“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.

Since 2015, the African American Legacy Fund, a fund of the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona, has awarded $185,661 to 19 organizations. AALF has a vision of what Southern Arizona can be when we bring together people, money, and goodwill to make sure all of our children, youth, and families have the opportunities and resources to prosper. Applications for AALF Grants 2022 open on January 17th, 2022.

501c3 nonprofit organizations serving the African American Community in Southern Arizona are invited to submit grant requests that focus on collaborative, innovative programs designed to improve educational outcomes. While the definition of education is very broad, examples might include projects focusing on early childhood education, retention strategies to keep children in school, enrichment, leadership development, higher education preparation, and more.

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 17, 2022: Application Open
  • January 21, 2022:  AALF Grant Information Session (Virtual)
  • February 11, 2022 | 5 p.m. MST: Application Due
  • February 2022 – March 2022: Application Reviews & Virtual Site Visits
  • June 8, 2022:  Award Notifications

Please contact Jeaiza Quiñones Ivory, Program Manager, Community Investments at 520-770-0800 & jqivory@cfsaz.org for questions.

Application Guidelines & Preparation

2022 Applications open January 17, 2022

Eligibility Requirements:
  • 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. (majority of program participants must identify as Black or African American.)
  • 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 Jeaiza Quinones Ivory at jqivory@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.
  • 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.
Required Documents
  • Annual Operating Budget (current fiscal year) – Download Template
  • Organization Diversity Statement or Policy (one page maximum or text with link to organization’s website) –
  • Agency Staff Roster – Download Template
  • Agency Board Roster – Download Template

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


Please contact Jeaiza Quiñones Ivory, Program Manager, Community Investments at 520-770-0800 & jqivory@cfsaz.org for questions.

AALF Past Grant Recipients

2020-2021 Recipients

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

Books for ClassroomsBooks 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


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

2016-17 Recipients

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

Goodwill of Southern Arizona + Calvary Missionary Baptist Church
Program: The African American Youth Village Initiative,

Culture of Peace Alliance + Our 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