CFSA Announces Over $1.1 Million in General Operating Support through CORE Grants

The Community Foundation for Southern Arizona (CFSA) is thrilled to announce a historic $1,119,500 in CORE Grants was awarded to 55 nonprofits in Southern Arizona to provide the flexible working capital necessary to maximize their impact and improve the quality of life in Southern Arizona. This is the largest single grant round in CFSA’s 42-year history.

CFSA’s 2022 CORE Grants were made possible with support from CFSA’s Unrestricted Fund and Field of Interest Funds, our generous CORE Donor Collaborators, and the Connie Hillman Family Foundation. Areas funded include human services; arts and culture; environment and animals; legal services; education; health; youth and elderly services; immigrant services; and Native/Indigenous support.

Kelly Huber, Vice President of Philanthropy for CFSA, shared, “The Community Foundation for Southern Arizona relies on collaboration as a value and practice. CORE grants have ignited collaboration between CFSA, donors, and the nonprofit community. We are so proud to partner with our donor collaborators in the CORE grant program. Without their generosity, partnership, and spirit of giving, this program would not exist to achieve this historic year of $1.1 million in grants to Southern Arizona.”

CORE grants provide flexibility for organizations to use dollars as they see fit to address emerging issues, boost salaries and benefits, invest in technology and infrastructure, and build communication and fundraising strategies, all leading to a healthier, innovative, and robust organization. Lastly and most importantly, CORE grants are rooted in mutual trust with the philosophy that organizations understand their unique needs and can demonstrate and achieve impact.

With $3.5 million in CORE Grants distributed since 2017, CFSA and its collaborators are dedicated to supporting local nonprofits and promoting equity within Southern Arizona. Jenny Flynn, President & CEO of CFSA, shared, “General operating support has always shown us the good that can come when we give organizations the flexibility and autonomy to decide where their funding is best put to use. The team here at the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona is dedicated to seeing this grant program continue to grow, evolve, and reach even more deserving organizations for years to come.”

The 118 total applications received for the historic 2022 CORE Grant Round were segmented into three rounds.

In Round 1, all applicants were screened for eligibility by CFSA staff according to CORE Grant criteria. The 117 eligible applicants moved forward to Round 2, during which each application was reviewed and scored by the 2022 CORE Grants Review Committee. At the end of Round 2, 74 organizations were recommended by the committee and donor collaborators for advancement to the third round of the process – the applicant presentations. After final scoring by the CORE Grants Committee and recommendations by CORE Donor Collaborators, the final list of 55 CORE Grant recipients for 2022 was solidified.

This year’s grantees represent multiple counties in the Southern Arizona region including Pima, Cochise, Graham, Greenlee, Santa Cruz, and Yuma counties. Of the 55 total 2022 grantees, 98% serve minority populations, 23% percent of grantees are headquartered in rural areas, and 49% percent are first-time CORE grantees. Funds were further distributed equitably by organizational budgets: 33% percent have a budget below $250,000, 60% have a budget below $500,000, and 40% percent have budgets between $500k and $2 million.

Jeaiza Quinoñes Ivory, Director of Community Investments for CFSA, shared, “Greater strides toward equity through CORE grantmaking were seen this year through a focus on rural organizations, organizations that serve marginalized populations, and new grantees. I am excited to see how these 55 grantees will continue to impact the communities they serve through their innovative ideas.”

CORE 2022 Grantees & Donor Collaborators

2022 CORE Grantees

* These grants were made possible thanks to our generous 2022 CORE collaborators.

