GRANTS AWARDED UPDATE
April 4, 2017
Richard Tate, Vice President of Public Affairs
The California Wellness Foundation
Woodland Hills (CA) – The California Wellness Foundation today announced an initial round of more than $6 million in grants as part of a focused response to threats to the well-being of Californians in the nation’s rapidly changing political and social landscape. Cal Wellness also announced a mission-related investment initiative and a public affairs campaign to further its goals to protect and promote health and wellness.
“When the communities we serve are under attack, we take action,” said Judy Belk, president and CEO of Cal Wellness. “The disruptive and dangerous changes in immigration policy and the attempts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act have brought a season of suffering in which our most vulnerable residents struggle to protect themselves. That’s why we’ve committed all of our resources – our grantmaking dollars, our financial investments and our voice – to advance and defend wellness.”
To address immediate and emerging issues, Cal Wellness has prioritized four issues within its Advancing Wellness grantmaking strategy and has accelerated its grantmaking process so that grantees receive dollars more quickly. The four priority areas and accompanying strategies are listed below.
“Given the urgency of these issues, ‘business as usual’ in philanthropy is inadequate,” said Debra Nakatomi, chair of Cal Wellness’ Board of Directors. “Our Board and staff have worked together to create a process that balances due diligence with the need to accelerate our grantmaking to meet the most pressing needs of our grantees and the communities they serve. Being nimble and flexible in responding to changes in the environment is critical to our role and responsibility in philanthropy, now more than ever.”
In addition to grantmaking, Cal Wellness has announced that it will leverage $50 million of its endowment for program- and mission-related investments over the next five years. The Foundation also will continue to use its voice and public affairs capacity to advocate for health as a human right. The Foundation’s bold statement titled “Together, We Advance and Defend Wellness,” issued in January 2017, affirms the Foundation’s values and current priorities in response to the current environment. Cal Wellness has encouraged philanthropic and community partners to raise their voices with their own statements and to share them on Twitter and other social media channels using #AdvanceAndDefend.
The California Wellness Foundation is celebrating 25 years as a private, independent foundation with a mission to advance wellness for all Californians by making grants for health promotion, wellness education and disease prevention. Since its founding in 1992, Cal Wellness has awarded 8,634 grants totaling more than $986 million.