January 17, 2017 | Stories

Nonprofits are the Heart of our Community

Nonprofits are the Heart of our Community

"Our Grants Committee is dedicated and committed to ensuring that all grant awards serve San Benito County residents exclusively." — Curt Mead, Director of Operations & Grants

San Benito County enjoys a large ecosystem of services provided by nonprofit organizations, currently fluctuating at 200 entities, with more than 155 nonprofits physically located in San Benito County. The Community Foundation for San Benito County supports all of these nonprofits through grants, stewardship of endowment funds, and programs—nonprofits are the heart of our community, and we love the work that they do!

In 2016, the Community Foundation awarded nearly $250,000 in grants to local nonprofits. The Grants Committee recognized 32 organizations with grants for a variety of projects in our community. Director of Operations & Grants, Curt Mead, said, "Our Grants Committee is dedicated and committed to ensuring that all grant awards serve San Benito County residents exclusively." While 46% of the grant money was awarded to Health & Social Service organizations like Fishes and Loaves and Community Solutions, other fields of interest were well represented.

Grants for Community Enhancement projects totaled 27% and ranged from a community bandstand for the Historical Society to share with the public, to a new tag line for the City of San Juan Bautista, “Lift Your Spirit”, developed by Schipper Design for the San Juan Committee.

Education, Arts & Culture, and Agriculture rounded out the rest of the playing field and included grants for Community Media Access Partnership, El Teatro Campesino, and Kitchen Table Advisors.

In addition to grant work, the Community Foundation stewards 46 permanent Endowment Funds established by nonprofits—funds that are designed for the life-long benefit of the organization—where the principal is the financial bedrock of the organization and only the interest may be spent. While the earliest fund belongs to Pet Friends, established in 2003, the Mission San Juan Bautista Preservation Fund was just established in 2015 to help raise funds for restoration and repairs of the church.

The Community Foundation also supports nonprofit organizations with programs throughout the year including National Philanthropy Day. Since the first celebration in 2001, more than 750 individuals in our community have been honored for their work. This event is a wonderful way for our local nonprofits to spotlight their volunteers.

Twelve Days of Giving is another program the Foundation is involved with, a local fundraising campaign made up of five nonprofit organizations that address basic human needs in our community. For the past five years, CASA of San Benito County, Chamberlain’s Children Center, Community Food Bank San Benito County, Emmaus House, and The Salvation Army Hollister Corps have all benefited from this holiday campaign with funds matched by the Community Foundation and United Way of San Benito County.

Nonprofits are all around us—they represent the best of San Benito County, and we love being their partner for good… for ever!

Please consult our Nonprofit Directory for a complete list of organizations providing services in San Benito County.