By Steve Barton, Vice President of Strategic Initiatives, Northern California Grantmakers
For funders interested in making their dollars work harder, Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs has a simple proposition: Look inland. In California cities, like Stockton, Fresno, and across the Central Valley and Inland Empire, down to Imperial County, individuals and organizations face greater difficulty attracting philanthropic dollars than more funder-dense regions like the Bay Area and Los Angeles. We need look no further than Solano County to see the beginning of great disparities. Data from Applied Survey Research in 2016 reveals a person with a bright idea for doing good in their community attracts just $3 per capita in foundation funding while per capita foundation funding for other Bay Area Counties ranged from $22 to over $1000 per person.
Last summer, in partnership with Philanthropy California, Mayor Tubbs hosted two busloads of funders for a front-row tour of his city’s forward-looking economic, anti-violence and educational efforts. This week, Philanthropy California has again teamed up with the mayor, along with the governor’s senior advisor on social innovation, Kathleen Kelly Janus, to open up opportunities for investment in Inland California as part of Governor Newsom’s new Inland California Rising initiative.
Our Philanthropy California alliance is excited to partner with the Governor’s Office to advance shared goals – welcoming investors of all stripes to tap the talent and vision coming from the inland centers of the state. Philanthropy California recently launched Better California, a statewide philanthropic effort to build a thriving, just, and inclusive California. Better California and the Inland California Rising initiative are grounded in a commitment to co-create a California in which our families, communities, markets, public and private institutions, and political frameworks work in concert to advance the common good.
Janus and Tubbs have just issued a bold vision in a jointly authored article in The Mercury News titled, A call to philanthropy to help all Californians rise.
Ideas and commitments from this month’s meeting in Stockton are building toward a major summit in November for the Governor’s Inland California Rising initiative. Sign up here to stay up to date and to hear about opportunities for involvement.
Opinion: A call to philanthropy to help all Californians rise
State economy may be thriving, but not all Californians are sharing in that prosperity
By Michael D. Tubbs and Kathleen Kelly Janus | Published: September 19, 2019 | The Mercury News
California’s economy is thriving, but not all Californians are sharing in that prosperity. Inland California, which stretches from Sacramento to Stockton through Fresno, Bakersfield, and the Inland Empire, contributes 17 percent of California’s economic output – but faces more than its fair share of poverty, unemployment and opportunity gaps.
Philanthropic giving mirrors those trends. California’s Bay Area has 20% of the state’s population and receives 53% of its philanthropic dollars, while the San Joaquin Valley is home to 11% of the state’s population and receives just 3% of its nonprofit dollars. Similarly, the Inland Empire accounts for 11% of California’s population but receives just 1% of the state’s nonprofit dollars.