By the end of 2000, Florita Evans' gift had added more than $3 million to ACF Affiliate endowments, bringing total Affiliate assets to $29.6 million with the original nine funds created in 1994 growing to 120. The combined ACF endowment was $320 million held in 450 funds. ACF made 695 grants totaling $17.5 million, bringing year-to-date grant totals to $64 million.
The Learning Communities initiative brought schools and low-income parents together, encouraging parents to stay involved in their children's education, especially during the elementary and middle school years. This initiative involved 12 school districts and 16 schools across the state.
Parents as First Teacher looked at the critical period from birth to five years and the long-term effects of those years on a child's ability to learn and interact socially. This multi-year program trained 50 teachers in 20 schools statewide, who in turn would teach parents and other teachers to work effectively with pre-school children to help improve their educational achievement and life prospects.
Arizona's Children Association asked ACF to partner with them in a foster care pilot project. The result was Families for Kids, a five-year initiative funded by the Kellogg Foundation to look at system reform from the child's perspective for the 7,000 foster children in Arizona.
Our rapidly growing scholarship program awarded $1,019,000 to almost 400 students. The program, which increased 63 percent from the previous year, helped a variety of students from pre-school through post-graduate work. Some scholarships targeted broad student populations while others had very specific qualification requirements.
ACF and key partners were committed to advancing the idea of arts as fundamental to the educational process and an integral part of children's learning through Arts in the Communities, Arts in the Schools. Working partnerships of arts and after-school organizations, schools, and artists came together to promote and encourage interest in art education throughout the state.
A two-year grant from the Coalition of Community Foundations for Youth focused on out-of-school-time programs and youth civic engagement. The goal was to build better communities by getting youth involved in meaningful civic activities in the hours outside of school time. ACF partnered with local and state organizations working with youth in core activities such as youth mapping, e-journalism and philanthropy. Four pilot sites included South Phoenix, Sierra Vista, Yuma and Window Rock.
The Small Diameter Timber Project linked restoration and stewardship of public lands with cultural and economic revitalization of local communities. This ground-breaking experiment built Hogan-shaped affordable housing from small-diameter trees that are by-products of forest restoration. Navajo elders and architects collaborated to develop working designs, and a series of prototypes were built to refine their ideas.
Social capital was the theme of a partnership established with three dozen other community foundations to conduct the Social Capital Community Benchmark Survey. This largest-ever study of civic engagement in America polled nearly 30,000 people, including 501 in Maricopa County. Arizona was found to be slightly lower in overall social trust, volunteer work, participation in grassroots politics and involvement in civic organizations when compared to the national average. In the "schmoozing with friends and neighbors" category, however, Arizona was somewhat higher.
ACF partnered with a statewide program called Libraries for the Future, intent on providing low-income families with children 0-5 years of age with a place to access a complete set of parenting and child development materials as well as the help of community resource people.
Marketing was centralized, and a new statewide logo was introduced with appropriate variations for each affiliate.
Strategic planning targets called for ACF to double current assets to $500 million by 2005, with 1,000 funds and $25 million in annual grants. The stated mission was to build a legacy of community philanthropy by connecting donor interests with community needs.
Robert Delgado became the seventh board chair, and Stephen D. Mittenthal continued as President and CEO.
Sept. 11, 2001 marked the day of destruction of the twin towers at the World Trade Center in New York City by terrorists. It also marked an unprecedented display of patriotic, humanitarian and philanthropic fervor. As a result of the emotional impact of this event, ACF re-examined its entire discretionary grantmaking program to ensure its relevance to community needs and priorities. To help make informed decisions, a series of dialogues with nonprofit organizations was convened throughout the state to determine how best to respond to current funding demands. September 11 Community Conversations organized in partnership with Libraries for the Future, the Arizona Humanities Council and Arizona State Libraries, helped bring communities together following the terrorist attack in New York to discuss common concerns.
ACF launched dot.che, a new proprietary software that powers ACF's Web site, valuable both as a tool to streamline the grant process and to connect donors' interests with community needs electronically.
