Charity Spotlight: OC Community Foundation Funds Local Nonprofits

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2014-ACT-Anaheim-Kids-Group-Photo-Cropped-WEBPhilanthropy is thriving in Orange County, due in part to the ongoing efforts of the Newport Beach-based Orange County Community Foundation, which works with individuals, families and corporations to create philanthropic plans that benefit the community and fulfill charitable intent.

Early this year, OCCF awarded $555,000 in ReachOut OC 2014 Grants to 42 nonprofits, a combination of OCCF funds with contributions from its donors and the public.

Another initiative, Accelerate Change Together for Anaheim (ACT Anaheim), was launched by Angels Baseball, the Anaheim Ducks and Disneyland Resort, and is awarding $1.5 million in inaugural grants ($100,000 to $200,000 each) to 10 nonprofits.

The Orange County Community Foundation (OCCF) joined as managing partner of the grant initiative, increasing the inaugural granting pool from $1 million to $1.5 million.

“This grant initiative marks the beginning of a new era of strategic, collaborative efforts to better serve the youth and families of Anaheim, with leaders from business, the community and local nonprofits jointly committed to the city’s healthy future,” said Shelley Hoss, president of the Orange County Community Foundation, in a statement at the time the grants were announced.

Those are just two examples of ways that OCCF is matching philanthropists with nonprofit organizations.

“Our passion is helping people find their passion for the community and get connected,” said Hoss. “We had this idea that individuals have the capacity to really be thoughtful and strategic about their philanthropy—there are thousands of people in OC that can help in some way who have their time and their financial resources to give, but might not be accessing the community foundation and the traditional way we work with people.”

That includes helping donors establish funds top benefit specific types of organizations.

“We’re trying to bring awareness both to the donor community that we work with but also more broadly. What are the needs and how do you find your perfect match?”

“I do a lot of work with community foundations across the state and even across the nation and I would really stack Orange County’s non-profit sector up against any non-profit community in the country for our level of sophistication and blending,” she added. “I think it reflects our community here that Orange County was really built by entrepreneurs. That flavor of independence and innovation is reflected in the nonprofit community, where we see the blending of smart business-savvy as well as philanthropic motivation.”

For more information about the Orange County Community Foundation, including how to start your own fund, visit or call (949) 553-4202.

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