Long Beach, California 2021-09-13 11:00:43 –
The Long Beach Community Foundation is celebrating its 25th anniversary and has seen a significant increase in its philanthropic assets in recent years.
Beginning in 1996 with a mere $ 1,000 investment by founder Jim Warsham and his wife, the Foundation has grown to manage over $ 60 million in charitable assets as of last year and has been a national charity since its inception. We have donated a total of $ 25.9 million to the organization.
“I’m really proud of what we have now,” Warsham said.
Most recently, the Foundation has issued a total of $ 1.34 million in grants from the Coronavirus Relief Fund to 89 local nonprofits. The fund was used to support emergency relief such as food drives, mental health resources and rental assistance.
The fund was launched in 2020 as a general disaster relief resource with the first $ 2,500 investment from the city. It started just in time for the coronavirus pandemic, one of the greatest disasters in recent history.
With the fund already in place, the foundation can quickly receive donations, allocate funds, and carry out “panicked evacuation drills” associated with having to set up support programs during the crisis. We were able to avoid it, said Marcelle Epley, president and CEO. ..
“The first thing people want to do in an emergency or disaster is help,” Epley said. As soon as the state announced the emergency, she said she was “flooded with donations.”
Community organizations such as the Boys and Girls Club in Long Beach, which has received several rounds of funding from the Community Foundation, are tasked with addressing unprecedented needs, such as helping children navigate virtual schools. Was there.
Students receiving club services suffered from overcrowded family environments, food insecurity, and lack of access to homework assistance. Grants from the Community Foundation helped provide local students with technology, food, and tutoring.
Donald Rodriguez, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Boys and Girls Club, said: “It makes a difference in the lives of children here in Long Beach.”
One of the biggest challenges in managing the Coronavirus Relief Fund is funded according to the volume of applications received by the Foundation and the fund’s priorities focused on providing relief directly to the community. It was to secure the work.
Some applications, though intentional, were rejected because they did not meet the fund’s parameters, according to Epley. “We had to make those difficult decisions.”
Epley joined the Community Foundation’s leadership in 2014, taking over from Jim Washam, who has led the Foundation since its inception.
According to Epley, the tissue was painstaking. “It was a very powerful and well-run financial institution.” But it faced major challenges. Few people in the community knew it. “I didn’t know what the Community Foundation did, and Long Beach had it,” Epley recalls.
As a result, the new CEO has begun attending any large rally that can be done to spread the gospel of the Foundation’s charitable foundation and grant activities. When she first asked the audience if she had heard of the Community Foundation, she rarely heard.
“Over the years, I’ll see more and more hands raised,” Epley said. At the city’s 2018 event, nearly half of the participants were familiar with the organization. “It was the moment we realized we were on a really good path.”
Since then, Epley and her staff have been working to build public trust and awareness, and their wealth has more than doubled since she joined the company six years ago. Her goal is to double them again within five years, Epley said. “So far, things are going well.”