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Donors and nonprofits who are interested in seeing their charitable money work for social good have a new way to invest. Humboldt Area Foundation is now offering a Socially Responsible Investment Fund (SRI) which focuses on investments that address climate change, sustainability and other social issues.
“HAF has been evaluating the possibility of a Socially Responsible Fund for over a decade,” said Humboldt Area Foundation Executive Director Patrick Cleary.
Cleary explained that socially responsible investing has historically generated lower returns than traditional investments, creating a “conundrum” for donors who would then have less money to offer in grants and scholarships. That, combined with a lack of consensus on what “socially responsible” meant, gave HAF’S staff and Investment Committee much to research before deciding on the best strategy.
“The approach we settled on after much research was to focus the fund on investments which address environmental and climate change issues, which resonated with our donors,” said Cleary. “In addition, we were able to construct a portfolio that appears to be competitive on return with our long-term pool, so hopefully donors will not have to accept lower returns. The reaction from our fund holders has been positive enough for us to reach a large enough threshold to launch the fund.”
The investment option is broadly consistent with the investment policy established by HAF for its long term investment pool, but invests with fund managers whose security selection and portfolio construction processes focus on companies with high sustainability ratings, positive economic development, attention to renewable resources and good governance. Holdings in the pool will be regularly reviewed to assure they are meeting sustainable investment practices.
“At HAF we incorporate the tenets of our Mission statement in all we do,” said Finance Committee Chair Charlie Jordan. “Our investment strategy is yet another way that is true. By investing in socially responsible funds we seek funds that provide both financial returns and social and environmental good to bring about a positive change.”
Because this is a new offering, there is no historical track record on investment performance, but simulations show that the proposed fund mix for the SRI would have performed slightly better than HAF’s long term pool over the last three years and matched HAF over the trailing five years, with somewhat higher volatility. The underlying investment costs of the funds are very comparable to the fees on HAF’s Long Term Investment portfolio.
“Some of our donors would like to direct their donations into an investment vehicle that more aligns with their values,” said Investment Committee Chair John McBeth. “HAF is lucky to have Angeles Investment advisors on our team, and with their help we have developed a Socially Responsible Investment Portfolio to address this complex issue.”
Investing in the Socially Responsible Fund is at the option of the donor or nonprofit. Individuals interested in learning more should contact Patrick Cleary at (707) 267-9902
About Humboldt Area Foundation:
Vera Vietor established the Humboldt Area Foundation in 1972. Since then, more than $80 million in grants and scholarships have been awarded in Humboldt, Del Norte, Curry and Trinity Counties. Humboldt Area Foundation promotes and encourages generosity, leadership and inclusion to strengthen our communities.
For more information on services provided by the Foundation please visit the Humboldt Area Foundation website at hafoundation.org or call (707) 442-2993.
Humboldt Botanical Garden, a nonprofit organization, has established a new fund at Humboldt Area Foundation. The Humboldt Botanical Garden Foundation Fund is another way for people and businesses to contribute through HAF in supporting this local outdoor jewel, with its variety of local plant species, as well as educational and family programs.
The Garden began with a small group of volunteers in 1991, who built and manage the 44.5 acre site south of Eureka, near Humboldt Bay and adjacent to the College of the Redwoods. It currently features 10 different gardens, a Butterfly House and an earth sculpture designed and constructed by Eureka artist Peter Santino that features two non-intersecting quarter mile meditative walking circles.
The Garden is supported by more than 1,100 individual, family and business members, over 100 active volunteers, three paid staff and curators and a ten-member volunteer board of directors.
“Our board felt a fund invested with a trusted local partner like Humboldt Area Foundation would help us attract annual and planned gifts as we look to the future,” said Board President Evelyn Giddings.
The nonprofit started its fund with $10,000 that it will work to grow through contributions. The fund will be invested for long-term growth. HAF will administer the fund and manage all donor and IRS reporting. HAF staff is also available to advise and help the volunteer-led organization with estate and planned gifts.