2022 CORE Collaborators
  • Albert H. Cohn Family Fund
  • Anetta Belinda Miller Endowment Fund
  • Anne Maley-Schaffner and Timothy Schaffner
  • Anonymous Donor
  • Arizona Children’s Trust Fund
  • Barbara and Buddy Amos First Family Fund
  • Beaham Youth Fund
  • Bledsoe/Biedes Legacy Endowment Fund
  • Blessings Fund
    Charles E. and Louise T. Davis Family Fund
  • Children’s Mental Health Fund
  • Connie Hillman Family Foundation
  • David Kennard and Barbara Kennard Present Fund
  • David S. and Norma R. Lewis Foundation
  • Ernst and Young Children’s Fund
  • Geneal and Clifton Wilson Field of Interest Fund
  • Gerri Skinner Book Fund
  • Gertrude K. Poland Trust
  • Graydon Ketchum Charitable Fund
  • Gordon D. Paris Educational Fund
  • Gordon D. and Isa B. Paris Fund
  • Fenster Family Foundation Fund
  • Frances Holt Family Endowment Fund
  • Harold and Margot Hastings Fund
  • Helaine D. Levy Donor Advised Fund
  • Hellene Henrikson Legacy Fund
  • Herbert and Eugenia Pell Fund
  • Herma B. Buehrer Fund
  • Judy Reisman and Jane Levin
  • Julian M. Babad Charitable Fund
  • Lew Murphy Mayor’s Fund for Children
  • Margaret J. Modine Fund for Children
  • Margaret T. Morris Children’s Fund
  • Nichols Family Foundation Fund
  • Pamela Hyde-Nakai and R. Carlos Nakai.
  • Reuling Family Native American Programs Fund
  • Shaaron Kent Endowment Fund
  • Southern Arizona Behavioral Health Fund
  • The Topaz Fund
  • Ventana Canyon Golf and Racquet Club
  • Visiting Nurses Association Fund
  • William E. Hall Fund for Children

According to the Arts Education Data Project, in the 2020/2021 school year there were over 24,000 K-12 students in Pima County that did not have access to the arts. The funding provided by the CFSA Core grant will help Act One close that gap and serve even more Title I students to provide access to arts and arts education across Pima County. We appreciate your support!

— Bernadette Carroll, Act One

A CFSA CORE Grant means financial stability that increases our ability to respond when situations change, while making it easier to innovate and take risks.

— Jesse Figueroa, Adult Literacy Plus of Southwest Arizona

This wonderful grant opportunity will give us the capacity we need to continue to meet the growing community demand to keep dogs with their loving families and out of the shelters. We do this by providing families, rescues and shelters with critical dog training, boarding, grooming and dog respite care for people in crisis.

— Valerie Pullara, AGR Foundation, Inc.

Beyond invaluable financial support, CORE funding and the thoughtful process energizes the ways Amerind is growing to better serve Indigenous artists and our community with our cultural resources. As Amerind’s audiences and operations expand and grow, CORE funding is a meaningful vote of confidence in the effectiveness of our community impact, strategic directions, and results. As a rural museum, we also greatly benefit from the CORE grant recipient visibility that you generously share. Thank you CFSA staff and volunteer leadership team!

— Kelly Holt, Amerind Museum

The Amphi Foundation has experienced tremendous growth in recent years. We're offering more programming, reaching more students and impacting more lives but we're also exceeding staff capacity. This funding could not come at a better time! It's an opportunity to invest in our team and our systems, to ensure that our organization has the resources to continue supporting our students and their educators for years to come!

— Leah Noreng, Amphi Foundation

The funding received will enable us to continue building our mission os serving the fragile and vulnerable residents of our community by providing for their basic needs. These funds will allow us to maintain our staffing and operating hours during these times of great need.

— Rick Vogel, Arivaca Coordinating Council/Arivaca Human Resources Group Inc.

This funding helps us to reach more community members to emphasize the importance of getting legal advice and contracting a lawyer to represent them in immigration court. This grants means we can reach more families seeking asylum and help them finally find a safe place to live their lives and raise their families – free from persecution.

— Alba Jaramillo, Arizona Justice for Our Neighbors

Native Americans who have had an amputation of a lower extremity need some form of ambulation. A conventional wheelchair cannot transverse the rough terrain of the reservation and is not sturdy enough to withstand the abuse of that terrain. They need the best of chairs for theirs is the worst of terrains. All of the funds from this grant will be used to construct 90 RoughRider all-terrain wheelchairs (75 adult chairs and 15 customized chairs for children with neuromuscular problems like cerebral palsy) for the Pascua Yaqui Nation. The RoughRder will allow Native Americans to get out of their homes, re-enter society, and engage in tribal ceremonies.

— Burris Duncan, Arizona Sonora Border Projects for Inclusion

Our mission at Bi-National Arts Institute is to empower our border communities and celebrate one another and the interdependence we share. The CORE grant gives us a great deal of hope as we continue to explore ways in which we can fulfill our mission to the best of our abilities. Receiving this reminds us that as we empower each other, we are not in this alone, but part of a greater community. Thank you so much, CFSA!

