Arizona Community Foundation distributes nearly $14.4M in funding for 3rd quarter FY

The Arizona Community Foundation recently announced the distribution of nearly $14.4M in grants, scholarships, prizes and loans for the third quarter of its fiscal year.

According to a press release, funding was issued between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31, 2016, with a total of $12,957,196 awarded from discretionary and advised funds of the ACF and its affiliates in Cochise, Flagstaff, the Gila Valley, Sedona, Yavapai County and Yuma. Last year, ACF and its affiliates awarded more than $56 million in grants and scholarship funding to some 3,500 nonprofit organizations, schools and government agencies. Grants were awarded in the categories below.

Quality Education: A total of $3,658,683 was awarded in scholarships and education-related grants. College scholarships account for $1,118,821 of the total awarded to 341 Arizona students pursuing higher education at colleges, universities and technical schools in the state and across the US; Private K-12 school scholarships for low-income, displaced and disabled students awarded from ACF’s School Tuition Organization, accounted for $484,148 of the $3.7 million total to benefit 194 students. ACF voluntarily retains only half of the allowable fee from STO donations for basic administrative costs, devoting the other half to supplemental support to assist each STO scholar with non-tuition needs, including books, uniforms, tutoring, activity fees, field trips, transportation and more. Supplemental support grants for STO scholars during this quarter totaled $51,000.

Select education-focused grants went to Support My Club for the Bioscience High School College Prep Club, Collaborative Flash Funding, and core support for the organization; St. Thomas the Apostle School’s building fund; and Earn to Learn for capacity building to develop long-term sustainability for this organization’s mission to empower low-to-moderate income students’ successful college completion by providing personal finance training, college readiness training and ongoing support. The program rewards students committed to saving money to attend Arizona’s public universities with matching scholarship funding.

Health Innovations: A total of $3,717,325 was awarded to 540 organizations and programs in the areas of health, health care, medical research and a variety of human services. Select grant recipients include Feeding Matters; Arizona Lions Vision Center for equipment and instruments for a new mobile medical unit; Circle the City for the Hole in One with a Nun event and to support patient programs; HonorHealth Foundation in support of the Desert Mission Food Bank and Xenex Robot; Hospice of the Valley for the Susan Levine Fund for Charity Care, the Sherman Home on the Mayo Clinic Hospital campus, and general support; Girl Scouts—Arizona Cactus-Pine Council for its Girls in AZ Campaign; Phoenix Children’s Hospital Foundation for children’s rheumatoid arthritis and in support of special events for extremely ill children; the Thunderbirds Charities for the 2017 Dream Day event at the Waste Management Phoenix Open; Mentally Ill Kids In Distress for peer support groups for youth and family, and general support; and St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance for the Thanksgiving holiday, Super Saturday sponsorship, and general support.

Community Improvement & Development: A total of $1,098,744 was awarded to 112 programs for housing, community and neighborhood development, financial literacy training, legal assistance and crime prevention programs. Recipients were Promise Arizona for its South Phoenix Education and Human Development effort; and ResilientMe and the Boys to Men Mentoring Network, each received grants for general operating support.

Environment & Sustainability: A total of $1,084,334 was awarded to 114 organizations and programs in environmental education, renewable resources, conservation, and animal welfare. Recipients were Horse’n Around Rescue Ranch and Foundation for construction of a pole barn to store feed, create shade, protect the fodder box, collect rainwater, protect the historic adobe hay shed, and provide a shaded workspace; and the Phoenix Conservation Center of the Arizona Nature Conservancy, which received funds for general operating support.

Arts & Culture: A total of $707,866 was awarded to 127 artistic and cultural organizations statewide. Select grantees were the Act One Foundation for performing arts school field trip transportation; Childsplay for its Society for Imagination and Wonder, theatrical education, and school touring performances in Yuma County; and the Heard Museum for the educational element of the upcoming Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera Exhibition.

In addition to these grants, 19 nonprofit organizations with agency endowments managed by the ACF received their annual distributions, accounting for the remaining $2,690,244 distributed during the quarter. The nearly $13 million awarded across all categories represents 1,854 grants and scholarships, the release added. Grants are approved or ratified by the ACF Philanthropic Services Committee whose members are ACF Board representatives and community leaders.

Also among grants were distributions related to The New Arizona Prize: Water Innovation Challenge, including $250,000 awarded to the Southwest Water Campus for their prize-winning solution for effluent-to-potable reuse technology, a statewide mobile public engagement campaign, and a local craft beer competition. This team also won the $2,500 Audience Choice award.

Other finalists in the Challenge received $5,000 to pursue their solutions.

Through its Community Impact Loan Fund, the ACF invested an additional $1.4 million in the work of nonprofit organizations, completing two loans last quarter, one to First Place AZ for up to $950,000 with participation of two external funding partners and the other to Desert Stages Theatre for $450,000.

The Community Impact Loan Fund is an innovative philanthropic tool that supports nonprofit access to capital using low-cost funding from donors and other lenders. The capital is re-loaned to nonprofits and governmental agencies at low interest rates, creating targeted, magnified social outcomes. Impact loans are made for innovative projects that align with one or more of the ACF’s strategic priorities, the release said.

First Place AZ recently began constructing a housing facility for adults with autism and other special abilities designed to be home for individuals who live there, an inspiring and enriching environment for those who work and learn there, and peace of mind for visiting family and friends. The loan from the Community Impact Loan Fund will give First Place unencumbered ownership of the land and fund, in part, the nonprofit’s equity contribution for the project.

Desert Stages Theatre offers a safe, affordable place to learn performing arts for hundreds of youths from 3 to 19. Desert Stages Theatre is moving to the cinema space previously occupied by Harkins Cinema in the Scottsdale Fashion Square mall. The loan from the Community Impact Loan Fund, along with resources already allocated by Desert Stages Theatre, will be used to complete the renovation process including the new facility’s 80-seat black-box theater and a 245-seat theater in the round, giving the organization the capacity to produce 15 shows a season, a new production every five weeks, detailed the release.

The ACF, established in 1978, is a statewide family of charitable funds supported by thousands of Arizonans. With five regional offices serving communities in the state, ACF is among the top 30 community foundations in the nation with more than $800 million in trust and endowment assets.

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