The Community Foundation of the Valleys (CFV), a non-profit organization dedicated to raising the level of charitable giving to the San Fernando and Santa Clarita valleys (the Valleys), announced Tuesday that the organization has been restructured to meet the growing philanthropic needs of the community and to address anticipated economic changes. The organization, which has been in existence since 2003, recently partnered with the California Community Foundation (CCF) and will focus on strengthening the Valleys through philanthropy and civic engagement.
As a community foundation, C.F.V. works to advance the philanthropic goals of a broad group of unrelated donors who wish to enhance the quality of life in their communities by providing flexible, tax-effective ways to give. Often, this means building permanent endowment funds from gifts of any size and using a portion of the annual income to support a variety of local non-profit organizations through grants and special projects. Another option is setting up a donor advised fund, which is simpler and much more cost effective than creating a family foundation. The partnership with the C.C.F. ensures that C.F.V.’s administrative costs are kept to a minimum and allows C.F.V. to pool funds with C.C.F., thus providing significant economies of scale through its more than $1.5 billion in assets.
“The restructuring is something the organization has long dreamed about, but has come at a time when there is increasing competition for foundation and business grants as governments cut funds to nonprofits, and economists predict an economic downturn in the next few years,” said S. Brigette Loden, C.F.R.E., executive director of C.F.V. “At the same time, C.C.F. has reported that the Valleys will receive the greatest transfer of wealth in the coming decades – meaning that many Baby Boomers are currently deciding where their personal wealth will go after they are gone – but the current average charitable giving, which is from 40 percent of the households, is only around $1,400 per year. With our communities’ present-day challenges and the impending massive transfer of wealth, we believe it’s more important than ever to act on this unprecedented opportunity by supporting our local charities.”
The Valleys represent one of the most promising subareas in Los Angeles County for future philanthropy, but has long lacked the basic mechanisms to ensure that these resources are directed to the areas of greatest need and opportunity. Generally, local charity campaigns and events raise far less income than those held by groups in Downtown Los Angeles and on the Westside, despite the residents of the Valleys possessing the highest current net worth in the county.
“With the region served by C.F.V. being home to more than 2.2 million residents, we have a unique opportunity to improve the futures of so many in need,” said Tamara Gurney, chair of the C.F.V. Board of Directors. “As many local nonprofits struggle to fund their services, C.F.V. is more determined than ever to serve as the vital conduit between donors and community needs by encouraging the generosity and support of the Valleys’ residents.”
Like any new organization focused on building the community, C.F.V. seeks individuals, businesses and organizations who are passionate about building a strong culture of giving. Founding members include community pillars such as the Wolf Family Foundation, Braun Family, Weingart Foundation, Mission Valley Bank, Valley Presbyterian Hospital, Marianne Haver Hill & Randall Hill, Bill Allen, and Squar Milner, LLP.
In addition to continuing to build its donor base, other CFV key priorities for 2017 include educating and partnering with professional financial and estate advisors, launching a “Give Local” marketing campaign and, by year end, gifting grants to local nonprofits in the Valleys, with priorities on community health, arts and culture, homelessness, children services, animals and, possibly, capacity building.
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