
Grantseekers should note that the foundation does not accept unsolicited requests, so organizations need to wait for grant guidelines to be published. You can view a list of current grant opportunities on the foundation’s Grant Schedule page and sign up for the foundation newsletter to keep up with recent happenings.