Priority Communities is an initiative that builds on two prior years of pilot grantmaking in Fresno and Salinas. It adds to and deepens our grantmaking in the cities of Riverside and San Bernardino in 2020, and Irvine expects to phase-in grantmaking to Stockton in 2021. The initiative will invest approximately $135 million over seven years (2020-2026) in these communities to create inclusive economies that work for all residents.
The initiative builds on and replaces our previous grantmaking called Priority Regions, continuing our commitment to communities that represent the future of California but do not have the same access to public, private, and philanthropic resources as California’s coastal cities.
Our vision for this community-based grantmaking is an economy that works for all residents, with the goals of:
We believe grantmaking in communities can have significant impact on the barriers to economic opportunity facing low-wage workers. Therefore, we piloted a new approach to grantmaking in 2018 and 2019 in Fresno and Salinas that allows local partners, who know their communities best, to decide where to invest in working Californians.
As part of this effort, Irvine collaborated with the Central Valley Community Foundation, the Latino Community Foundation, and the Community Foundation for Monterey County to expand access to our grantmaking dollars to grassroots organizations in three areas to strengthen their capacity to inform local community issues and develop local leaders (individuals and organizations). We also helped increase access to quality information by supporting culturally competent, local media organizations.
You can read a blog post from us about these early pilots, as well as one about listening we recently did in our priority regions. We’ll also announce the evolution of our strategy and investments later in 2020.
A two-year grant of $270,000 to support and expand micro-businesses in the Inland Empire, through an entity such as the Microenterprise Collaborative for Inland Southern California.
A one-year grant of $195,000 to support the Fresno County Cradle to Career sustainability efforts and cross-sector data system, through an entity such as The Foundation at Fresno County Office of Education.
A three-year grant of $15 million to invest in the implementation of six core projects that improve economic mobility and job creation in Fresno as identified during the community's Developing the Region’s Inclusive and Vibrant Economy (DRIVE) initiative.
We’re announcing a new initiative that dramatically expands and deepens our investments in four California communities – Fresno, Salinas, Riverside, and San Bernardino – and expects to add Stockton in a future phase of grantmaking in 2021. The goal: to create local economies that work for all residents.Read the Story
Listening to and engaging Californians is a core value for us at Irvine. It’s also critical for achieving our singular goal: a California where all workers have the power to advance economically. Recently, we convened community leaders from our Priority Regions pilot communities of Fresno and Salinas to inform, deepen, and scale the impact of our work as we consider expanding to new communities.Read the Story
At the Irvine Foundation, we believe California cannot thrive unless the inland regions of the state also thrive. That is why, as part of Irvine’s mission to expand opportunity for the people of California, the Foundation has long prioritized support for leaders and organizations in the San Joaquin Valley and Inland Southern California.Read the Story