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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 Area Foundation Partners with Board of Supervisors and Human Rights Commission to Fight Human Trafficking
The Humboldt Area Foundation, in partnership with the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors and the Humboldt County Human Rights Commission, has created the Humboldt County Human Rights Human Trafficking Fund. This fund will disperse $20,000 to support projects in Humboldt County focused on one or more of the following:
· Awareness of human trafficking.
· Education on the definition, identification, defense against and reporting of human trafficking.
· Outreach on the definition, identification, defense against and reporting of human trafficking.
· Education geared toward businesses, especially the legitimate cannabis industry, on the definitions of human trafficking and proper employment standards.
· Facilitation for communication between all agencies, organizations, and advocates impacted by human trafficking.
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra defines human trafficking as “modern day slavery,” a crime that “involves compelling or coercing a person to provide labor or services, or to engage in commercial sex acts. The coercion can be subtle or overt, physical or psychological, and may involve the use of violence, threats, lies, or debt bondage.” Contrary to common understanding, human trafficking “does not require travel or transportation of the victim across local, state or international borders.” Any exploitation of a minor for commercial sex is human trafficking.
In Humboldt County, members of the Human Rights Commission see a “communication gap” between victims and law enforcement. That gap has been perpetuated by black market industries which have left many issues unreported and created a “clandestine culture of abuse.” The HCHRC emphasizes the importance of education and outreach to the new legitimate cannabis community in ensuring a safer and healthier community.
On Aug. 24 the Humboldt County Human Rights Commission hosted a stakeholders meeting at Humboldt Area Foundation to help identify where the funds were needed most. Attendees included the HCHRC’s human trafficking ad hoc committee, representatives from the Arcata Police Department, the Eureka Police Department, the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office, the Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office, health and rape crisis advocacy groups and survivors of human trafficking.
The Humboldt Area Foundation will begin accepting applications for funding for various projects that relate to the goal of greater awareness, education and better understanding of the issue locally. The application process is due to start October 1 with the first round of recommendations going to the Board of Supervisors by December 1.
Any groups or individuals who believe they could aid the County in this effort are encouraged to contact the Humboldt Area Foundation. Additional funds to build on the County Human Trafficking Fund are also welcome. For further information, please call 707-442-2993. You may also email: CraigW@hafoundation.org
Vera Vietor established the Humboldt Area Foundation in 1972. Since then, more than $70 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.
Native Cultures Fund is dedicated to supporting California’s original peoples, their art and revitalization of culture. Preference will be given for grants involving (1) new art created by Native artists, (2) cultural mentorship between generations, and/or (3) creation of a cultural model that can be shared. Everything from traditional art and culture to contemporary art projects or programs are eligible. Individuals or community partnerships may apply.
Examples of eligible art:
o Contemporary visual arts
o Multi-media productions
o Storytelling workshops
o Radio or video productions
o Theater productions
o Sacred sites rehabilitation or construction
A partnership may consist of members of one cultural group or it may involve an inter-tribal, inter-cultural or urban-rural collaboration. The project must occur within the service area. Partnerships should be based on reciprocal relationships, consensus building and cultural models of ownership. Oral histories and language materials cannot be owned by the professional artists in community partnerships.
To apply and learn more about the Fund’s eligibility requirements please visit hafoundation.org/nativeculturesfund or call Humboldt Area Foundation, (707) 442-2993.
About Native Cultures Fund:
Initiated and led by Native Peoples, Native Cultures Fund supports Native arts, cultural revitalization and cultural transmission between generations. Grants and regional gatherings focus on methods of building greater cultural participation in communities and learning from elders who create the cultural context for our work. Since 2000, the Native Cultures Fund has made over one million dollars in grants to over 280 community projects in rural Native communities of northern and central California.
“Meeting the National Standards benchmarks is a rigorous, comprehensive process,” said Randy Royster, Chair of the Community Foundations National Standards Board. “This accreditation is a significant accomplishment that indicates Humboldt Area Foundation demonstrates a commitment to transparency, quality, integrity and accountability as it carries out its mission.”
Founded in 1972 by Vera Vietor, Humboldt Area Foundation has over 700 funds established by donors to advance the causes most important to them. National Standards also apply to Humboldt Area Foundation’s two geographic affiliates, Wild Rivers Community Foundation (serving Del Norte and Curry Counties) and the Trinity Trust. In addition to providing grants to individuals and nonprofits, HAF provides support to the Northern California Association of Nonprofits and offers a variety of support services including a nonprofit resource center and meeting rooms. . In addition to affirming the organization’s philanthropic services, the accreditation validates Humboldt Area Foundation’s grantmaking practices for
the nonprofit community.
National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations® is the first program of its kind for charitable
foundations in the United States. Humboldt Area Foundation promotes and encourages generosity, leadership and inclusion to strengthen our communities.
The Community Foundations National Standards Board is a supporting organization of the Council on Foundations
and is responsible for the quality, value and integrity of compliance with National Standards. For more information on
the National Standards Board, visit its website at www.cfstandards.org.
Local funder Union Labor Health Foundation recently announced their new name: Humboldt Health Foundation. Founded in 1997 as the Union Labor Health Foundation, and endowed by the proceeds from the sale of the old General Hospital, the Foundation exemplifies the tradition of local residents engaged in helping each other. The original Union Labor Hospital was created by timber and mill worker unions in 1908 to address unmet health needs. The hospital served all members of the community regardless of ability to pay and ultimately became the General Hospital of Eureka.
The Humboldt Health Foundation is continuing the tradition of commitment to creating healthier Humboldt communities through grants to community based organizations, funding partnerships, nursing scholarships and assistance to individuals for health and dental care. The Humboldt Health Foundation fills a unique role in Humboldt County, by providing the Angel Fund and Children’s Dental Angel Fund, the only local sources of direct assistance through small grants to people of all ages who are referred by sponsoring health professionals, known as ‘angels’. Over the past 20 years the Foundation has distributed nearly $4 million dollars to address a wide variety of local health issues. The board and staff are committed to supporting health and wellness efforts in underserved communities, including Native American communities and outlying areas of the county.
“We’re excited to move forward as Humboldt Health Foundation as we continue to strengthen access to wellness for communities across the county,” said HHF Board Chair Christina Huff.
For more information on services provided by the Foundation, please visit the Humboldt Health Foundation website at humhealth.org or call (707) 442-2417.
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.
[article by Kym Kemp, Redheaded Blackbelt]
In response to the devastating Helena Fire that hit the community of Junction City last fall, Senator Mike McGuire, The Humboldt Area Foundation, the County of Trinity, the Trinity Journal, Trinity County Supervisor Judy Morris and Humboldt County Supervisor Rex Bohn came together to establish the Trinity County Fire Relief Fund.
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Humboldt Area Foundation promotes and encourages generosity, leadership, and inclusion to strengthen our communities.