CORE Grants



For more than 37 years, CFSA has been a trusted philanthropic partner helping hundreds of individuals, families, businesses and nonprofits to create a stronger community.

As we prepare for the decade ahead and sharpen our focus on education, health and well-being and economic opportunity, we’re exploring new strategies to generate even a greater community impact.

In 2016, CFSA changed its grantmaking strategy to confront 21st-century challenges and achieve more significant impact in our grantmaking. After research and following the recommendation of best practices by other foundations, we are excited to announce our pilot program—CORE grants.

The purpose of the CORE grants is to provide unrestricted operating support for high-impact nonprofits. We believe that in order for our nonprofit community to improve the life of people and places in Southern Arizona, they need the core unrestricted working capital to leverage their impact.


We are proud to announce the 2017 CORE grantee recipients!

The Community Foundation for Southern Arizona was proud to award $300,000 to ten Southern Arizona nonprofit organizations through the CORE grantee program at an award ceremony on September 29th.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tucson
Community Home Repair Projects of Arizona
Higher Ground a Resource Center
Interfaith Community Services
Job Path, Inc.
Literacy Connects
Make Way for Books
Mobile Meals
SARSEF: Southern Arizona Science and Engineering Foundation
YWCA Southern Arizona

Please check back to learn more about CORE funding in January 2019.

To view application guidelines and requirements for 2017, please visit our CORE grants brochurePlease note that these requirements may change for 2019.

Characteristics of the high-impact nonprofit organizations that will receive funding are ones that meet our CORE values of:

Community: Are continually evolving and growing, meeting the needs of the clients they serve. They are well networked and utilize the strengths of relationships and collaboration.

Organizational Sustainability: Have business models that provide on-going financial sustainability for their organization as well as the ability to leverage different forms of capital. A robust and balanced fundraising plan is in place and volunteers and staff are balanced in their roles. They have boards and staff that are skilled, diverse, and knowledgeable and have shown longevity and a desire to move the organization forward to achieve the best results.

Results: Demonstrate results and outcomes which help them improve over time as well as develop appropriate services to their clients.High-impact nonprofits should be able to demonstrate methods for collecting and evaluating effectiveness.

Effective Programs: Clearly articulate why their programs and mission are important; high impact nonprofits strategically align their programmatic work with the larger good of the clients that they serve.

Partnering with Donors  As part of CFSA’s strategic approach to grantmaking, CORE grants will also be presented to donors who may have an interest in supporting general operating support grants.


Contact Kelly Huber at or by phone (520) 209-2858