SoCal Funders Discuss Their Changing Priorities
Leaders from four Southern California foundations presented at the Center for Nonprofit Management’s Social Equity Funding Forum, moderated by Laura Zucker, formerly with the LA County Arts Commission. Speakers included Karla Salazar of the California Community Foundation, Jennifer Price-Letscher of the Ralph M. Parsons Foundation, Joanna Jackson of the Weingart Foundation, and Fatima Angeles of The California Wellness Foundation.
The panel described key trends in the current environment:
- Recent federal policy and spending changes have prompted some funders to shift investments toward defending vulnerable programs and services.
- Foundations continue to fund the arts, but the focus is shifting toward the intersection of arts and social equity.
- Foundation dollars will be directed toward projects linked to more systemic outcomes.
- Inadequate funding for “real costs” has prompted some funders and government contractors to begin to include indirect expenses but nonprofit organizations need to capture those costs and speak up.
- Direct services to the most marginalized populations will receive a rising share of grant monies.
- Advocacy is vital and should be paid for through the nonprofit’s general operating funds.
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