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The California Endowment for Public Health and Education

Updated on July 25, 2010

Building Healthy Communities

Listed among the top public assistance groups in the state of California is the California Endowment. Created in 1996, the California Endowment is a foundation that grants money to nonprofit organizations, tribal governments, and other public agencies in order to promote the health of Californians. Because the foundation can provide a significant amount of funds for public programs, many organizations apply for aid in the hopes of receiving the support necessary to advance specific organizational needs. Of major programs the California Endowment has supported, it is found that the recent addition of information technology to their portfolio has attracted a variety of state nonprofits hoping for significant IT upgrades. In order to better understand the magnitude of who may be affected by this recent support of information technology, this Hub will examine how the Endowment distributes funds as well as the specific requirements needed to qualify.

What the California Endowment Supports

The California Endowment, being a foundation, supports public, nonprofit, and tribal agencies through grants that are structured in a way that specifies the amount and use of monies granted. Referred to as a project grant, the money given by the Endowment is to be used by the recipient to subsidize a program or programs that adhere to criteria set by the Endowment. Because the usage and criteria for a grant can be loosely defined, it is easy to see that once money is granted to an organization, it has the potential to be used for a variety of purposes. This flexibility is fundamental to the efficient use of funds that will inherently vary depending on which organization is the recipient.

How the California Endowment Distributes Funds

With many organizations seeking money to fund growth or expand programs, a systematic set of requirements have been put in place in order to evaluate an applicants merit. In respect to the California Endowment, prospective organizations need to have valid tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, classifying them as a public charity. With this restriction in place, for profit corporations are filtered from the application process and only those with a clear and definable “plan” regarding the grants use will make it through the rigorous review process. This organizational “plan” must have specific characteristics like; outcomes and objectives for the prospective program, measurability, and time constrains related to the project defined in the proposal. As we can see, applying for a grant from the California Endowment is an intensive process of providing an argument that the money, if granted, will be used in a way that is amiable to the Endowment.

An Example of California Endowment's Success

One of the more sizable examples of California Endowment’s grants can be found in the Community Clinics Initiative which was a joint project of Tides and the California Endowment. Issued in the amount of $20,000,000.00, the award date for this grant was set on 11/02/01 and was scheduled to last 62 months during which time the objective of expanding and strengthening, “information systems and management capacity of clinic consortia, community clinics, and clinic networks,” was met.

California Endowment Public Message


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