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McCune Foundation Awards $440,000 in Community Grants

14 groups in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties receive funding to promote organizing and social justice initiatives

The McCune Foundation recently awarded more than $440,000 for community organizing and social justice initiatives in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.

Fourteen groups received grants in November to organize residents in voicing their concerns and visions about immigration reform, job creation, affordable housing and other vital issues.

“As communities confront increasing pressures, it is critical that citizens come together to develop their own solutions and become more engaged in local affairs,” said Sara Miller McCune, the foundation’s president and founder. “Community-based organizations like those supported by the foundation excel at engaging local residents around issues that matter to them.”

In 2009, the foundation provided 25 grants totaling more than $750,000. Grassroots organizations that meet the foundation’s funding guidelines and that are interested in being considered for a grant may submit a letter of inquiry by the next deadline of Jan. 15, 2010. Click here for details on applying for a grant.

The McCune Foundation was established in 1990 by Sara Miller McCune and George McCune. It focuses its grantmaking exclusively in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties with the mission of being an agent of productive change in society by supporting the growth of social capital in communities.

Grants Awarded in November

» Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ventura County Inc. — $47,196 for One Step A La Vez, a youth committee to expand the voice for social change in Fillmore and Piru through grassroots activism, leadership and community organizing.

» Central Coast Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy (CAUSE) — $50,000 a year for two years for general operating support for social, economic and environmental justice programs focused on creating grassroots power, policy reform and systemic change in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties.

» CAUSE (Arts for Action) — $30,000 to support operating expenses and capacity building for youth-based community organizing through the arts in Ventura County.

» CAUSE (Ventura County Clergy & Laity United for Economic Justice) — $50,000 in program support for a coalition of faith organizations advocating for immigration reform, farm worker housing, access to health care and economic justice.

» Centro Binacional para el Desarrollo Indigena Oaxaqueño — $25,000 for Naa Xini 2 to enhance the Mixteco community’s capacity to design and implement advocacy campaigns to solve social problems that affect Mixtecos and Latinos in Santa Maria.

» Coalition for Sustainable Transportation (COAST) — $40,000 for Alliance for Sustainable and Equitable Regional Transportation (ASERT) to provide operating support for a regional transportation alliance to promote public transportation and organize public activism among a diverse constituency of transit users.

» El Centrito Family Learning Centers — $30,000 for Padres Promotores Education Project, which engages, trains, organizes and empowers Oxnard parents to advocate for higher education of their children.

» Environmental Education Group Inc. (Esperanza) — $25,000 to empower youth and families most affected by youth violence in Santa Barbara to advocate for a community-driven solution to youth violence prevention and to become actively engaged with local organizations and policymakers.

» La Hermandad Hank Lacayo Youth & Family Center — $25,000 for operating expenses for grassroots organizing and organizational leadership activities among working-class immigrants in Ventura County.

» Santa Barbara County Action Network (University Park Mobile Homeowners Association) — $11,000 for organizing Goleta mobile home residents and strengthening networks with statewide mobile home associations to protect homes from condo conversions and rent decontrol.

» Ventura County Community Foundation (Social Justice Fund for Ventura County) — $25,000 a year for two years for capacity building, including an endowment drive for the Social Justice Fund and educational outreach to grassroots groups and donors.

Second-Year Funding for Grants Awarded in November 2008

» COAST — $15,000 for capacity building through hiring of a part-time development director to secure new donors and new board members for the Santa Barbara County organization.

— Claudia Armann is executive director of the McCune Foundation.

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