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Foundation pilot project to support local media and lift community voices . . .
BAYSIDE, CA (July 9, 2020) – Humboldt Area Foundation and its affiliate, the Wild Rivers Community Foundation, have invested $35,000 for a pilot project to support local journalism in generating truthful, courageous and equitable stories covering vulnerable and traditionally under-represented communities affected by the coronavirus in Humboldt, Trinity, Del Norte and Curry counties. The project will also work to lift community voices and increase access to relevant and useful information people can use. The project involves both nonprofit and for-profit media partners, with the North Coast Journal and Access Humboldt as the initiating lead partners.
CEO Bryna Lipper said: “We at the Humboldt Area and Wild Rivers Community Foundation recognize the vital role of our local media and independent journalism. They are uniquely positioned to understand our region, and its context, history and people. We are proud to support the North Coast Journal and Access Humboldt, and honor their shared commitment to lifting up voices that may not otherwise be heard.
Under the Community Voices Coalition banner, the North Coast Journal will soon publish its first weekly story. The Journal will harness the talent of existing staff and their network of journalists in developing and creating pieces for print. Their investigations, publications, and social media will be conducted with full editorial independence and under their rigorous editorial control.
The Journal will also create an open-source social media channel, where stories can be picked up for distribution, and repurposed by other regional or national media outlets, a successful model similar to CalMatters to provide high-quality non-partisan stories explaining the work of California government.
This pilot project also includes an ambitious collaboration with Access Humboldt. Working with Internews and other regional partners, Access Humboldt will promote community voices to strengthen local media reporting and citizen journalism. Continuing to build on its history of amplifying local perspectives and talent, Access Humboldt will provide media training and manage local cable television and radio channels as a part of the project.
Access Humboldt Executive Director Sean Taketa McLaughlin said: "This pilot project is a both a timely pandemic response and a natural extension of our ongoing efforts to build a sustainable information ecosystem in our region. When local media empower residents to effectively participate in civic life directly addressing local needs and interests, diverse voices tell important stories, information is equally accessible, and the quality of life in our communities improves."
Through Access Humboldt, the Community Voices Coalition will leverage the expertise of Internews, an international nonprofit organization that promotes citizen journalism locally and around the world. With roots in the region, Internews was eager to reinvest in the community and bring its global expertise back to the place where it first empowered local voices.
Access Humboldt and Internews will begin by creating a local advisory/editorial group to guide its project work and facilitate community listening and storytelling. Other communications and media partners, as well as citizen journalists, will be invited to participate. The project budget includes a fund to recruit and compensate story writers recruited for the project, as well as story translation services to better reach non-English speaking groups.
Luis Chabolla, Interim Director of Communications at the Foundation said: “We’re starting by building on the strengths of our partners and working together to stretch the reach and depth of the project. While launched as a three-month pilot, we hope the results will commit us and others to keep the project going.”
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 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.
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.
· 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.
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.
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/.
Humboldt Area Foundation Mobilizes $2 million in Local Loans to Assist Nonprofit Organizations and Businesses
BAYSIDE, CA (APRIL 28, 2020) – In response to the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic, Humboldt Area Foundation is deploying $2 million in loans to stabilize local nonprofits, businesses, sole proprietors and other organizations.
The loan program expands the commitment of HAF and its affiliate, Wild Rivers Community Foundation, to respond to the current crisis through all available resources. Since March 20, nearly a half-million dollars has been granted to the region through the COVID-19 Regional Response Fund for immediate response and long term recovery in Humboldt, Del Norte, Trinity and Curry counties.
Through this additional resource, the loans provide flexibility, low interest, and debt bridges to our local organizations in this volatile time. HAF has already funded over $680,000 in loans. It is partnering with key regional institutions and other community lenders to ensure our community has necessary capital to operate and recover.
CEO Bryna Lipper said: “In these uncertain times, the Foundation is utilizing all its assets to assist the residents of our communities to weather difficult times, whether it be grants, loans or the expertise of our staff. While the Foundation continues make grants almost daily, using our endowment to make loans locally increases the impact we can make.”
HAF is a participant in the COVID-19 Bridge Loan Program administered by Redwood Region Economic Development Commission (“RREDC”). The Business Resilience Emergency Loan Program fund is providing emergency low interest loans to Humboldt County businesses and nonprofits up to $25,000.
HAF has also teamed up with Arcata Economic Development to fund over $180,000 in Paycheck Protection Program loans to local nonprofits, and is creating a Nonprofit Loan Fund that AEDC will administer. The loans from the Nonprofit Loan Fund will be for a maximum of $25,000 per organization, bear interest at 0% through the end of 2020, and be payable for five years at 1%.
Local businessman John McBeth, who serves on the HAF board and chairs its investment Committee, noted, “Since 2013, Humboldt Area Foundation has made a total of $5.3 million in loans to local nonprofit agencies and governments. By working with established lenders like RREDC and AEDC, HAF can utilize their expertise while getting money out to organizations who badly need it. It is a prudent use of HAF’s capital.”
More information about the COVID-19 Bridge Loans Program is available at http://rredc.com/. For information regarding the Nonprofit Loan Fund, contact Patrick Cleary, Director of Community Prosperity and Investments at HAF at email@example.com or by calling (707) 267-9902.
To read the full list of organizations who received grants so far, and ways to donate, click here.
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