In 2016, Irvine’s grantmaking focus and structure shifted away from separate program areas to multiyear initiatives focused on a singular goal: creating a California where all low-income workers have the power to advance economically.
We have ended grantmaking in the below areas but are proud of what grantees accomplished and want to share what we learned.
Irvine launched Protecting Immigrant Rights in 2016 to support grassroot and statewide efforts that inform, engage, and protect immigrant families. We made our final grants under this body of work in 2020 and now support various efforts and organizations working with and behalf of immigrants via our grantmaking initiatives, particular Just Prosperity.
Linked Learning was a decade-long initiative by Irvine to prepare young people to graduate from high school ready for college and with the skills to thrive in the workplace. Growing evidence shows this approach works for all students, particularly those facing significant barriers to graduate.
We concluded the initiative in 2019 with an investment in the Linked Learning Alliance, who leads the growth and sustainability of Linked Learning as a means to improve equity in education and workforce development.
Irvine launched this three-year initiative in 2014, to explore new ways to support programs that effectively serve California’s most vulnerable people. We partnered with the Nonprofit Finance Fund, a community development financial institution, to launch the California Pay for Success Initiative. Our goals were to find creative approaches to funding high-quality social services for California’s most vulnerable individuals, and to bring new, significant, and reliable resources to proven programs. We concluded our participation in this effort in 2018.
Our goal with this program was to promote engagement in the arts for all Californians and advance the diverse ways that people and communities experience the arts. We partnered with 15 nonprofits through the New California Arts Fund — a cohort reflecting a wide range of arts disciplines and operating budgets. These organizations are working to strengthen and sustain the ability to keep arts engagement central to their work with diverse and low-income communities. Through the Exploring Engagement Fund, we seeded more than 100 experiments in arts engagement, helping arts nonprofits of all sizes take risks and engage new participants. We made our final grants for this program in 2018.
Irvine launched the Voter and Civic Engagement initiative in 2003 with the aim to expand California’s electorate to better represent the state’s population and ensure that diverse voices informed public decision making. Though we made our final grant in 2019, elements of this work are reflected in our other initiatives such as Fair Work. We are honored to have supported powerful leaders and organizations whose work will have a lasting impact on Californians for generations to come.
The Community Leadership Project was an effort to strengthen grassroots organizations that serve communities of color and people living on low incomes in the greater San Francisco Bay Area, Central Coast, and San Joaquin Valley. The David and Lucile Packard, James Irvine, and William and Flora Hewlett foundations funded the project as part of longstanding supporting diverse and low-income communities tied to their missions.
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