“Young people, don’t be afraid. Be focused. Be determined. Be hopeful. Be empowered. Empower yourselves with a good education…then get out there and use that education to build a country worthy of your boundless promise.” – Michelle Obama

The African American Legacy Fund (AALF), a fund of the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona, envisions a thriving community where people and resources converge to support the prosperity of all of its children, youth, and families, today and in the future.

Founded in 2013 by esteemed educator, philanthropist, and civic leader Dr. Anna Jolivet, Ph.D., the African American Legacy Fund (AALF) works to address the educational and economic disparities faced by African Americans who call Southern Arizona home.

AALF is working to improve the quality of life in Southern Arizona by:

  • Strengthening relationship and fostering collaboration among community members, donors, and organizations serving the African American Community
  • Enhancing the capacity of organizations that are working to improve the African American Community
  • Encouraging greater giving from and to the African American Community
  • Funding innovative, collaborative programs that improve the quality of life for Southern Arizonans of African heritage.

The 2023 African American Legacy Fund Grants are now closed.

Since 2015, the African American Legacy Fund, a fund of the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona, has awarded $275,000 to organizations serving the African American community in Southern Arizona.

AALF has a vision of what Southern Arizona can be when we bring together people, money, and goodwill to make sure all our children, youth, and families have the opportunities and resources to prosper. Applications for AALF Grants 2023 open on January 16, 2023.

501c3 nonprofit organizations serving the Black and/or African American in Southern Arizona are invited to submit grant requests up to $10,000 in unrestricted operating support to provide flexible working capital and maximize the impact of their missions. This year, the fund is transitioning to multi-year, unrestricted, funding for the first time in its history.

Grantmaking Priority

General Operating Support: Mission-based operations investing in the Black and/or African American community in Southern Arizona

Nonprofits in Southern Arizona are invited to submit grant requests that are reflective of the role that they play within the Black and/or African American community in Southern Arizona. Applicant organizations will be reviewed according to their overall programming, investment within and awareness of the community and its needs, as well as organizational stability.

Applications must fall within established guidelines, funding priorities and are limited to a maximum of $10,000 per application.

Important Dates

  • January 11, 2023:  AALF Grant Information Session (Virtual, Recorded) – View the Information Session Recording Here
  • January 16, 2023: Applications Open
  • February 20, 2023 | 5 p.m. MST: Applications Due
  • February 2023 – March 2023: Application Review
  • April 2023: Award Notifications

Application Guidelines

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Organization must have Black and/or African American representation on an executive leadership OR board level. PLEASE NOTE: If there is only one staff or board member fitting this requirement, that individual can NOT be a member of the African American Legacy Fund Advisory Board.
  • The organization’s programming must directly benefit the Black and/or African American community living in Southern Arizona.
  • The applicant must be a 501(c)(3) in good standing, conducting charitable work in Southern Arizona. Grassroots groups that have identified a 501(c)(3) that will act as the fiscal agent may be eligible to apply. Please contact Natalia Gabrielsen at ngabrielsen@cfsaz.org to determine if you are eligible.
  • The applicant 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.
  • Application must clearly speak to organizational involvement or programming within the Black and/or African American community in Southern Arizona.
  • Organizations may request up to $10,000 in funding for the first year of the award cycle. The Grants Committee makes recommendations regarding second year funding based on satisfactory progress toward grant goals, receipt of required reports, and availability of funds. An agency cannot apply for funding until all reports required for previous awards have been received.
  • Only one application can be submitted by any agency.
  • Grants are generally not made to individuals, for profit organizations, government entities, capital fund drives, agency endowments, individual schools or for sectarian purposes.
  • 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, Religion, Gender or Gender Identity (including gender nonconformity and status as a transgender individual), Gender Expression, Sexual orientation, Age, Ancestry, Citizenship, Ethnicity, Familial Status, Socioeconomic Status (economic circumstances), Color, Creed, Sex (including pregnancy), Phases of Parenthood, National Origin, Marital Status, Veteran Status (past, current or prospective service in the armed forces), Genetic Information, Physical Characteristics or Appearance, Mental or Physical Disability, Any other status prohibited by applicable law.

Documents Required

  • Annual Operating Budget (Current Fiscal Year) – A template will be available when the application opens
  • Supporting Material – A document of choice highlighting organization’s mission (pictures, report, brochure)

To Apply

All applications must be submitted through an online process with Common Grant Application. We strongly encourage you to review the tutorial video which contains important information on how to register/login and submit an application.  To view the video: click here.

  • First-time users of Common Grant Application,click here to register for an account.
  • If you have already applied for a grant using Common Grant Application, you should have an account.  Returning usersclick here.


Please contact Natalia Gabrielsen, Program Manager, at ngabrielsen@cfsaz.org or call 520-289-8003

AALF Past Grant Recipients

2021-2022 Recipients

African American Museum of Southern Arizona: A Learning Journey

Barbea Williams Performing Company: Kuumba in AfriKan Arts

Books for Classrooms

Diversity in Dentistry Mentorships: Diversity in Dentistry Youth Summit

Sickle Cell Foundation of Southern Arizona: Rooting Out Health Disparities: A Critical African American Sickle Cell Disease Intervention

Tucson Educational Empowerment for Minorities (TEEM): Historical Black College Tours: High School and Middle School, 2022-2023

2020-2021 Recipients

Barbea Williams Performing Company: Kuumba in AfriKan Arts, S.T.E.A.M and Professional Development

Books for Classrooms: Books for Title 1 Schools With High Concentrations of African American Students

Boys & Girls Clubs of Tucson: Alpha Genta + Boys & Girls Clubs of Tucson

Educational Enrichment Foundation: Greatness Academy STEM Program

I Am You 360: Your Hair is Your Crown

LPKNC: LPKNC Positive Ways

Sustainable Tucson: Building Sustainable Communities Through Green Infrastructure

Tucson Educational Empowerment for Minorities (TEEM): Saturday Academy Summer Academic Foundation for Enrichment Program

2019-2020 Recipients

Alpha Phi Alpha Tucson + Barbea Williams Performance Company
Program: Engage, Enrich, Encourage: Alpha BWPC

Arizona’s Children Association + Dunbar Barber Academy
Program: Naturally Me

Books for Classrooms + Tucson Educational Enrichment for Minorities
Program: Books for Classrooms TUSD Pilot Project

I Am You 360 + Tucson Boys and Girls Club
Program: Removing the Band-Aid

2016-2017 Recipients

Blair Charity Group + Boys and Girls Clubs of Tucson
Program: Tucson Synergy

Goodwill of Southern ArizonaCalvary Missionary Baptist Church
Program: The African American Youth Village Initiative,

Culture of Peace AllianceOur Family Services
Program: Youth Leadership Project

Thrive Generations + Tucson Spartans Basketball
Program: CHOICES 

Southern Arizona Black College Community Support Group + Garden Youth Development Project
Program: Summer Academic Foundation for Enrichment – Saturday Academy