— Lori Keyne, Bi-National Arts Institute

Thanks to CORE funding, BICAS is able to expand accessibility to affordable bicycle transportation through education and bicycle salvage to reach Tucsonans of all ages and backgrounds. BICAS strives to make bicycling available to as many people as possible and to break down barriers such as cost, tool access, and experience. Thank you CFSA donors and partners!

— Kristin McRay, BICAS

In supporting BSERC with CORE Grant funding, the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona and its donor collaborators are change agents and partners in moving BSERC forward and upward in its capacity and growth. More profoundly, these funds will provide the catalyst that stirs curiosity and builds enthusiasm among participants as they better understand the world around them as well as the micro and macro worlds beyond them; discovering the scientist, engineer, technologist, and mathematician within themselves.

— Melanie Greene, Bisbee Science Exploration & Research Center

It is an incredible vote of confidence to receive a CFSA CORE Grant. Not only will that help us sustain and grow our programs, but it also recognizes the success we've had as an organization. Especially considering the disruption this past couple years due to Covid-19, we are incredibly proud of our work and excited to continue pushing forward. We thank CFSA for this investment in BYTE and our student-athletes on both sides of the US/Mexico border.

— Charlie Cutler, Border Youth Tennis Exchange

With CORE funds, Boys to Men is going to increase our offering of summer programming, which can be lifesaving for the many teen boys who depend on our school-based weekly talking circles. These funds will also support our larger systems-change efforts through the Healthy Intergenerational Masculinity (HIM) Initiative, a transformative project for families in Southern Arizona. In short, the CFSA CORE Grant means that we can significantly increase our impact in 2022, supporting safety and justice for all of our communities by nurturing healthy masculinity in the next generation of loving men.

— Michael Braser, Boys to Men Tucson

The CFSA Core Grant is an investment in the Children's Museum's bilingual programming, allowing the program to grow to better serve the community. This support allows for expansion of the Museum's educational engagement, to include dedicated community outreach and bilingual programming.

— Hilary Van Alsburg, Children's Museum Tucson/Oro Valley

The support from the CFSA CORE Grant directly impacts community members in need of our Collective Birth Fund and Food Equity efforts in Southern Arizona. The resources will directly impact expecting parents, birth workers of color, and families in need.

— Maria Parra Cano, Cihuapactli Collective

Clínica Amistad, a Project of Amistad y Salud stands as an example of success as we continue to care for our patients; the low income, uninsured and underserved, working poor, of southern Arizona. We rely heavily on community donations and see our uninsured patients through the whole medical process, addressing all of their medical issues along the way including everything from labs and x-rays to insulin. This funding allows us to focus on our growing demand for appointments and critical patient care and less on the setbacks caused by understaffing and outdated equipment.

— Clinica Amistad, Nicole Glasner

It means we can say “yes” to more requests from people who need help with their coolers and waterlines and furnaces. It means we can say “yes” to installing a grab bar or building a wheelchair ramp or a set of low-rise steps to help someone move with more confidence and age in place. It helps us say “yes” when people have complicated lives that don’t fit neatly into the guidelines of bureaucracy. This CORE grant award is an investment in maintaining and stabilizing housing for families across Pima County.

— Carrie Nelson, Community Home Repairs Projects of Arizona

Receiving a CFSA Core Grant means that we have the ability to increase our capacity to serve not only Pima County, but all counties throughout Southern Arizona. It also means providing a sense of relief to individuals experiencing a financial hardship, while also helping them meet their basic needs.

— Ian Arthur, Diaper Bank of Southern Arizona

This CORE Grant from the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona couldn't have come at a more important time for us here at Friends of Aphasia. With the recent announcement from Bruce Willis' family that he is stepping down from acting because of aphasia, we have been inundated with requests for information about aphasia and the services that we provide. The CORE Grant will help us expand our programming to address the growing interest and needs in the community.

