Arizona Community Foundation and donors distribute record $51.1 million in second-quarter grants, scholarships, and loans

Contributed Photo

Contributed Article/Courtesy Arizona Community Foundation

PHOENIX – The Arizona Community Foundation and its donors are pleased to announce grant, scholarship, and loan distributions for the second quarter of its fiscal year. Between July 1 and September 30, 2020, a total of $51,131,263 was awarded from funds of the Arizona Community Foundation and its six statewide affiliates in Cochise, Flagstaff, the Gila Valley, Sedona, Yavapai County, and Yuma. 

A total of $50.8 million in both discretionary and advised grants and scholarships were awarded in five strategic priority areas: Health Innovations, Community Improvement & Development, Environment & Sustainability, Arts & Culture, and Quality Education.  

More than $32 million of that total was dedicated to supporting small businesses and nonprofit organizations impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. These grants were funded through ACF’s ongoing partnerships with Maricopa County and several municipalities to deliver COVID-19 relief. 

Health Innovations 

A total of $5.7 million was awarded to 434 organizations and programs in the areas of health, health care, medical research, and a variety of human services. Among the distributions for the quarter were: $7,500 from the Jackson Family Charitable Fund to El Grupo Youth Cycling, $20,000 from the Esque Family Fund to support the Aliento Education Fund’s relief efforts due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and $25,000 from The Savaiano Family Trust Diabetes Fund to support the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s outreach and research in the broad Type 1 Diabetes community. 

Community Improvement & Development

A total of $3.4 million was awarded to 304 programs in this category, which includes housing, community and neighborhood development, financial literacy training, legal assistance, and crime prevention programs. Among the grants awarded this quarter were: $2,000 from the Cochise Health & Wellness Fund to support the Douglas Area Food Bank Inc. and its cooler installation on the food bank’s building and $15,000 from the Health in Communities of Color Fund to the Black Phoenix Organizing Collective to support Drinking Gourd Farms and the needs of 140 families.  

Environment & Sustainability

A total of $585,667 was awarded to 79 organizations and programs in the areas of environmental education, renewable resources, conservation, and animal welfare. Among the distributions for the quarter were: $50,000 from several ACF discretionary and field of interest funds in designated support for the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy Growing Water Smart program; $5,000 from the Graham County Community Fund for the Low-Income Spay/Neuter Voucher Program in Graham & Greenlee counties; and $10,000 from the Boynton Canyon Preservation Fund to the Sedona Red Rock Trail Fund designated to the U.S. Forest Service, which is working on the Boynton Canyon, Doe Mountain, and other local trails. 

Donor Highlight

Enchantment Group established the Boynton Canyon Preservation Fund nearly two decades ago to help to preserve local trails in Sedona and assist in the construction of new adventure terrains. The fund recently made a $10,000 grant to the Sedona Red Rock Trail Fund, a nonprofit dedicated to maintaining and enhancing trails through ongoing collaboration with the USDA Forest Service’s Red Rock Ranger District. The combined efforts allow the popular trail systems within the iconic Sedona landscape to stay safe, beautiful, and accessible to all.

Arts & Culture

A total of $1.9 million was awarded to 91 artistic and cultural organizations across Arizona. Among the grants were: $7,000 from the Kay and Dave Jenner Fund to the Sharlot Hall Museum for general support, $10,000 from the Tancer Family Fund to the Arizona Opera Company for general support, and $17,000 from the Flagstaff P-12 Educational Resources Fund to the Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra for its program Link Up: The Orchestra Moves.

Donor Highlight

Flagstaff P-12 Educational Resources Fund provided a $17,000 grant to Link Up: The Orchestra Moves, a collaboration between the Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra (FSO), the Carnegie Hall Weill Music Institute, and 22 regional elementary schools. Link Up immerses students in the experience of musical learning and creation, beginning in the classroom and culminating at the Link Up concert, where over 3500 students sing, play, and move with the FSO. Prior to the FSO’s Link Up program launch in 2013, only 10 percent of local students had heard a live orchestra performance.  Seven years later, that percentage is now over 95 percent.  Both the Flagstaff Arts Council and the Arizona Citizens have recognized the Link Up program for the Arts for excellence in arts education.

Quality Education

During this quarter, a total of $6.7 million was awarded in scholarships and education-related grants. Among the grants were: $62,500 from the J. Michael Dywan Charitable Fund designated to Phoenix Union High School District to support Metro Tech High School; $15,000 from the Hilby Family Fund and Wilson’s Brown Point Foundation to support Camelback High School’s reopening, projects supporting its students, and replenishing the school’s food bank; and $5,000 from Krumwiede Lewis Family Foundation to support SOUNDS Academy, their curriculum, teaching development, and implementation, including virtual experience enhancement, lesson building, and hiring in the Phoenix region.  

Donor Highlight

The J. Michael Dywan Charitable Fund granted $62,500 to Phoenix Union High School District to support Metro Tech High School, which has one of the largest Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs in Arizona. Michael Dywan, the fund’s founder, believes programs like those offered by Metro Tech are a valuable part of helping students develop skills that lead to meaningful technical and vocational careers. Metro Tech’s CTE offerings provide students with hands-on, project-based learning opportunities in many areas, including construction, banking, engineering, and the automotive industry. 

College scholarships accounted for $358,100 of the quarter’s total and were awarded for the benefit of 158 students pursuing higher education. College scholarships are awarded to Arizona students to attend a wide range of colleges, universities, and technical schools in Arizona and across the United States.  

In addition to these grants, 10 nonprofit organizations with agency endowments managed by the Arizona Community Foundation received their annual distributions during the second quarter of ACF’s fiscal year, accounting for $603,882 distributed during the quarter.   

The $50.8 million awarded across all categories represents 4,966 grants and scholarships. Some grants are awarded at the discretion of the Arizona Community Foundation with input from board committees and diverse community panels, while others are awarded through donor advice. All grants are approved or ratified by ACF’s Philanthropic Services Committee whose members include ACF board representatives and other community leaders. 

In addition to grants and scholarships, the Arizona Community Foundation invested an additional $375,000 through its Affordable Housing Predevelopment Loan Fund. Trellis, UMOM, and ArtSpace received interest-free loans to help jump-start their affordable housing projects. 

Established in 1978, the Arizona Community Foundation is a statewide family of charitable funds supported by thousands of Arizonans. With five regional offices serving communities across Arizona, ACF is among the top 25 community foundations in the nation with more than $1 billion in trust and endowment assets and is certified under the National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations. Since inception, ACF and its affiliates have awarded more than $850 million in grants, scholarships, and loans to nonprofit organizations, schools, and government agencies. More information is available at