Tax-deductible contributions to the fund can be made online at www.hafoundation.org/HBGF or by calling (707) 442-2993. Learn more about Humboldt Botanical Garden at https://www.hbgf.org/.
BAYSIDE, CA (APRIL 3, 2020) – The first grants from the COVID-19 Regional Response Fund, totaling $195,920, are going to eighteen organizations in Humboldt, Trinity, Del Norte and Curry counties to help our communities deal with the effects of the coronavirus.
The COVID-19 Fund was launched on March 20, by Humboldt Area Foundation and its affiliate the Wild Rivers Community Foundation in Del Norte County. With additional support from The California Endowment and The California Wellness Foundation, the fund started with $150,000. During the first two weeks, over 55 individual contributions and donor pledges have grown the fund to more than $285,000.
“Every one of our board members has given to the fund,” said CEO Bryna Lipper. “We live in a generous community and think $1 million is within our reach. It will help thousands of people,” Lipper said.
To encourage giving to the fund, HAF is taking no administrative fees, with 100% of every gift going to grants.
HAF’s areas of focus in awarding grants from the fund includes seniors, people with compromised immune systems, homeless, first-responders and Native communities.
In making the grants, HAF is using a streamlined review process that does not burden area nonprofits during this difficult time with a lengthy application process.
Sara Dronkers, Director of Grantmaking and Nonprofit Resources said, “Our team is reaching out daily to area nonprofits, public agencies, businesses, civic leaders and Native communities from Garberville to Weaverville to Hoopa, Crescent City and Brookings, Oregon to help us target our grants to charitable organizations on the front lines of service.”
Grants from the COVID-19 Fund are just one tool HAF is utilizing to meet the current crisis. Other resources being mobilized include loans to nonprofits, grants from other funds, fundraising from partner foundations and community leadership activities to bring partners together for action.
The first grants made from the fund (as of April 2) are:
· United Indian Health Services, $18,200, to get food and meals to 1,300 elders in local Native communities during the coronavirus and during a gap in federal funding.
· The Wiyot Tribe, $1,000, for extra hygiene, cleaning and pet supplies for elders.
· The Yurok Tribe, $20,000, to provide additional hygiene packages, food delivery and firewood to tribal members, including 900 elders and 500 at-risk youth.
· 211 Humboldt, $2,000, to the Mother Women Rising Support Group for extra help for clients as a result of the coronavirus.
· Affordable Homeless Housing Alternatives, $5,000, for additional general operating support for homeless services resulting from the coronavirus with matching support from the Headwaters Fund.
· Arcata House Partnership, $4,000, for facility improvements to maintain health, safety and physical distancing during the coronavirus.
· Cooperation Humboldt, $5,000, for their COVID-19 Response Coalition and $2,000 for the Humboldt Parent Hive Childcare Co-op.
· Del Norte Mission Possible, $10,000, for increased program and management support needed to address the coronavirus.
· Eureka Rescue Mission, $10,000, to help meet an increased demand for services resulting from the coronavirus.
· Family Resource Center of the Redwoods, $10,000, for its food pantry facing increased demands during the coronavirus.
· Food for People, $18,000, to respond to increased COVID-19 related demands on the organization.
· Gold Beach Senior Center, $10,000, to help with increased food distribution needs in Gold Beach and Port Orford, Oregon due to the coronavirus.
· Healy Senior Center, Redway, $15,000, to maintain and expand program operations and staffing for senior services during the coronavirus.
· Humboldt Bay Firefighters Local 652, $15,300, to purchase reusable medical Personal Protection Equipment jackets for first responders needed to protect them and the public during the coronavirus.
· Humboldt Family Services Center, $6,000, for virtual counseling for struggling families sheltering in place during the coronavirus.
· Southern Humboldt Housing Opportunities, $12,420, for two weeks of motel rooms for homeless people made vulnerable during the coronavirus and additional meals for other homeless individuals.
