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By Eric Johnson
Published Aug 14, 2023

Image credit: Julian Rovagnati, Shutterstock

Let’s Work Together: Community Builders Rule

Good Monday Morning! Today’s edition of The Newsletter celebrates the volunteer and professional philathropists who devote their time and energy to serve local community groups and nonprofits. Also as always, down below, our News Digest, which features news-you-can-use from members of the California Local Media Alliance and other trusted newsrooms. And again as always: Public Meetings! Serious fun!

Working Together to Make Things Better

Today we sing the praises of the individuals and organizations writer Ray Delgado calls “the unsung heroes of every community and region they serve.” Ray is talking about community foundations, which, you may be interested to learn, play a specific and very important role in California’s philanthropic universe.

The League of California Community Foundations (LCCF) defines their role thusly: “Community foundations are conveners and leaders in their communities—they help identify solutions to community issues, then leverage the resources of individuals, families, and businesses to support projects and initiatives led by high-impact local nonprofits.”

The size of their contribution is stunning. California foundations make $3.2 billion in grants to California nonprofits annually. (They send another $2.2 billion to nonprofits outside the state—a story for another day.) The most recent available statistics show that in 2021, LCCF members and their donors pumped $4.18 billion into the state’s economy, all earmarked to help charitable organizations do their work. 

One in every 14 Californians works in the nonprofit sector, which accounts for 15 percent of our Gross State Product.

As you may know, supporting the work of nonprofit community groups lies at the heart of California Local’s mission. So please meet the CEOs of two remarkable institutions that are having dramatic impacts in their areas: Stacy Caldwell of the Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation, and Kerry Wood of the Sacramento Region Community Foundation.

Working Together: TTCF and California Local

A conversation with Stacy Caldwell, CEO of Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation

What Is a Community Foundation?

Kerry Wood, CEO of the Sacramento Region Community Foundation, says the organization researches areas of need to help donors direct their contributions.
By channeling funds to a number of nonprofits working on various issues in a given region, community foundations help solve big problems throughout California.

Recycling, Bicycling, and Green Buildings

Based in Santa Cruz for most of its 50-plus years, Ecology Action helps people live cleaner, greener lives. In addition to its super successful local programs that make biking to school and work safer and easier, EA works to promote EV adoption statewide, and has provided energy efficiency upgrades for more than 24,000 small businesses throughout California.

Ecology Action’s Plan for a Greener Future

Action Heroes: EA promotes alternative transportation year round, not just during Bike Month.
For half a century, this group has reduced waste, reimagined local transportation and redesigned buildings. It’s all part of Ecology Action’s quest for sustainability.

Impact Report Image for decorative use

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Recent Statewide News

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• New Gray Wolf Pack Confirmed in Tulare County

The new pack consists of at least five individuals not previously detected in California, including one adult female, who is a direct descendant of California’s first documented wolf in the state in recent history, (OR7), and four offspring (two females, two males).

(08/11/2023) → YubaNet

• How to Find Factual Health Sources

More than 70% of people have been exposed to medical or health-related misinformation, according to a GoodRx Health study. This means many people are struggling to tell the difference between factual information and false information.

(08/08/2023) → The Sacramento Observer

• Millions of Californians Struggle to Get Enough Food Despite State’s Abundance

How bad is California hunger? A lot depends on your access to food aid, which expanded during the COVID-19 pandemic but is being reduced.

(08/07/2023) → CalMatters