Report Details New Efforts by California Foundations to Support Minority-Led Nonprofits

Report Details New Efforts by California Foundations to Support Minority-Led Nonprofits

A coalition of nine California-based foundations has released a report that details new grantmaking strategies and programs to help minority-led nonprofits and other groups meet the needs of minority and low-income populations. To accomplish the goals set forth in the report, the foundations have committed a total of $30 million over the next two to three years.

Since it was formed in June, the Foundation Coalition — which includes the California Endowment and the Ahmanson, Annenberg, California Wellness, William and Flora Hewlett, James Irvine, David and Lucile Packard, UniHealth, and Weingart foundations — has been engaged in a planning process that included a review of best practices, analyses of lessons learned from previous grantmaking, and conversations with several dozen nonprofit leaders in California. The ensuing report, Strengthening Nonprofit Minority Leadership and the Capacity of Minority-Led and Other Grassroots Community-Based Organizations (31 pages, PDF), concludes the coalition's efforts and provides an outline for the ongoing process and initial grantmaking activities that the foundations will undertake.

According to the report, the foundations will work collectively in new funding partnerships, through individual foundation commitments, and by investing in ongoing research. In addition to ongoing commitments, they will award more than $20 million to nonprofits working to empower minority-led and grassroots community-based organizations that serve diverse and/or low-income communities, while committing an additional $10 million to joint re-granting programs to provide leadership training, technical assistance, and organizational capacity support to such organizations. The foundations also will fund ongoing research and analysis to better understand the state of minority leadership in California's nonprofit community and how best to support those leaders and organizations.

"On behalf of the coalition, I thank the many organizations and individuals who provided us with input in the planning of these new grantmaking efforts," said Weingart Foundation president and CEO Fred Ali, who chaired the coalition. "We see it as an important first step in extending our collective reach to small nonprofit organizations that play a critical role in addressing the needs of low-income communities in our state."