The Programs Department's work continued with early childhood development partners, including early brain development. ACF began to wind down support of Parents as First Teacher, shifting emphasis to Communities for Kids. Learning Community Schools moved into its third year of encouraging parents to stay involved in their children's education.
Through increasing partnerships with higher education, public and private sector agencies and community-based organizations, ACF helped rebuild isolated and often neglected rural communities throughout Arizona. The ACF Fellowship Program, created through this integrated Rural Community Development Initiative, provided technical assistance to rural communities as well as a learning environment for graduate students to share field experiences and to learn through a multi-disciplinary approach to community development.
ACF emphasized youth and community building through out-of-school activities and youth and civic engagement in partnership with Libraries for the Future. Gifts from the Rodel Foundation and the Ellis Funds strategically encouraged comprehensive education reform.
In 2001, ACF awarded 508 scholarships totaling more than $1.2 million. Ninety-five percent were need-based; five percent were merit-based.
We provided seed money and administrative support to the Leave A Legacy Arizona initiative, which encouraged people to include charitable gifts in their wills and trusts, and which grew to more than 300 partners statewide.
ACF maintained a reasonable financial picture with a positive return in a negative market, emphasizing the value of an endowment in both good and bad times. The 2001 endowment was $323 million, including $32 million in Affiliate assets.
A network of 12 Affiliates served regional community foundations in the communities and the surrounding rural areas of Yavapai County, Flagstaff, Sedona, Yuma, Scottsdale, Page/Lake Powell, the Hopi Nation, Tuba City, Green Valley, Patagonia, Cochise County and Graham County.
The Green Valley Area Community Foundation and the Greater Green Valley Community Fund merged to become the Greater Green Valley Community Foundation.
The Affiliate Council implemented a benchmarking process to promote sustainable growth of individual Affiliates. As a result, the Tempe Community Foundation and the Buckeye Community Foundation again became community funds. Encouraged by challenge grants, Affiliate assets had grown from $8,300,000 in 1996 to more than $30,000,000 in 2001. The original nine individual Affiliate funds increased to 120.
The West Valley of metropolitan Phoenix created a cluster of funds that were larger than some existing Affiliates. As Valley demographics shifted, more high net worth individuals were living in West Valley ZIP codes. It was anticipated that this migration would increase as residents look for larger square footage and more natural surroundings for homes.
The endowment was $315 million including more than 700 funds and $31 million in Affiliate assets. ACF granted $19.1 million to 929 nonprofit organizations, bringing grants awarded since 1978 to $101.4 million. This included 600 scholarship awards from 78 scholarship funds providing almost $1.6 million to students. ACF was ranked the 27th largest of 658 community foundations in the country. Robert Delgado was board chair, and Stephen D. Mittenthal was president and chief executive officer.
We received a $300,000 Ford Foundation grant to be a partner in the Border Philanthropy Initiative, working with local leaders, border community foundations, and regional and national donors in the U.S. and Mexico to find solutions for border issues. The Yuma and Cochise County affiliates played pivotal roles.
We joined other funders to support T-Gen, the Translational Genomics Research Institute, a biomedical consortium for medical and scientific research and treatment of diseases. Our $500,000 grant was the largest ever made by ACF to support a single cause.
ACF became the temporary repository for an initial $20 million plus a permanent $3 million endowment to support the Human Services Campus being built near downtown Phoenix to improve services for homeless and at-risk people.
We funded the third year of Parents as First Teacher, an initiative established in partnership with New Directions Institute for Infant Brain Development to educate parents about the importance of infant brain development.
This year marked ACF's 25th anniversary with assets at $355 million in 725 funds, including $32 million in Affiliate area assets. Donors contributed $27 million creating 49 new funds and gave millions more to existing funds. Our $141 million investment pool had a strategic asset allocation of 70% equities and 30% fixed income. Performance for 2003 was 21.3%. We awarded 2,220 grants totaling almost $19 million to more than 1,129 grantees, bringing grants awarded since 1978 to $120.4 million.