— Fabi Hirsch Kruse, Friends of Aphasia

Receiving a CORE grant will help us to continue our missions of earth justice, social justice, and migrant justice in Southern Arizona and beyond. GSP is a safe place for all. We are committed to serving our community through our food pantry, social services, and migrant programs. We advocate for the earth and all of its inhabitants. Financial support from CFSAZ and its donors is invaluable, and equally as great is the hope found in coming together as a community to better serve one another. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

— Jessica Swift, Grace St. Paul's Episcopal Church

Receiving a CORE grant expands the Foundation's resources to serve the 1,850 Firefighters in the region, providing early cancer detection screening, PEER Fitness Certification courses, physical fitness equipment and mental health support.

— Rorie Johnston, Greater Tucson Fire Foundation

Receiving the CVSA Core Grant will make all the difference to Valley Assistance Services as it expands its services, though new programs and expansion of current programs, to meet the continually growing need in Southern Arizona, as we seek to fulfill our stated mission: Combining social services and community health programs, Valley Assistance Services guides seniors, individuals, and families to live healthy, resilient, and vibrant lives, while remaining safe and independent.

— Christine Erickson, Green Valley Assistance Services

Growth Partners Arizona is not yet big enough for program income, which is loan interest and fees, to fully support operations. A CORE grant helps Growth Partners Arizona continue building capacity to become more operationally sustainable. A CORE grant also helps us provide programming for which we don't earn income. Without general operating support grants, Growth Partners Arizona wouldn't be able to provide technical assistance or loans to nonprofits and underserved small businesses.

— Growth Partners Arizona, Lesli Pintor

Receiving a CFSA Core Grant means we can finally build some of the necessary administrative infrastructures for our community school initiative, Restart SMART. These funds will allow us to work on technology and systems we are developing to help our direct service staff better coordinate their services between students, families, and the school itself. Some of these funds will also allow us to organize some of our systems, files, messaging materials, and internal project management needs.

— Taylor Grogg, Higher Ground a Resource Center

CFSA's support for Integrative Touch means that we can apply our unique therapeutic approach to even more children facing severe medical needs, their parents, caregivers as well as front line hospital workers. Integrative Touch provided over 4500 hours of TeleHealth services in 2021. Recipients of our 10 week TeleWellness program report 87% decrease in anxiety, a 73% decrease in pain, and a 94% increase in well-being. We aim to provide even more hours of support to those who need it most, in part because of CFSA's tremendous support!

— Tom Matteson, Integrative Touch

For years we have struggled to grow from grassroots to a sustainable, forward-thinking non-profit, and the CORE grant helps us take that giant step! In 2020 we actually increased our harvesting in terms of food sources, as well as expanded our partner organizations who distribute food. The Refugee Garden Art Program (RGAP) was added because of the need for a lower-risk activity during the pandemic that would help refugees with social isolation, or who were unable to participate in our harvest programs.

— Amelia Natoli, Iskashitaa Refugee Network

Youth has never needed Junior Achievement more than they do now. Our kids' perception of our community and what it stands for are being shaped in ways that will define their entire lives and determine our shared future. This CORE grant means JA can invest in these young people to give them the hope and belief in their future success. This funding will provide them with the tools and support to navigate these uncertain times and the challenges they'll face in the futures, too. It will prepare kids today to succeed in their work and life.

— Maggie Jones, Junior Achievement of Arizona

As a newly established organization doing groundbreaking work on community safety, the CFSA CORE Grant will provide crucial stability for us in our first year. We are proud and grateful to have this support.

— Caroline Isaacs, Just Communities Arizona

As the demand for nutritious meals to be delivered to the homes of those in need continues to grow the CFSA CORE Grant will help Mobile Meals of Southern Arizona to open our own food production facility to more than double our current capacity, with the potential to produce 1,600 meals a day. That's enough to feed over 500,000 people in need a year.

— Luke Smith, Mobile Meals of Southern Arizona

Program salaries are a significant expense for nonprofits and often not what donors would like to support. The CFSA CORE Grant gives us the support to keep our programs going.

— Stacey Scarce, Our Neighbors Farm and Pantry

General operating grants allow nonprofits to use funds where they know they will have the biggest impact for their missions. These types of funds decrease mission drift and allow those closest to the problems the power of self-determination to solve those problems.

