In January 2016, we announced a new strategic direction: expanding opportunity for Californians who are working but struggling with poverty.
We aim to:
We took this new direction after assessing the pressing problems — and opportunity for change — in California: disparities in employment, income, and upward mobility, and low levels of civic participation among certain populations.
To more effectively address these challenges, Irvine shifted from a program structure to a portfolio of outcomes-based, time-bound initiatives that individually and collectively advance our goals. This leverages our talent, expertise, and resources across the organization.
In response to feedback from grantees, we are working to provide more flexibility in how new initiative grantees are able to use funds, and we’ve increased support for grantees’ core operations.
We have updated our annual performance reporting to now also include information about plans for the future. Our Portfolio Review includes Irvine’s impact goals, allocations by different categories, feedback from the field, staff and board statistics, and more.
We held 14 listening sessions with Californians across the state who are working but struggling with poverty to hear their stories and learn about their hopes and challenges. We’re using their perspectives to inform our work and grantmaking.
We continued supporting efforts to protect the civil rights of recent immigrants and to integrate immigrants into California’s educational, economic, and political systems. Learn more about one of our grantees, California Immigrant Policy Center
The Million Voters Project made significant gains toward its goal of having 1 million Californians (primarily low-income people of color) vote by 2018. Learn more about The Million Voters Project
The League of Women Voters of California and Maplight partnered on Voter’s Edge California, an online tool offering personalized, nonpartisan ballot information about candidates and ballot measures in English and Spanish. One in 12 California voters used the site in the 2016 general election.
We awarded nine final grants through our Exploring Engagement Fund and shared lessons from nearly 100 California arts organizations taking bold steps to engage new and diverse populations because of those grants.
We invested over $9 million in eight arts nonprofits that are making engagement core to their organizations, beginning the culmination of our New California Arts Fund. These eight grantee-partners are part of a larger cohort of nonprofits across the state modeling how to be relevant 21st century arts organizations.
We continued efforts to support leadership development in our priority regions — the San Joaquin Valley and Riverside and San Bernardino counties — and increased our grantmaking in these regions in 2016. Learn more about one effort, the New Leadership Network in Stanislaus County