Culture of Learning Grants

In 2018, The Community Foundation for Southern Arizona awarded over $50,000 to 18 Southern Arizona nonprofit organizations through the Culture of Learning grant.

Arts Foundation for Tucson and Southern Arizona
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tucson, Inc.
Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation of Southern Arizona
Casa Libre en la Solana
Coyote TaskForce
Culture of Peace Alliance
Iskashitaa Refugee Network
JobPath Inc
Kore Press
Literacy Connects
Live Theatre Workshop
Make Way for Books
Museum of Contemporary Art Tucson
Reveille Men’s Chorus
Southern Arizona Gender Alliance
The Dunbar Coalition
University of Arizona Foundation for the benefit of Cooper Center for Environmental Learning

Since 1980, the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona (CFSA) has distributed more than $175 million to regional nonprofits and educational institutions. Grants have been directed toward programs spanning animal welfare, arts and culture, community development, education, environment, health and human services, general operating support and other areas of community need.

Staying relevant and current in the nonprofit world requires a desire to learn, improve and evaluate. Creating a culture of learning within an organization takes time and very often financial resources. Consider the following statistics:

  • Top performing organizations are five times more likely to have a learning culture than lower performing ones. ATD Research Building a Culture of Learning
  • Learning culture accounts for 46% of overall improved business outcomes including innovation, time to market, and market share. Bersin by Deloitte High Impact Learning Culture
  • Every 10% invested in learning effectiveness increases employee engagement by 4%. McLean & Company, Formalize a Learning & Development Strategy
  • “Ability to learn and progress” is one of the biggest differentiators for millennials when choosing a place to work. 42% say they will likely leave their organization because they are not learning fast enough. Deloitte Human Capital Trends Reports 2017

CFSA will be opening the Community Foundation Campus (CF Campus) in October 2018 which will bring many opportunities for nonprofits in term of capacity building and learning. Building momentum around creating a culture of learning in local nonprofits is a desire of CFSA leading up to the CF Campus opening.

Organizations may apply for a grant up to $3,000 to support their organization with the following: staff training, conference registration, travel costs associated with conference attendance, coursework related to a position, membership into a professional network, strategic planning, consultants, retreats, board training, and certification related to a position. Preference will be given to organizations looking to strengthen diversity, equity and inclusion within their organization.

The application process is now closed. The grant period is July 1, 2018-June 30, 2019. Please check back to learn more about the Culture of Learning funding in January 2019.

Following are the Basic Eligibility Requirements. Please note that these requirements may change for 2019.

  • One application will be accepted per organization
  • The applicant must be a 501(c)3 in good standing. The organization must have local leadership in the form of a board of directors or advisory committee, local financial support, and local program management and accountability. In the case of nationally sponsored organizations, no portion of the grant can be used to support the national, State or regional entity.
  • The proposed organization must be conducting charitable work in Southern Arizona directly benefiting the people of Southern Arizona, defined as that portion of the State located south of the Gila River. We welcome applicants from the Foundation’s entire service area including Tucson, Yuma, Safford, Douglas, Sierra Vista, Bisbee, Nogales and other Southern Arizona communities.
  • Grants are not made to individuals, for-profit organizations, government entities, capital fund drives, construction, or renovation (minor capital improvements required to implement programs are allowable), agency endowments, debt reduction, individual schools, religious organizations for sectarian purposes, pure sports teams.
  • Organization’s managing staff must be located in the community they serve.
  • Funding must support employees and not volunteer staff.
  • Have a total operating budget not to exceed $2,000,000.
  • Have been operating for at least two years.
  • The grant period is for one year in duration. An agency can not apply for funding until all reports required for previous awards have been received.
  • Have a clear commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion and encourage board and staff to reflect the communities they serve.
  • One of our guiding principles is to honor the rich diversity of our community and to promote equal opportunities for all people. Awards made by the Foundation’s various grant panels support organizations that do not discriminate in their employment practices, volunteer opportunities or delivery of programs and services on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, gender, age, sexual orientation, citizenship, disability, ethnicity, marital status, familial status, gender identity, economic circumstances and/or veteran status. Organizations will be required to submit their diversity policy.

Questions? Please contact Kelly Huber, Director of Strategic Grants and Initiatives at or 520-209-2958.