— Allan Stockellburg, Parent Aid Child Abuse Prevention Center

To continue to be a successful news organization, the Patagonia Regional Times must be forward-looking and invest for the long term. This CFSA CORE grant will allow us to focus on infrastructure and sustainability with an emphasis on contributing to an endowment. This grant will allow us to hire more staff to help manage our website and our donor management software, freeing up the editorial team to focus on providing news and information vital to our small, rural community.

— Marion Vendituoli, Patagonia Regional Times

Receiving a CFSA Core Grant allows the Patagonia Youth Enrichment Center to support the youth in our community by allowing them to grow, expand their life skill knowledge, and become responsible young people. This empowers them to make the best version of themselves while being a part of an amazing youth center family. We appreciate CFSA!

— Anna Coleman, Patagonia Youth Enrichment Center

The CORE grants have afforded us the wherewithal to continue to manage our operations costs within a budget that has grown annually as our organization’s service demands have grown. It is a matter of great importance to us we can present a financially healthy picture to our supporters and donors as this builds their confidence in the management capacity of the organization.

— Curt Keim, Sahuarita Food Bank

We are incredibly grateful to receive the CFSA CORE Grant. The funding will enable SARSEF to continue to serve Arizona’s future critical thinkers and problem solvers through science and engineering, while prioritizing in creating opportunities in schools defined by Title 1 designations and areas with limited access to STEM Education.

— Julie Euber, SARSEF

Receiving a CFSA CORE grant means we will be able to invest in the leadership of young immigrant volunteers leading our work by compensating them for their labor and offering more professionalization opportunities. Ultimately, this grant will increase our organization’s capacity to facilitate partnerships, expand services and ultimately strengthen our sustainability as a growing non-profit.

— Carolina Silva, ScholarshipsA-Z

CORE funding will support planning and developing better programs, increasing operational effectiveness and efficiencies, and more organizational development to better meet our mission of caring for and supporting women facing the challenges created by homelessness. SJWC will create programs and vision than can be replicated in other parts of Arizona or other states which want to provide gender-specific solutions and practices for female homelessness.

— Penny Buckley, Sister Jose Women's Center

SERI has been successful in serving low-income families in Tucson and southern Arizona for over 25 years. Our focus has been on delivering services in the community most efficiently while limiting funds spent on overhead and business essentials. CORE funds will contribute to our plans to strength operations, build talent and bring allies to our mission as we continue to roll-out innovative programming such as our Low-Income Solar Empowerment Program.

— Ann Marie Wolf, Sonora Environmental Research Institute, Inc.

Southern Arizona Adaptive Sports (SAAS) is the community leader in providing adaptive sports, recreation, fitness, peer mentoring, community engagement, leadership, and durable medical equipment support services. With the support of the CFSA CORE Grant, SAAS has become the go-to resource for many people living with disabilities who seek ways to overcome challenges, break through barriers, and live more independent, healthier lives.

— Mia Hansen, Southern Arizona Adaptive Sports

Receiving this CORE grant will allow us to breathe, and focus on the early childhood workforce, build relationships, and high-quality professional development. We are proud of all that we have accomplished during the pandemic, but as a small non-profit with a part-time executive director and volunteer board, we are tired. We look forward to focusing on the events that we do well and rebuilding relationships in the early childhood community, in person!

— Kelly Ann Larkin, Southern Arizona Association for the Education of Young Children

We are honored to see the community investing in our mission, and in older LGBTQI+ adults, so generously and supportively. These funds are arriving at a critical moment as Senior Pride spreads its wings as an independent 501(c)3 -- they will help us to build critical infrastructure, professionalize our administration, and strengthen our participant and donor network. The CORE Grant presents a wonderful opportunity for our continued growth and development as an organization serving older LGBTQI+ adults in southern Arizona.

— Keith Ashley, Southern Arizona Senior Pride

The CORE grant means that we can continue advocating and advancing the work of the center's membership.

— Josefina Ahumada, Southside Presbyterian Church/Southside Workers Center

It is essential to our organizational mission to lift up the voices of people who experience economic injustice, especially low-income workers, women and children, who are pushed to the margins of our society. Direct community engagement and outreach will ensure our policy and advocacy work reflects real people's real experiences. CFSA CORE grant funding will allow us to reach more deeply into impacted communities and to partner more effectively with client and partner communities, as we work together to create strategies for systemic change.

