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Friday, Jan 27, 2023
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Foundation Fundraising

The Community Foundation of the Valleys has established a fundraising platform to collect donations for local nonprofits responding to the COVID-19 outbreak. According to Executive Director Brigette Loden, the foundation recognized that medical and social services nonprofits are under great pressure amid volunteer shortages and skyrocketing demand, so they need extra cash now to serve their clientele. “Community Foundations are situated in a way that they can (help) faster than FEMA. They can do disaster relief immediately where you don’t have the red tape,” Loden said. The giving campaign was kicked off by Phil Wolf, a prominent Valley accountant and sitting board member of the Community Foundation, who pledged $50,000 through his Wolf Family Foundation charity to be disseminated by the foundation to nonprofits on the ground. That gesture was matched by the Weingart Foundation, a private grantmaking organization in Los Angeles, which works closely with community foundations around Southern California. “They have a million-dollar fund that they are distributing around the area … to help community foundations help their local nonprofits,” said Loden. Now, the Community Foundation hopes to attract an additional $50,000 in individual and corporate donations by April 15 for a total of $150,000. Once they reach that goal, the organization will distribute the money to about a dozen nonprofits. “They can use it however they need,” said Loden. She said her team is working to identify nonprofits that serve at-risk populations such as the homeless and the newly unemployed, and those that may experience workforce shortages or financial obstacles. Loden gave the example of the Santa Clarita Grocery, a food bank that relies on volunteer workers to organize food drives and sort and load boxes of fresh produce and canned goods. Because of the outbreak, those volunteers are staying indoors and donations have largely dried up. “They can’t do their local canned food drives because of the virus. They’re having to go out and buy food,” Loden said. “The need has increased 750 percent in just a month. That’s where we feel like we can really help.”

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