Arizona Community Foundation and Donors Distribute Record $183M in 2020

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Posted By on February 9, 2021

The Arizona Community Foundation announced a record $183,125,928 in grant, scholarship and loan distributions for 2020. This represents the largest dollar amount and number of grants of any single year in ACF’s 43-year history.

More than $94 million of the year’s total went toward supporting 7,173 small businesses and nonprofit organizations impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. These grants were funded through ACF’s ongoing partnerships with Maricopa County, the Phoenix IDA and the cities of Chandler, Gilbert, Peoria, Phoenix, Surprise, Tempe and Yuma.

The remaining $89 million in grants, scholarships and nonprofit distributions was awarded in five strategic priority areas: Health Innovations, Community Improvement & Development, Environment & Sustainability, Arts & Culture, and Quality Education.

Health Innovations: $41 million was awarded to 3,228 organizations and programs in the areas of health, health care, medical research and a variety of human services. Among the distributions were $60,000 from the David R. Sellers Foundation to the Arizona Cancer Foundation for Children for general support and $212,500 from the Werner Family Charitable Fund to support Crohn’s Disease research.

“Unfortunately, Crohn’s has been in our family for over 50 years and two generations. Our sincere hope is to fuel the development of new treatments for this debilitating disease. We don’t want to see it in the next generation,” said Lou Werner, fund founder. “And this donation (a fraction of the total) is matched by the Mayo Board, so we double the financial power to the doctors and research team. We are grateful to be able to help in this tremendous effort, from which so many people may benefit.”

Community Improvement & Development: $8.8 million was awarded to 811 organizations and programs, including housing, community and neighborhood development, financial literacy training, legal assistance and crime prevention programs. Among the grants awarded were two grants totaling $22,000 from the L & M Sky Fund to Verde Valley Wheel Fun supporting Sedona Trail Keepers and Mountainview School Bike Park; $6,250 from the Fine Family Fund in support of DigDeep’s Navajo Water Project; and $500 to both Workers Circle and Southern Poverty Law Center from the Dilly Dally Fund to provide general support in response to recent public protests, law enforcement actions and racial issues occurring in communities across the country.

Environment & Sustainability: $2.3 million was awarded to 440 organizations and programs in the areas of environmental education, renewable resources, conservation and animal welfare. Among the distributions were $100,000 to the Desert Botanical Garden for general operating support; $7,500 from The Two Worlds Community Foundation to Lucky Paws Shelter for general support; and $2,500 from the Goddard Family Fund to the Grand Canyon Trust for general use.

Arts & Culture: $4.9 million was awarded to 499 artistic and cultural organizations across Arizona. Among the grants were $27,000 from the MERI Foundation to the Phoenix Symphony Association for general support; $5,000 from For the Love of Conor Foundation to The UBU Project for general support; and $101,599 from the Burton Family Foundation and other funds in support of Rosie’s House capital campaign for its new Digital Creativity Center.

Quality Education: During 2020, a total of $18 million was awarded in scholarships and education-related grants. Among the grants were $25,000 from the Eternal Now Fund to Mindfulness First for general support; $5,000 of unrestricted support from the Nancy and David Weeks Fund to the Literacy Volunteers of Coconino County; and five grants totaling $20,000 from Real Engagement Through Active Philanthropy to Black Mother’s Forum, Inc., Strong Ties, Hustle USA, TigerMountain Foundation, and SOUNDS Academy through the giving circle’s 2020 grant cycle.

College scholarships accounted for $4.9 million of the year’s total and were awarded for the benefit of 1,646 students pursuing higher education. College scholarships are awarded to Arizona students to attend a wide range of colleges, universities and technical schools in Arizona and across the United States.

In addition to these grants, 121 nonprofit organizations with agency endowments managed by ACF received their annual distributions, accounting for the remaining $8.3 million distributed during the year.

ACF invested an additional $375,000 through its Affordable Housing Predevelopment Loan Fund. Trellis, UMOM New Day Centers and ArtSpace received interest-free loans to help jump-start their affordable housing projects.

To learn more, go to azfoundation.org.

Julie Coleman

About Julie Coleman

Julie Coleman is a contributing writer for Frontdoors Media.