“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.

Our mission is to improve the quality of life of African Americans living in Southern Arizona by promoting philanthropy and strengthening the community through collaboration. Our core values are: Integrity, Empowerment, Community, Diversity and Inclusion, and Equal Opportunity.

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.

Grantmaking Priority

Education: Holistic Approaches to Supporting and Improving Educational Outcomes

Our grantmaking focuses on nonprofit organizations serving the African American community here in Southern Arizona. We invite applications from organizations with holistic and innovative approaches to support and improve educational outcomes within the African American community.

AALF understands the definition of education is very broad. Examples include, but are not limited to, projects that focus on:

  • Early childhood education,
  • Retention strategies to keep students in school,
  • Enrichment and other non-traditional opportunities,
  • Leadership and personal development,
  • acquisition of specific skills,
  • Preparation for higher education

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

Important Dates

  • January 4, 2021 – Application open
  • Friday, January 8, 2021 – Grant Information Session, 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. (Zoom Registration)
  • Tuesday, January 12, 2021 – Grant Information Session, 3:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m. (Zoom Registration Link)
  • Friday, February 12, 2021 (5:00 p.m.) – Application closes
  • March 22, 2020 – April 9, 2021 – Site visits or interviews
  • Week of June 8, 2021 – Notification emails go out
  • July 1, 2021- June 30, 2022 – Grant period
  • Summer 2021 – Awards event, details TBD

Application Guidelines & Preparation

Applications are now closed.
Requirements Specific to the African American Legacy Fund
  • A minimum of one Board Member on the organization’s board must identify as African American. PLEASE NOTE: If there is only one board member that identifies as African American that board member can NOT be a member of the AALF Advisory Board.
  • The proposed program must directly benefit the African Americans living in Southern Arizona. The majority of program participants must identify as Black or African American.
Basic Eligibility Requirements
  • 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 Kelly Huber at khuber@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.
  • Maximum grant request is $10,000. Requests made for more than this amount will not be considered.
  • 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.
  • The grant period is one year in duration. An agency cannot apply for funding until all reports required for previous awards have been received.
  • 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.
Required Documents
  • Annual Operating Budget (current fiscal year)
  • Organization Diversity Statement or Policy (one page maximum or text with link to organization’s website)
  • Agency Staff Roster
  • Agency Board Roster
  • Agency Diversity Matrix

To Apply

All applications must be submitted through Common Grant Application.

  • First-time users of Common Grant Application, please click here.
  • Returning users, please click here.

Please see the video below for more details on the application process.


Email Kelly Huber or call 520-209-2858.

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