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Promoting Employment and Asset-Building Opportunities

Wealth is the strongest factor that influences health, but many Californians face barriers to achieving financial security. Our funding seeks to improve health outcomes by strengthening pathways to obtaining and retaining employment, and building financial assets. We fund comprehensive workforce development and asset building programspublic policy efforts to advance economic justice and efforts that explicitly connect health and wealth


What We Fund

Each application for funding must fit under one or more of these strategies. Please review the target populations and grant examples listed here to see if your work is aligned with our current priorities:

  • Comprehensive workforce development programs that are tailored to one or more of the target populations below. Such programs would include: 
    • Sector-based job training. 
    • Wraparound support services.  
    • Placement of alumni into jobs with pathways to living wages, benefits and career advancement.
    • Job retention services. 
    • Efforts to promote and develop microenterprises, worker-owned cooperatives and social enterprises.
  • Strategies to strengthen and improve access to income supports, such as CalFresh, CalWORKS, the earned income tax credit and other tax credits, utility assistance and paid family leave.
  • Integration of asset building into health, human service and workforce development programs. Asset-building approaches may include financial coaching, credit repair, building savings and alternative financial products.
  • Cross-sector approaches that address financial security as a major determinant of health.
  • Public policy efforts to address improved wages and benefits, use of community benefit agreements, building of financial assets and other efforts to improve employment and income.
  • Public policy efforts to address discriminatory, deceptive and predatory financial practices and services targeting low-income people.

The target populations that must be served are:  

  • Boys and men of color. 
  • Formerly incarcerated adults. 
  • Resilient youth. 
  • Military veterans. 
  • Women. 

What We Do Not Fund

We fund very specific projects and activities. We do not fund: 

  • Workforce development efforts that are not comprehensive (i.e., that include sector-based job training; wraparound support services; placement of alumni into jobs with pathways to living wages, benefits and career advancement; and job retention services). For example, programs that provide only resume writing or interview skills training, programs that provide job training with no placement or support services, or only connect individuals to low-wage jobs with no career path. 
  • Workforce development efforts that are not tailored to one or more of the target populations (boys and men of color, formerly incarcerated adults, resilient youth, military veterans, women). 
  • Occupational health.  
  • Standalone conferences and individual research projects that are not linked to ongoing strategy support.
  • Individual degrees and fellowships.

Examples of Funded Grants

Below are some examples of organizations that we fund under this grantmaking area:

  • Brilliant Baby$200,000/3 years. For project support to improve health outcomes by providing financial coaching to low-income women in home visiting programs, through Brilliant Baby, a two-generation anti-poverty program in Oakland.  
  • Small Business Majority: $500,000/3 years. For core operating support for education, leadership development, communications and public policy efforts related to health coverage, paid leave, retirement savings and access to capital for small businesses.  
  • California Food Policy Advocates: $100,000/1 year. For core operating support to augment a current grant for public policy efforts to improve access to CalFresh and other public benefit programs.  
  • Los Angeles Black Worker Center: $180,000/2 years. For core operating support to improve health outcomes through comprehensive workforce development, leadership development and organizing efforts for low-income black workers in Los Angeles.
A letter of interest is the first step in requesting a grant. We’re now accepting LOIs.
Check out our grants database.
Jeff Kim image
Program Director Jeffrey S. Kim

Jeffrey S. Kim is a program director at The California Wellness Foundation.

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