PICOR Charitable Foundation

OVERVIEW: This funder supports Southern Arizona groups, mostly around Tucson, in the areas of disadvantaged youth and STEM education. Grant applications are due annually at the end of September.

FUNDING AREAS: Disadvantaged youth, STEM education

IP TAKE: This is a good funder for Tucson nonprofits that often get overlooked by the big foundations.

PROFILE: The PICOR Charitable Foundation was established in 1994 as the grantmaking arm of the commercial real estate company C&W/PICOR. The company was founded in 1985 and is licensed in Southern Arizona and Sonora, Mexico. It is a member of the Cushman & Wakefield Alliance, the largest privately held commercial real estate services firm in the world.

The foundation originally aimed to step in for the Tucson-based Kiwanis Club, which held fundraising events for local charities. Today, the foundation’s big annual event is a pancake breakfast in October. Company employees have raised more than $580,000 through the breakfast, with all proceeds going to charities.

The PICOR Charitable Foundation awards modest grants to charities who work with disadvantaged youth. The funder seeks to support groups that don’t receive as much funding as other organizations. The grant money largely comes from individual and business donations to the foundation.

In 2013, PICOR established a STEM grant in honor of a founding member of PICOR named Ken Nickel, who passed away that year. He was an active and involved member of the foundation board and with the pancake breakfast event.

To apply for a PICOR grant, download the application from their website. Organizations in Southern Arizona can apply for both a youth grant and a STEM grant for the same grant cycle, if applicable. Youth grants typically stay in the Tucson area and range from $500 to $2,500. The maximum award is $3,000. The standard application deadline is September 30, and grants are distributed in late November of each year.

In a recent year, the foundation awarded $50,000 to local organizations. That year, the foundation’s volunteer grant committee received applications from 72 nonprofits that serve Tucson’s youth, totaling over $164,000 in funding requests. Forty received grants, including Arizona Friends of Foster Children Foundation, Arizona Theater Company, Special Olympics Arizona, Tucson Girls Chorus, Tucson Jewish Community Center – Special Needs Services, and Tucson Soccer Academy. In the previous year, the funder awarded $43,000 total to 30 Tucson charities.

A grantseeker’s best contact for questions is Tom Nieman, chairman of the board, at 520-748-7100. Grant applications should be sent via mail or email to Angie Benedict, PICOR Charitable Foundation, 1100 North Wilmot Road, Suite 200, Tucson, Arizona 85712-5198. Her email is abenedict@picor.com. Michael S. Hammond is the company CEO and foundation president.

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