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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.”
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.
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.
Broadband internet access remains out of reach for many. But during the last 16 months, the Humboldt Area Foundation and the Wild Rivers Community Foundation, have been supporting tech access throughout the region with more than $623,000 in technology grants from the foundations’ COVID-19 Regional Response Fund.
Getting more folks connected to the internet is critical. Why? Access to the internet means access to work, access to school, health resources, and so many other things. It’s so deeply integrated into our society that those without access are at an immediate sociological disadvantage. In fact, in 2016, the United Nations added the freedom to express oneself on the internet to its Universal Declaration of Human Rights to include human right,
Earlier this month, the Pew Research Center shared its findings from the 2021 Mobile Technology and Home Broadband report. While the report finds that the majority of Americans are connected to high-speed internet, still 38 percent of rural households remain without reliable broadband internet. Thousands of those folks are living in Curry, Del Norte, Humboldt, and Trinity counties without advanced internet connections as the on-going COVID-19 pandemic transforms school and work life for many. HAF and WRCF are committed to closing the technology gap among families in need of tech access.
Within a week of California and Oregon’s 2020 statewide shelter-in-place orders, HAF and WRCF created the COVID-19 Regional Response Fund, which grew to $3,397,339 thanks to generous contributions from our donors and funders.
The response money also included a special COVID technology fund, designed to support the community as work and school shifted online. Since its inception, HAF and WRCF have partnered with local school districts, Tribal governments, nonprofits, and individuals, with more than 63 technology grants distributed as of this writing.
Two things became clear as the foundations distributed the funds. First, in rural areas, people can be hard to connect to for many reasons, whether that’s due to technology access, remoteness, or personal choice. Second, communities of color suffer the most and local health officials have collected ample evidence that Native American and Latinx communities were particularly hard hit with a disproportionate number of positive COVID-19 cases. It seems communities most impacted by COVID-19 are often the same people who lack access to suitable internet technology.
Here are some recent highlight grants that HAF and WRCF have made to boost tech access and ensure our community members could make the transition to online working and learning:
● A recent $12,500 grant to the Wiyot Tribe will help residents connect to SpaceX’s satellite-based Starlink internet service. This satellite-based internet service will connect Wiyot community members who are otherwise unreachable by other Internet providers.
● The foundation supported the Hoopa Valley’s Tribal TANF with $5,000 for iPads and internet connectivity so expectant parents could continue to take Motherhood is Sacred/Fatherhood is Sacred parenting classes when quarantine restrictions meant meeting in person wasn’t an option.
● Over the last 15 months, more than 250 Chromebooks, iPads and other computers have been given to individuals and nonprofits.
As part of the foundation's 10 year strategic vision, HAF and WRCF are committed to addressing the issues around broadband internet access, and technology grants are just one way to achieve that goal. The Foundations’ strategic plan envisions “a thriving, just, healthy and equitable region,” which is supported by four goal areas:
● Racial Equity
● Healthy Ecosystems
● Thriving Youth and Families
● A Just Economy and Economic Development
When youth and families thrive, we all thrive. That’s why supporting ‘thriving youth and families’ is one of HAF+WRCF’s goal areas. In the early days of the pandemic, HAF and WRCF granted more than $23,000 to the Humboldt County Office of Education, the Trinity Alps Unified School District, and the Fortuna Union School District to provide dozens of hotspots and tech supplies to families throughout the foundation’s service region.
For too long, our neighbors in the underserved remote communities in Del Norte, Trinity, Humboldt, and Curry counties have been excluded from the current technology revolution because they can’t rely on a cellular phone, let alone a broadband internet connection. These disparities are even more drastic when it comes to access for Native communities. HAF and WRCF also consider addressing issues around racial equity as a top goal, and recent grants are ensuring underserved communities can close technology gaps.
Organizations like Central De Pueblo and the Seventh Generation Fund work closely with our BIPOC community members, but like many nonprofits, these groups saw many challenges as they grappled with COVID. HAF and WRCF helped these groups meet basic technology needs with a $9,000 grant for tech and office supplies to support this online transition. Other groups that serve historically marginalized populations have received funding for telehealth technology, remote work stations, and much more (Read more about the transitions and challenges these nonprofits faced during the pandemic in our State of the Sector Report).
Of course, the technology gap won’t close with the end of the pandemic. HAF and WRCF remain committed to addressing these technology and connectivity needs through innovative partnerships with our local community members, especially when closing the technology gap can help create “a thriving, just, healthy and equitable region.”
Bayside, Calif.—The Humboldt Area Foundation and the Wild Rivers Community Foundation are accepting applications for the inaugural Aawok Georgiana Trull Memorial Scholarship Award, with applications due by Oct. 29, 2021.
Administered by the Foundation’s Native Cultures Fund, Scholarships of $2,500 are available for California native students who are engaged in Indigenous language revitalization. Students from all academic backgrounds are encouraged to apply, including undergraduate and graduate students and those enrolled in trade school. Applicants must express a commitment to Indigenous languages to be considered for support.
The Aawok Georgiana Trull Memorial Scholarship Fund was established by her descendants to honor the work and life of Aawok Georgiana Trull. Aawok Georgiana’s family describes her as a multi-faceted being who was a single mother and welder, among many other things, but deeply committed to the language, culture and survival of the Yurok people. “Aawok Georgiana spent more than 40 years of her life dedicated to revitalization of the Yurok language, contributing to an alphabet and publishing a conversation dictionary. She mentored dozens of students and worked closely with linguists to ensure that the Yurok language was preserved,” says Virginia Hedrick, a descendant of Aawok Georgiana. In 2003, Aawok Georgiana published the "Yurok Language Conversation Book," available at the University of California Berkeley Archives, which contains over 30 sections ranging from daily routines to family and relations.
The Aawok Georgiana Trull Memorial Scholarship application can be found on the Native Culture Fund website. Video submissions are encouraged; however all applications will be considered. Applicants in need of assistance can contact the NCF team at email@example.com or (707) 267-9906.
The Aawok Georgiana Trull Memorial Scholarship Fund also welcomes support. To learn more about supporting the fund, please visit the Humboldt Area Foundation funds page. Contributions to the fund support California Native people actively engaged in Indigenous language revitalization.
The Native Cultures Fund serves the area from the Tolowa Dee-ni' Nation in the north, to the Paiute Nations to the east and down to Chumash territory in the south. Founded by California Indian leaders and Native led, the Native Cultures Fund has practiced community grantmaking and program development at Humboldt Area Foundation since 2002. The Native Cultures Fund has made over $2.3 million in grants to 315 community-based projects in more than 100 California Native communities. Learn more at https://www.hafoundation.org/Native-Cultures-Fund.
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.
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.
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Humboldt Area Foundation promotes and encourages generosity, leadership, and inclusion to strengthen our communities.