Following a request for proposals, we provided capacity building support through special grants designed for organizations that are already successful, but which need help in moving up to the next level of service. ACF also awarded 700 individual scholarships from 78 scholarship funds providing $1,571,412 to youth and adults who are continuing or enriching their education.
We brought family members, foundation staff and professional advisors together for the first Arizona Family Foundation Conference, Getting to the Heart of Philanthropy, to discuss issues common to family grantmaking.
A Campaign for Working Families was a pilot program to increase family assets and community investment through Earned Income Tax Credits (EITCs) and Individual Development Accounts (IDAs) as tools to help low-income families escape poverty. Working primarily in the communities of Douglas, Nogales, Yuma, and South Tucson, ACF supplemented its support for this public/private partnership with quality childcare and other family support efforts.
We joined the U.S.-Mexico Border Philanthropy Partnership, which stretched form Brownsville, Texas, to San Diego. It was managed by the Synergos Institute in New York City, bringing together a collaboration of nine national and international funders to support the work of 21 community foundations on both sides of the boarder. Its mission is to improve the quality of life in both countries. The Yuma Community Foundation and the Cochise Community Foundation played major roles.
We supported Artrain USA, America's only traveling art museum on a train, which made a stop in Tempe on its 100-community tour. Native Views: Influences of Modern Culture, exhibited 71 contemporary artworks by 54 living Native American artists.
Giving Counsel, the bi-monthly newsletter for professional advisors, went online. A new electronic donor newsletter, Donor Exchange, also provided ACF donors with news, resources and local charitable current events.
Hispanics in Partnership was a new program with national affiliation that was working with other funders and leaders of the Latino community to research and create an agenda aligned with the interests of the philanthropic community, both locally and nationally.
We provided seed money and technical support for N-Power (Nonprofit Technology Assistance Program) Arizona, one of only 12 programs funded nationally with financial and technical assistance by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. This collaborative provides statewide technology infrastructure for the nonprofit community.
ACF completed year three of a four-year, $865,000 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grant made to a partnership including the Yavapai County Community Foundation, which provides mental health services to unemployed and under-employed residents of Yavapai County.
We helped create two new nonprofit resource centers in Yuma and Flagstaff to help nonprofit organizations increase their visibility as well as their abilities to serve local communities more effectively and efficiently.
With five other community foundations, ACF participated in a national donor advised fund survey to identify what kinds of services donors find most useful.
Endowment assets passed the $400 million mark, and the investment pool generated a 10% annual return. ACF granted more than $24.8 to other nonprofit organizations, schools and agencies. Jerry Bisgrove followed Bob Delgado as board chair.
ACF partnered with Mesa United Way to create the Mesa Community Foundation, the latest addition to the statewide Affiliate system.
More than 900 scholarships were awarded from more than 80 scholarship funds totaling $1,640,600, making ACF the largest private scholarship grantor in Arizona.
Arizona Hispanics in Partnership, an outgrowth of the Hispanics in Philanthropy relationship, continued to grow both in financial and volunteer support. AZHIP serves as a catalyst for securing resources for Latino nonprofits as well as increasing Latino participation in leadership and philanthropy. The original idea germinated from a forum in 2003 to study issues and a survey prioritizing issues in the Latino community.
ACF partnered with Governor Janet Napolitano to establish the Arizona Early Education Funds to support a comprehensive early education system for Arizona's children.
We provided seed money for the Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits, a new organization that supports and promotes Arizona's nonprofits, advances a public policy agenda; and creates economical group purchasing opportunities, such as health insurance, for groups statewide.
The Community for All Ages project brings together diverse community leaders, youth and seniors to develop plans of action that address common concerns, such as lifelong learning, transportation, health care and housing.
Communities for Kids builds on many of the early brain development ideas in our earlier Parents as First Teacher program. It extends this work to a community-wide partnership of public schools, public libraries, health care and child care centers in Tucson and Prescott.
A bequest valued at $20 million, which included several pieces of real estate, added to the Wellik Foundation to benefit organizations, schools and agencies serving the town of Wickenburg. Viola and George Wellik were generous donors during their lifetimes who were interested in preserving Wickenburg's ranching and mining heritage.
