Message from Fred Ali, President & CEO
Introducing the FY 2019 and FY 2020 Program Plan
As we continue into the second year of our two-year Program Plan, the Foundation has begun to reflect on our progress to-date. In the three years since we announced our full commitment to equity, our work has significantly evolved and deepened. We prioritize our resources for organizations, collaboratives, and coalitions working in underserved communities of color that are impacted by persistent poverty. We seek to strengthen the organizational effectiveness of nonprofits that provide critical services as well as those engaged in advocacy, community organizing, and movement building.
Our strategies remain informed first and foremost by those working on the frontlines. In our most recent grantee and applicant perception surveys, nonprofit leaders reiterated that our current strategies are working and provided valuable feedback on how the Foundation can strengthen its practice. We take this feedback seriously, and key elements in this Plan are directly related to what we’re hearing from the sector.
We continue steadfast in our core strategy of providing Unrestricted Operating Support to build nonprofit capacity, knowing that communities must lead the way in advancing racial and socio-economic equity. We will also maintain our longstanding commitment to our special issues areas of homelessness and immigration, and continue implementing two new areas of focus initiated last year: youth organizing, and movement leadership development.
Our grantmaking has become more focused along a set of baseline criteria that all applicants must meet to be considered for funding. To manage unprecedented demand for our Unrestricted Operating Support funds, we recently tightened our UOS grant criteria and are making difficult decisions based on the strength of alignment with those criteria and the individual context surrounding each applicant.
Readers will also note that race now features more prominently in the Weingart Foundation’s vision statement, core values, grantmaking practices and guidelines. Across all of our program areas, we see how race continues to block opportunity and compound disadvantage. Therefore, the importance of racial justice needs to be lifted up and addressed. As we embed our commitment to racial equity throughout the Foundation, we have also incorporated the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion into other aspects of the Foundation’s work, including who we hire, how we invest and who manages our financial assets.
We hold a vision for Southern California as a place where all people can participate, prosper, and reach their full potential—where diversity is celebrated and justice flourishes. We are inspired daily by the innovative and courageous work of the nonprofit organizations we are honored to serve. Their leadership pushes us to work harder and be bolder on their behalf.
President & CEO
To view the one-page overview of our Program Plan strategies click here.