· Transitional Residential Treatment Facilities, $20,000, to support the shelter in place operations for 25 mentally ill individuals.
· Trinity Community Food Outreach, $10,000, for an additional food storage unit for the county’s food bank in Weaverville, along with funds for seven pantries to purchase perishables not available through government programs.
Contributions, small or large, can be made to the COVID-19 Regional Response Fund online at hafoundation.org/Giving/COVID19 or by mailing checks to HAF at 363 Indianola Rd, Bayside, CA 95524. For more info call (707) 442-2993.
Humboldt Area Foundation board chair Kathryn Lobato announced today that the board has chosen Bryna Lipper as its new chief executive officer. The decision came after a six month hiring process which saw more than 90 candidates apply from across the country. Lipper was one of six candidates invited to visit and interview with staff in Bayside and at the Wild Rivers Community Foundation in Crescent City.
“Lipper was the candidate most qualified to take Humboldt Area Foundation to the next level,” said Lobato. “Her presentation to the board included very deep and strategic thinking about the Foundation and how we work. Her energy, enthusiasm and experience in managing complexity will be great assets to the Foundation.”
Lipper holds a master’s degree in Public Administration from the Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government. Her previous experience in philanthropy includes co-founding the Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities initiative and serving as the initiative’s senior vice president from 2013 to 2018. Prior to that Lipper served as acting director for the Office for International and Philanthropic Innovation at the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. Lipper has stated that she is looking for her “forever home” where she can make a long-term commitment and positive impact.
Humboldt Area Foundation’s board of directors worked closely with staff, community members and local consultants throughout the hiring process, eventually reaching a unanimous decision to hire Lipper. Lipper will be moving from the Boston area to Arcata next month and start at the Foundation August 1.
Patrick Cleary, who served as Executive Director of the Foundation for the past six and a half years, will stay on part-time as Director of Community Prosperity and Investments. This new role will involve overseeing investment portfolios and advising and managing complex gifts.
Image: Headshot of Bryna Lipper.
The Humboldt Area Foundation and Wild Rivers Community Foundation have announced a new strategic vision to guide the organization through the next ten years and beyond.
Download the new Strategic Vision 2021-2031 (PDF)
Download the Strategic Vision FAQ (PDF)
The new vision imagines the four-county region of Curry, Del Norte, Trinity, and Humboldt counties as a "Thriving, Just, and Equitable Region" supported by four goals, which include:
· Racial Equity
· Thriving Youth and Families
· Healthy Ecosystems and Environment
· A Just Economy and Economic Development
Together, these four goals will inform the programmatic and strategic work of the organization. As the Foundation embarks on this strategic direction, both HAF and WRCF have been reorganized to enable this vision. The Foundation now comprises four main teams, each with a specific mission and portfolio of work. The teams include:
· Strategy, Program & Community Solutions Team
· Advancement & Philanthropic Innovation Team
· Executive, Culture & Public Policy Team
· Finance & Administration Team
The new organizational structure will empower staff to utilize their many skills in direct service across Trinity, Humboldt, and Del Norte counties in California and Curry County in Oregon.
Founded in 1972, the Humboldt Area Foundation is nearing its 50th anniversary. During that time, the Foundation has been recognized at the state and national level for innovative work to support our region. From incubating grassroots organizations to leadership development and training programs to local loan and impact investment portfolios, the Humboldt Area Foundation and its regional affiliate, the Wild Rivers Community Foundation, has long-supported capacity building, social and financial infrastructure, and philanthropic advice essential to the wellbeing and progress of our region.
The Wild Rivers Community Foundation was established in 2004 as a regional affiliate of the Humboldt Area Foundation, serving all of Del Norte and Curry counties.