Christie's Pixie Dust Foundation was created with $1 million from two sisters in Winslow, Arizona, who won the Arizona State Lottery.
We teamed up with Cox Communications to raise awareness of ACF. They produced two commercials which ran in two different advertising flights on the Cox channels and they hosted ACF donors and board members at the FBR Open golf tournament at a special event in their corporate tent.
Stephen D. Mittenthal retired at the end of 2005 after 22 years, and Robert L. King was named to lead ACF as President and CEO beginning February 1, 2006. Jerry Bisgrove continued as board chair, and the endowment was nearing $500 million.
A bequest from John Ellis plus previous charitable gifts from he and his late wife, Delys, added up to $52 million, the largest donation to ACF ever. The bequest created a permanent endowment known as the Ellis Center for Educational Excellence to benefit public education in Arizona. Stephen D. Mittenthal was named Executive Director of the Ellis Center. Nadine Basha was president of the board; Paul Koehler, vice president; and John Lischer, secretary/treasurer.
More than $1 million has been added since 2003 to funds established through the program with Merrill Lynch.
The Arizona Community Foundation was one of the first 60 of 700 community foundations nationwide to be recognized for having organizational and financial practices that meet the Council on Foundations' new National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations.
2006 brought many changes to ACF, including a leadership change after 22 years, with a new President & CEO, Robert L. King.
The Board of Directors adopted its first Board Initiative, focusing on improving Arizona's public education system to create the kind of educated workforce needed to meet the needs of a global economy now and well into the future.
ACF commissioned and released the results of Arizona Philanthropy Indicators, which looks at both the ability and propensity to give in every ZIP code in Arizona. The Index is designed to help nonprofits and government agencies target their development efforts to capitalize on the largest transfer of wealth in United States history, occurring between 2005 and 2055. The study illustrates the truly staggering impact for community philanthropy if every Arizonan bequested, in their will or a trust, just 5 percent of their assets to charity over the next 50 years: nonprofits would receive nearly $30 billion to improve the quality of life for the state.
2006 also brought the passage of the Pension Protection Act, legislation with significant impact on charitable giving - most significantly donor advised and scholarship funds. ACF staff worked diligently to interpret the provisions of this law, auditing funds and working with donors to recharacterize fund types and make adjustments to bring their funds into compliance.
ACF broke its own grantmaking record in 2006, awarding more than $30 million to nonprofit organizations.
The ACF Board of Directors elected Richard H. Silverman, general manager of Salt River Project, chairman of the board. Co-vice chairmanship was awarded to Marilyn Harris and William Hodges. Mike Cohn became secretary, while Tony Astorga was named treasurer.
ACF was a partner in the launch of the Arizona Indicators project, an online repository for community data on our shared quality of life in Arizona.
ACF issues scholarship awards totaling more than $4.4 million to 1,200+ student recipients enrolled in colleges and universities, representing the largest annual scholarship award total in Foundation history. The first annual Dorrance Scholarship Program Entrepreneur Experience is held at the University of Arizona McGuire Center. This program connects scholars with their own innovative talents, helping them move their own social or commercial ideas to reality.
In partnership with the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, ACF launches the Fund for Affordable Housing, a recoverable grant fund that makes zero-interest loans to nonprofit housing developers to assist in the creation of affordable housing. By the end of the Fiscal Year, the fund balance would reach $755,000.
The Arizona Community Foundation awards the largest single grant in its history: $25 million paid from the Stardust Charitable Fund, a supporting organization of ACF, to Science Foundation Arizona. ACF also pays another large grant, $5 million, from one of its supporting organizations, the Lodestar Foundation, to Arizona State University’s Center for Nonprofit Leadership and Management. The Center is renamed The Lodestar Center for Philanthropy & Nonprofit Innovation in honor of the gift.
Arizona Community Foundation is recognized, along with a few other charitable foundations, as “Person of the Year” in the Dec. 31, 2007 edition of The Arizona Republic.
