The Impact of Our Work

Since 1980, hundreds of individuals, families and businesses have established funds at the Community Foundation, creating a family of funds that have granted more than $134 million. Together, our work touches every aspect of daily life, including animal welfare, the arts, education, health and human services, economic development and the environment.

What makes the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona unique is the way we invest in our community. We support our fundholders’ desire to make a difference in many ways that result in significant impact on the organizations and people served.

Direct Support

Providing more than $5 million in direct support to charitable organizations that improve the quality of life in Southern Arizona through Donor Advised Funds, Field of Interest Funds, or funds designated to a specific organization in perpetuity.

Collective Impact

Supporting collaborative work to address critical community issues.  Our three-year Collective Impact Initiative is supporting the City of South Tucson community to create a healthy, prosperous neighborhood of choice; the ELDER Initiative to meet the coming demographic crisis by activating senior power and transforming senior services; and the Ajo Regional Food Partnership to develop the local economy and health of the population by creating a thriving food system out of a food desert.


We convene community leaders to address critical issues and develop solutions. For example, in 2011 the United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona joined the Community Foundation in convening community leaders to examine the need for high quality, community driven, objective data about Southern Arizona in order to inform grantmaking, organizational and community planning, and policy development.  The result is the Southern Arizona Indicators project. With the help of many partners, the project provides data in areas that have been identified as key “indicators” of demographic trends and needs in our community through an accessible user-friendly website.

From 2006-2011 we provided $1 million from the Shaaron Kent Endowment Fund to support increasing literacy, resulting in the community-wide recognition of the critical and fundamental nature of this issue and a restructuring of the literacy service providers to create Literacy Connects, a comprehensive literacy organization “committed to improving our community through literacy.”

Building Capacity

We are helping to build the capacity of the hundreds of charitable organizations in Southern Arizona that provide services to those in need, protect the precious environment that has brought so many to this community, and enrich our lives through our diverse arts and cultural heritage.

Through our partners, we promote training, education, technical assistance, and learning communities to insure that the charitable organizations that our fundholders support represent excellence in their field. We are strengthened by our partnerships and collaborations and by working together, we can do greater good in Southern Arizona.

Our Guiding Principles

  • We treat our grantees and donors as valued partners.
  • We believe that people support what they create.
  • We invest resources to build on strengths in the community.
  • We believe that providing capacity-building support helps nonprofits be more effective.
  • We support collaboration because together we can accomplish what we can’t do alone.
  • We understand that sustainable change takes time.