The Orange County Community Foundation (OCCF), one of the nation’s largest and fastest-growing community foundations, has reached the historic milestone of over $1 billion in grants and scholarships awarded since its inception in 1989.
This Foundation’s giving has made a philanthropic impact on six continents, 32 countries, and 448 California cities, cementing the organization’s standing as one of the country’s premier community foundations.
OCCF President and CEO Shelley Hoss announced the achievement as nearly 600 philanthropists, business leaders, and nonprofit organizations gathered for OCCF’s 2023 Annual Meeting on Nov. 9. This event’s theme, “For Good For Ever,” emphasized the importance of connecting people, passion and giving to create sustainable impact in Orange County and beyond.
On its 30th anniversary in 2019, OCCF set a bold goal to double its cumulative granting—reaching the landmark achievement of $1 billion — by its 35th anniversary in November 2024. OCCF not only reached this goal 18 months early but has already surpassed it by an additional $50 million.
This achievement was fueled not only by the generosity of local donors but by the Foundation’s expert fund management, growing the $1.4 billion in contributions it has received by an additional $250 million through investment earnings for the benefit of nonprofits in Orange County and beyond.
“There’s nothing more inspiring than the passion of philanthropists, nonprofit partners, and business leaders working together to strengthen and support our community,” said Hoss. “I am thankful for every individual who contributed to this important milestone, and I know that together, we will continue to make a meaningful difference in our community for decades to come.”
OCCF is home to more than 630 charitable funds (many from Newport Beach philanthropists) and is in the top one percent in granting activity among 780 U.S. community foundations.
The more than $1 billion in grants and scholarships it has provided have supported nonprofit efforts in the areas of Human Services (26.6%), Education (23.9%), Health and Wellness (14.5%), Community Improvement and Development (12.5%), and Environment (11.5%), while Religion and Spiritual Development, Arts and Culture, and Animal Welfare accounted for 10.9% of grants.
Many of the grants and scholarships have benefitted Newport Beach-based nonprofit norganizations.
The majority of grants awarded supported the area of human services, which improve the quality of life for residents in need, including veterans, people with disabilities, and other at-risk groups. The second-highest percentage of grants supported organizations focused on education, youth empowerment and workforce development. Third-most focused on health and wellness to support prevention and early health intervention, followed by community improvement, vital environmental issues, growth and stability of the arts and cultural sector, spiritual development, and the support of animal welfare groups.
During the event, OCCF highlighted its successful Orange County Veterans Initiative. Launched in 2015, OCCF’s initial commitment of $500,000 helped meet the urgent needs of Orange County veterans. Today, the program has invested more than $6 million to strengthen local nonprofits serving the health, educational, and career needs of military veterans and their families.
Newport Beach-based Donahue Casey Realty Advisors and Goodwill of OC’s Tierney Center were highlighted in a special video presentation where Pat Donahue, co-founder of Donahue Casey Realty Advisors and Nicole Suydam, CEO of Goodwill OC shared their thoughts on the collective responsibility for Orange County’s veteran community. The county now stands as a model for serving those who have served, thanks to deeply trusted partners who’ve helped realize the dream of giving local veterans and their families the welcome home they deserve.
The program also included a celebration of the 10th Anniversary of OC Nonprofit Central, Orange County’s only searchable database of 550 local nonprofit organizations to help local donors engage in the causes they care about most, and a refresh of OCCF’s ConnectOC community report highlighting areas of greatest need in our community and ways we can all engage to make a difference.
To learn more about OCCF, visit www.oc-cf.org.
The Orange County Community Foundation, which recently moved from Newport Beach to Irvine, combines giving strategy, community intelligence, enduring relationships, and heartfelt intention to amplify the power of giving and its profound result: greater good in Orange County, and beyond. They serve as a resource for individual and family philanthropists, facilitate grant and scholarship programs, and lead community-based initiatives.