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Cal Wellness Increases 2020 Grantmaking by $10 Million to Meet Urgent Needs in California’s Communities

September 23, 2020—The California Wellness Foundation today announced that it is increasing its 2020 grantmaking budget by $10 million to support nonprofit organizations championing health equity and racial justice in California. The Cal Wellness Board of Directors recently approved the additional funding, increasing the foundation’s total annual payout from $37 million to $47 million. The new funds will support COVID-19 recovery work, fortify civic engagement and support nonprofit organizations addressing the twin crises of COVID-19 and systemic racism.

“We find ourselves at an inflection point. The COVID-19 pandemic. Protests against police brutality. The Black Lives Matter movement gaining momentum. Ravaging wildfires. From the perspective of our board and staff, there’s never been a more urgent time to step up and increase our annual giving,” said Judy Belk, Cal Wellness president and CEO.

Additional $10 million in grants will support community-led solutions to the twin crises of COVID-19 and systemic racism

This year has been marked by extraordinary hardships, but also unprecedented opportunities. One of the most sophisticated and widely supported movements for social justice and Black lives has become a household name. Across the country, many are starting to recognize that racism has infiltrated almost every aspect of our lives. Millions are demanding that our systems—policing, health, housing, voting, employment, among many—be dismantled and rebuilt with justice as the north star.

With $10 million in newly approved grantmaking dollars, Cal Wellness will support visionary nonprofits and leaders during this uncertain yet promising time, enabling them to leverage this window of opportunity to create long-lasting change.

The grant dollars have already been allocated and will go to organizations whose work includes assessing how COVID-19 is affecting communities of color; COVID-19 relief efforts for immigrants, low-wage workers and people of color; critical racial justice advocacy and efforts that prevent and limit police brutality in Black and Brown communities.   Grants will also fund immigration policy advocacy, gun violence prevention research by researchers of color, advocacy for universal health care and innovation in nonprofit design and operations, among other mission-critical issues.

“COVID-19 has upended the way our grantees work. There’s so much uncertainty, especially when it comes to fundraising. As a health funder, we’re doing our utmost to pay attention, listen to our grantees and innovate to best support them,” said Fatima Angeles, Cal Wellness vice president of programs. “We’re increasing our annual grantmaking budget to allow our grantees a little more breathing room, while continuing to provide core operating, multi-year and flexible grants. Finally, we’re exploring ways to not only increase this year’s grant allocation, but our allocations for the next two years.”

About The California Wellness Foundation

The California Wellness Foundation’s mission is to protect and improve the health and wellness of the people of California by increasing access to health care, quality education, good jobs, healthy environments and safe neighborhoods. Since its founding in 1992, Cal Wellness has awarded more than $1 billion in charitable contributions and 9,200 grants.

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