On Thursday, Nov. 29 2018 members of Humboldt Area Foundation’s Social Justice Donor Circle met and unanimously agreed to make four grants of $40,000 each to: Applied Human Centered Design 2019 Boot Camp & Clinics, McKinleyville Alliance for Racial Equity Leadership Initiative Program, Cooperation Humboldt, and California Kitchen Inherent Food Sovereignty Project. This final decision was met with applause.
“We at Cooperation Humboldt are absolutely thrilled with the generous gift from HAF's Donor Circle. It has already allowed us — just over one month in — to obtain our first physical space, and to establish regular hours,” said Cooperation Humboldt co-founder Tamara McFarland.
The group plans to spend the next year planting fruit trees, installing food gardens, launching a tool library and hosting more events and skill shares.
“The seed money we received from the Donor Circle has truly empowered us to spread our wings in 2019 and we could not be more excited about all the exciting projects we have in store,” added McFarland.
The Social Justice Donor Circle began in the spring of 2017 at the initiative of a donor at the Humboldt Area Foundation. The donor wanted to pull together locals who would commit to building a donor community and pool funds for collective grant making in the region. The Circle, supported by HAF, consists of 17 anonymous donors who have met and learned about social justice philanthropy. Members have expressed optimism about their grantee’s projects and said they are looking forward to the next round of grant making in 2019, as well as learning “the needs in our community and the ways that [they] as donors can positively effect change."
The McKinleyville Alliance for Racial Equity Leadership Initiative will use its grant to develop a leadership cohort to promote racial equity in McKinleyville’s schools and community. California Kitchen Inherent Food Sovereignty will sponsor weekly community meals in Hoopa to build community, revive traditional food uses, and work together on community issues. Applied Human Centered Design, facilitated by HAF Community Strategies Director Jen Rice, will use processes that have proven successful in Del Norte in promoting social health to foster new levels of collaboration amongst child and family agencies in Humboldt.
The program supports a broad spectrum of wellness efforts, from culture and family support to food and housing security, mental health, and more.
“These grants are especially meaningful during a pandemic, where community members more vividly experience challenges and barriers to health,” says Amy Jester, Program Director for Health & Nonprofit Resources for the Humboldt Area Foundation, which oversees the operations of the Humboldt Health Foundation.
The Humboldt Health Foundation seeks to fund projects that help reduce or eliminate structural barriers to wellness. This year, the majority of funding will be designated to programs that support the health and wellbeing of Black, Brown, Indigenous, and other People of Color. “We recognize that BIPOC individuals are disproportionately affected by the pandemic and that racism is a critical public health issue impacting our region,” says Jester.
"The grant program is there to support organizations and groups that are creating opportunities for people to live healthier lives. There are so many awesome ways communities are supporting wellbeing. We're interested in partnering with organizations to make that happen" says Amy Jester, Program Director of the Humboldt Health Foundation.
In March, the Humboldt Area Foundation announced its new 10-year strategic vision, which explores how a community foundation can help grow a thriving, just, healthy, and equitable region. The Foundation has also laid out four goals to support that vision, with resources and programs being developed to address these areas over a 10-year period. The goals are racial equity; healthy ecosystems; thriving youth and families; and a just economy and economic development.
Community health grants from the Humboldt Health Foundation represent a 24-year legacy of supporting our community through investment and grantmaking and underscore the Foundation’s commitment to our region’s health and wellbeing.
To learn more about the criteria and download an application, please visit the HHF website at humhealth.org.
Humboldt Health Foundation was founded in 1997 and is an affiliate of the Humboldt Area Foundation. Since its founding, Humboldt Health Foundation has distributed nearly $4.7 million in grants. Over the past year, the Foundation has given grants for program and general operating support for organizations like HC Black Music and Arts Association, English Express, COVID-19 direct relief for Spanish-speaking and undocumented individuals from the McKinleyville Family Resource Center, as well as the Native Women’s Collective.
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Humboldt Area Foundation promotes and encourages generosity, leadership, and inclusion to strengthen our communities.