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Promoting Violence Prevention

The evidence is consistent and compelling. Underserved communities bear a disproportionate share of the public health burden of violence in California. These communities are grappling with poverty, incarceration and re-entry, limited educational opportunities, and easy access to guns.  

Cal Wellness’ goal is to build resilience in diverse communities across the state so that all Californians have the opportunity to live in safe and healthy neighborhoods. We commonly fund: 

  • Research.  
  • Public education campaigns.  
  • Community organizing and advocacy to prevent violence, particularly gun violence.  
  • Efforts that prevent violence in underserved neighborhoods, with a particular emphasis on youth and adults who have been exposed to trauma.

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. 

  • Efforts to strengthen and expand research and data collection, civic engagement, community organizing and communications activities to reduce gun violence and increase understanding of it as a preventable public health issue. 
  • Efforts that aim to disrupt cycles of arrest, promote alternatives to incarceration, and support safe communities (including, but not limited to, efforts focused on young women and girls).
  • Innovative efforts that use clinical and non-clinical approaches to support the healing and well-being of individuals most impacted by trauma and community violence. 
  • Efforts to sustain and strengthen the capacity of gang prevention and intervention programs.
  • Efforts that support organizational capacity to directly engage in policy and budget advocacy locally and statewide, in order to remove barriers to reintegration for the formerly incarcerated.

Target Populations

All projects we fund must support one or more of the following populations:  

  • Boys and men of color.
  • Women and girls of color. 
  • Formerly and currently incarcerated youth and adults. 
  • Formerly gang-involved youth and adults. 
  • Low income and underserved communities. 

What We Do Not Fund

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

  • Domestic violence programs.
  • Child abuse prevention.
  • Sex trafficking prevention.
  • Programs that focus solely on mentoring without a clear explanation of how it promotes violence prevention.
  • Standalone conferences.
  • 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 we fund under this grantmaking area:  

  • Legal Community Against Violence: $350,000/3 years.  For core operating support to continue legal and policy research, analysis and educational outreach to prevent gun violence in California.                                                                  
  • Natividad Medical Foundation, Inc.:  $225,000/3 years.  For core operating support for CHOICE, a hospital-based violence intervention, prevention and wellness program of Natividad's Trauma Center designed to reduce retaliation and re-injury among violence-prone youth and young adults in Salinas. 
  • BUILD Program: $250,000/2 years.  For core operating support to continue community-based violence prevention and intervention services in South Los Angeles.
  • Robby Poblete Foundation: $150,000/3 years.  For core operating support to sustain and strengthen the violence prevention programs in Solano County, including gun buyback events, gun violence awareness art exhibits, and workforce development and vocational programs.
A letter of interest is the first step in requesting a grant. We’re now accepting LOIs.
Check out our grants database.
Alex Johnson
Program Director Alex M. Johnson

Alex M. Johnson is a program director at The California Wellness Foundation, where he manages grantmaking related to preventing violence and strengthening community clinics.

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