ACF also changed its fiscal year-end to March 31, requiring the annual financial audit to cover a 15-month period, from Jan. 1, 2006 through March 31, 2007. The 15-month period closed with more than $556 million in assets and 885 component funds, including 30 supporting organizations and more than 80 scholarship funds. In fiscal year 2006/2007, donors contributed $53 million to existing funds and 70 new funds.
In partnership with The Ellis Center for Educational Excellence, ACF released two reports on the state of public education in Arizona, Educating Arizona: Assessing Our Education System, Birth–Grade 12, and Building Our Foundation: Assessing Early Care and Education in Arizona. The reports became the subject of significant press coverage and were cited by policy makers as the basis for enacting change in our public education system.
In partnership with the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, ACF launched the Fund for Affordable Housing, a recoverable grant fund that makes zero-interest loans to nonprofit housing developers to assist in the creation of affordable housing. By the end of the Fiscal Year, the fund balance reached $755,000 toward the $1.5 million goal.
The Arizona Community Foundation awarded the largest single grant in its history: $25 million paid from the Stardust Charitable Fund, a supporting organization of ACF, to Science Foundation Arizona.
ACF also paid a $5 million grant from one of its supporting organizations, the Lodestar Foundation, to Arizona State University’s Center for Nonprofit Leadership and Management. The Center was renamed The Lodestar Center for Philanthropy & Nonprofit Innovation in honor of the gift.
The community of Douglas in southeastern Arizona completed a challenge to raise $50,000, which was matched by the Cochise Community Foundation and ACF. The Douglas Area Community Fund now has a dedicated local endowment of $100,000 to address local needs.
ACF’s Strengthening Rural Arizona campaign to build regional endowments for rural Arizona reached $851,556 in funds raised, and another nearly $150,000 in pledged gifts. Funds are matched 50 cents on the dollar by the Stardust Foundation.
ACF kicked off its first organized African-American Philanthropy effort with an opening reception and established internships at Arizona State University to focus on the next State of Black Arizona report, which will include a section on philanthropy.
The 2008 fiscal year ended (March 31, 2008) with $511,573,423 in assets (more than 11 percent in affiliate funds), and a record-breaking $72.4 million in grants and scholarship distributions.
In December 2008, Bob King resigned as President & CEO of the Arizona Community Foundation. He relocated to Kentucky to head up the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education. Fifteen-year ACF veteran Deborah Whitehurst was named interim Chief Executive Officer.
The Arizona Community Foundation elected its first female chairman, Marilyn Harris.
In the spring of 2009, the Board of Directors commenced a nationwide search for ACF’s next president and chief executive officer. The process was led by the Board’s vice chairman, Bill Hodges, and a 12-member Search Committee. The search yielded some 170 candidates, at least three-quarters of them highly qualified to lead the Foundation.
Due to the unprecedented volatility in the stock market, ACF’s assets have declined in value to $420 million as of February 2009. The Board of Directors unanimously agrees to increase ACF’s exposure in opportunistic investments in order to position itself for stronger returns and capitalize fully from the market’s eventual rebound.
The Board of Directors unanimously agreed to support the Investment Committee’s request to increase ACF’s exposure in opportunistic investments in order to position itself for stronger returns and capitalize fully from the market’s eventual rebound.
Despite the economic slowdown, Fiscal Year 2009 ended on March 31, 2009, with $43 million in gifts, $33.7 million in grants and scholarships awarded and 58 new funds.
ACF, in partnership with Meridian Bank and Mesa Can, launched the first Individual Development Accounts for children enrolled with the nonprofit AZ Quest for Kids. A combined total of $100,000 was used to create matched savings accounts to help children save for tuition, books and school supplies while they attend any state university or community college.
In partnership with Helios Education Foundation, ACF launched the Accio Education Fund to provide two $450,000 grants for statewide, systemic education reform—one for a program already underway in Arizona, and one for a program looking to expand to Arizona from another state. The grants are to be paid over a three-year period to Beat the Odds, a program of the Center for the Future of Arizona, and Stand for Children.
By the end of the 2009 calendar year, the market had made a significant recovery. ACF’s asset value returns to about $450 million by Dec. 31, 2009, with gains of 30 percent or more in some investment areas.