Non-profit

East Bay Community Foundation

Location:

Oakland, CA

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)

President:

James Head

The East Bay Community Foundation is a community foundation based in the Oakland, California area. The foundation works with local donors, companies and governments to direct funds to local community projects, many focusing on social justice and left-leaning political causes. Among the funding options for the foundation is the ability to for donors to set up donor-advised funds (DAFs), in which the foundation holds and disperses money from the donor to other nonprofits. [1]

Since 2017, the East Bay Community Foundation has taken a sharp and “radical” turn towards direct political engagement towards opposing President Donald Trump and his polices, a political strategy unusual among community foundations which usually pool money from a wide array or donors and companies across a geographical area and focus on non-political community funding priorities. [2]

Background

The East Bay Community foundation was founded in 1928 with the purpose of serving communities in Almeda and Contra Costa Counties in California. The foundation was among the first community foundations to be established in the state of California. The foundation has operated on a wide variety of issues since its founding in the 1920s, spanning community projects on Jewish welfare, single parents, and housing in the early days of its existence. One of the earliest projects the foundation undertook was providing office supplies to local nonprofits, which earned it the nickname the “typewriter foundation”. [3]

Initiatives

In modern times, the East Bay Community Foundation has grown to enjoy an endowment of over $250 million and makes anywhere from $20 million to $77 million in grants to nonprofit organizations each year. [4]

Funding priorities are focused around community organizing and social justice and include priorities for black-led organizations, environmentalism, and left-of-center economic policies. [5]

In 2014, the foundation hired long time California activist and nonprofit leader James Head as President and CEO. Head previously served for 18 years as president of the National Economic Development and Law Center, which was followed by a ten-year stint as Vice President of programs at the San Francisco Foundation. Head cites the well-known California labor activist Cesar Chavez as an early mentor and role model upon moving to California in the 1980s and is credited with turning the focus of the foundation towards public policy and campaigns. [6]

Following the 2016 election of President Donald Trump, the foundation embraced the liberal surroundings of the Oakland area by actively engaging on far-left political issues. Since 2016, the foundation has committed to “support community organizing and social movements to build power among low-income communities and people of color”. The move towards politics has been characterized as “quite radical” for a community foundation. [7]

Donor Organizations

  • Clorox
  • Kaiser Permanente
  • JP Morgan Chase
  • Give Something Back
  • LAM Research Corporation

References

  1. “About Us”. East Bay Community Foundation. Accessed February 19, 2020.  https://www.ebcf.org/about-us/ ^
  2. Roje, Philip. “Aiming for Greater Impact, a Community Foundation Gets Behind Social Movements”, Inside Philanthropy. November 21, 2019. Accessed February 19, 2020. https://www.insidephilanthropy.com/home/2019/11/21/aiming-for-greater-impact-a-community-foundation-gets-behind-social-movements ^
  3. “San Francisco Gives: East Bay Community Foundation”. San Francisco Business Times. November 1, 2019. Accessed February 19, 2020.  https://www.bizjournals.com/sanfrancisco/news/2019/11/01/east-bay-community-foundation.html ^
  4. “IRS Form 990”. East Bay Community Foundation. Accessed February 19, 2020. ^
  5. “Community”. East Bay Community Foundation. Accessed February 19, 2020.  https://www.ebcf.org/community/ ^
  6. Hashe, Janis. “CEO James Head Brings a Revolutionary Approach to East Bay Community Foundation”. Oakland Magazine. June 10, 2019. Accessed February 19, 2020.  http://www.oaklandmagazine.com/June-2019/CEO-James-Head-Brings-a-Revolutionary-Approach-to-East-Bay-Community-Foundation/ ^
  7. Roje, Philip. “Aiming for Greater Impact, a Community Foundation Gets Behind Social Movements”, Inside Philanthropy. November 21, 2019. Accessed February 19, 2020.  https://www.insidephilanthropy.com/home/2019/11/21/aiming-for-greater-impact-a-community-foundation-gets-behind-social-movements ^
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East Bay Community Foundation


Oakland, CA