SFF Announces $3 Million Investment to Support Latinx-led Community Organizations

SFF Announces $3 Million Investment to Support Latinx-led Community Organizations

The San Francisco Foundation Announces $3 Million Investment to Support Latinx-led Community Organizations

SAN FRANCISCO, CA — The San Francisco Foundation announces a $3 million investment to strengthen the Bay Area’s ecosystem of Latinx community organizers to help fight the region’s deep systemic inequities the pandemic exposed and deepened.

Ten Latinx-led organizations that focus on service delivery, organizing, and advocacy work will receive $250,000 each in general operating grants over two years to further their work. Additionally, SFF will provide resources to support the leadership and convening of this cohort. The grantees will convene multiple times a year to connect, build community, identify emerging opportunities or needs, and participate in capacity-building opportunities to strengthen Latinx power-building and advocacy across the region.

“Building power in Latinx communities is critical,” said Fred Blackwell, SFF CEO. “We all are better off when everybody has a powerful voice in the decisions that impact their lives. These organizations represent the diversity of the Bay Area’s Latinx communities. With their diverse strengths and perspectives, I am excited to see what they do. “

Oakland-based The Unity Council and San Francisco-based Galeria de la Raza will partner to lead the initiative. Read more.

“We are grateful to SFF’s leadership and Board of Trustees for not being afraid to think big and bold about the investments required to achieve true equity in our communities,” said Chris Iglesias, CEO of The Unity Council. “Latinos are the largest demographic group in California. They powered the economy during the pandemic. Through this power-building initiative, the Bay Area region has an opportunity to challenge the way philanthropy and the public and private sectors invest in the long-term success of Latino families.”

Grantees:  Latinx-led Organizations (by county)

  1. Canal Alliance (Marin) 
  2. CARECEN San Francisco (Regional) 
  3. Causa Justa :: Just Cause (Alameda/San Francisco) 
  4. Centro Legal de la Raza (Alameda/Contra Costa) 
  5. El/La Para TransLatinas (San Francisco) 
  6. Latina Center (Contra Costa) 
  7. Monument Impact (Contra Costa) 
  8. Mujeres Unidas y Activas (Regional) 
  9. PODER (People Organizing to Demand Environmental & Economic Rights) (San Francisco) 
  10. PUENTE (Puente de la Costa Sur) (San Mateo) 

To develop this initiative, SFF worked closely with a group of prominent Latinx leaders from across the region who regularly meet with foundation leadership. These leaders provided guidance on the initiative’s scope and timeline and input on a landscape analysis of Latinx-led and centered organizations focused on movement building and organizing groups.

Nationally, foundations have under-invested in Latinx-led organizations (~1% of philanthropic dollars go to Latinx-led organizations). However, SFF has a longstanding commitment to the Bay Area’s Latinx community. For example, in 2003, SFF began incubating the Latino Community Foundation, which works to improve the well-being of Bay Area Latinx families. LCF launched as an independent foundation in 2016. SFF has continued partnering with LCF to empower Latinx communities. SFF allocated $500,000 to the Latino Community Foundation’s Latino Power Fund to build Latinx resident organizing, advocacy, and leadership capacity in the Bay Area and statewide. This past year, ~28% of SFF’s program funding was awarded to Latinx-led organizations.

Focus on Power Building in BIPOC Communities

The pandemic’s health and economic inequities hit the Bay Area’s communities of color hardest. They laid bare and deepened the inequities baked into our region. During the same time, the tragic murders of George Floyd and many others sparked racial justice uprisings to demand change.

In December 2020, the SFF Board of Trustees increased SFF’s spending policy to dedicate ~$10 million over the next five years to strengthen organizing, advocacy, and movement-building infrastructure for the Bay Area’s Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities. These resources will support the people, systems, and capacities to drive change and build power.

“As we saw the events of 2020 unfolding, we felt a moral obligation to increase our grantmaking to address the racial reckoning and the impact of COVID,” said Ophelia B. Basgal, Chair of the SFF Board of Trustees.As a region, we need more investments in power building among communities of color, and we need to engage with and listen to the leadership of the communities we serve.”

With an initial focus on the Black community, SFF contributed $1 million to the California Black Freedom Fund and launched the Bese Saka Initiative to support Black-led and serving organizations power-building and organizing efforts. SFF supported the Asian-American Pacific Islander community with grants to New Breath Foundation to support their We Got Us Fund and Asian American Futures to fund Activate California to support building organizing capacity within the community. The investments for Indigenous communities are in development.