— Kelly Griffith, Southwest Center for Economic Integrity

The CFSA CORE grant will help us build our capacity to advocate for fair housing and housing as a human right. It will also help us transition to a fully remote work environment.

— Jay Young, Southwest Fair Housing Council

SU2J brings qualified free attorney advice to residents living at or below the poverty line with meritorious civil legal claims in housing, family law, domestic violence, employment, bankruptcy, end-of-life planning, and other areas. With this CORE grant, we will expand our high impact, upstream approach by delivering outreach education in civil legal rights and responsibilities, to intervene, inform, and above all, prevent future legal disputes in Pima County.

— Michele Mirto, Step Up to Justice

Receiving the CFSA CORE Grant will help deepen and enhance Sunnyside Foundation’s support to Tucson’s southside families. With the support of the CFSA CORE Grant, Sunnyside Foundation will be able to utilize general operating support for our emergency relief work to provide basic necessities to 1,350 families.

— Elizabeth Soltero, Sunnyside Foundation

The Drawing Studio is in a time of great change as we shift to an equity model for art classes. Our vision is that art and the creative spirit are cultural necessities. CORE funding from the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona will provide critical financial support to expand our free offerings, ensuring that more people have access to the transformational power of making art.

— Emiel Brott, The Drawing Studio

This CFSA grant means that we are able to hire an additional staff member, allowing us to expand the services we offer to our guests while they are in Tucson and follow up after they reach their destination. The new staff member will collaborate to improve and expand services with a focus on prioritizing services to vulnerable families by providing referral for case management. Follow up and case management improve an migrant's chances in every aspect as asylum seekers.

— Diane Everhart, The Inn of Southern Arizona

Receiving a CFSA CORE Grant is a game changer for Tucson Jewish Free Loan. We'll now be able to help more individuals and families in Southern Arizona achieve financial stability with dignity. With the help of our interest-free loans, more people will stay in their homes, pay off high interest debt, cover unexpected expenses, put food on the table, and so much more. This grant will truly deepen Tucson Jewish Free Loan's community impact. We are grateful for this opportunity.

— Allison Wexler, Tucson Jewish Free Loan

Receiving the CFSA CORE Grant is an incredible honor and will allow TYMC to expand its instructor base to allow for major student growth in the year ahead.

— Patricia Young, Tucson Youth Music Center

Receiving the CFSA CORE grant means that the UA Community and School Garden Program has the opportunity to continue providing education and experiential learning through their Food Literacy Program. Culinary meal-kits, field trips to the Food Literacy Lab, and taste tests utilizing local produce will continue to build the foundation for K-12 students in the Tucson Unified School District to participate in their health and the health of those around them.

— Stacy Evans, UA Community School Garden Program

Receiving the CORE Grant from CFSA enables us to hire a grant and report writer. This role will become an integral part of our TREC team, as we seek to A) increase the funding we receive to continue support for working teachers and B) quantify the impact that TREC has on teacher development, satisfaction, and retention. As a relatively new but rapidly maturing initiative, being able to accurately self-reflect on our work and communicate our impact succinctly to stakeholders will be a huge asset for our mission.

— Jennifer Kinser-Traut, UA Foundation, Tucson Regional Education Collaborative

Receiving a CFSA CORE Grant means that Watershed Management Group (WMG) can expand our free programs and make them more accessible to a diverse community. The funds will allow WMG to ensure that nature education is available to everyone including limited income families and underserved youth. We plan to expand access and a sense of belonging at the Living Lab and Learning Center for more of our neighbors. We will continue to provide opportunities for families to steward local water, while creating green spaces that provide cooling shade, nutritious food, and habitat for desert animals. Our goal is to engage underserved youth and their families to develop sustainable living skills, create a diverse workforce for green jobs, and help lift individuals out of poverty.

— Cindy Hu, Watershed Management Group

Receiving a CFSA CORE Grant as we emerge from the constraints of the pandemic gives WTA the funds most needed at this time to make an impact locally and in the more remote areas in this corner of Arizona. It helps us to engage with other organizations and groups to provide services that will have most impact on populations that were previously not reached by WTA’s array of services and programming.

— Gayle Berry, Willcox Theater and Arts Inc.

2022 CORE Grantees Gallery

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