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Strengthening the Nonprofit and Philanthropic Sector

In this program area, we fund the nonprofit sector as a whole,seeking to support its current work and long-term sustainability. We make grants to infrastructure organizations that support the wide range of missions, activities, and requirements of the sector. Ultimately, we envision the entire sector working more effectively and collaboratively with the ultimate goal of improving health and wellness for all Californians.   

Equitable Leadership:

Investing in nonprofits' long-term sustainability also requires that we pay attention to board and staff composition and constituent engagement.

Our country is increasingly diverse. Yet, research shows that fewer than 20 percent of executive directors or nonprofit board members are people of color. Therefore, in each of our programs and strategies, we prioritize support for the sector to diversify leadership. Organizations that both prioritize applying a health equity lens to their programs and consider ways to bridge the racial leadership gap will have an increased likelihood of funding.

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. 

  • Support cohort-based fellowships and leadership development programs.
  • Invest in organizational capacity-building for social change organizations working to improve Californian's health, with an emphasis on strategies to help organizations become more diverse, equitable and inclusive.
  • Increase visibility of and funding for efforts to ensure the philanthropic sector responds to the health needs of underserved communities in California.
  • Support efforts to increase diversity of nonprofit and philanthropic staff, leadership and boards.
  • Invest in convenings to support learning and skill building.
  • Conduct research and analysis on health issues and trends that help inform the field and build practical knowledge among nonprofit and philanthropic leaders.   

Predominant types of grantees: 

  • Nonprofit capacity-building organizations . 
  • Nonprofit technical assistance providers . 
  • Philanthropic organizations . 

What We Do Not Fund

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

  • Capacity building needs of individual organizations; instead, we fund cohort-based programs . 
  • Capital projects. 
  • Organizations whose mission does not prioritize strengthening the nonprofit or philanthropic sector as a whole . 
  • Nonprofits who are receiving general operating support funding from other Advancing Wellness program areas .  

Examples of Funded Grants

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

  • Common Counsel Foundation/Native Voices Rising: $330,000/3 years. For core operating support for Native Voices Rising to support and strengthen California-based, Native-led organizations through regranting and capacity building to enhance the health and well-being of California’s Native communities. 
  • CompassPoint Nonprofit Resources/Next Generation Leaders of Color: $400,000/2 years. For project support for the Next Generation Leaders of Color program for nonprofit health organizations’ staff in San Bernardino. 
  • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations: $100,000/3 years. For core operating support to provide ongoing efforts and learning opportunities for grantmakers that will enhance the effectiveness of their foundations. 
  • East Bay Community Foundation/ASCEND:  Black-led Organizations: $150,000/years. For project support for the Bolstering Black-Led Organizations initiative to support the sustainability and impact of Bay Area Black-led groups to ensure the health and vitality of low- and moderate-income communities of color.


A letter of interest is the first step in requesting a grant. We’re now accepting LOIs.

Check out our grants database.

Crystal Crawford image

Crystal D. Crawford

Crystal D. Crawford manages grantmaking related to diversity in the health professions; women of color at risk for, or living with, HIV, AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections; and employment for women who have been incarcerated.

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