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Fundraising in California Community Foundation. Essay Example

5 pages
1198 words
Middlebury College
Type of paper: 
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Organization Information

The name of the organization that is being studied is California Community Foundation. The organization was established in 1915 by Joseph Sartori and was initially managed by the Security and Savings Bank in Los Angeles (California Community Foundation, 2017). For the next 65 years since its establishment, the community foundation remained small and was known as typewriter organization that made small grants for equipment and capital. What makes CCF unique is the fact that it that for over 100 years, the organization it has transformed generosity of its donors into various impacts hence realizing stronger, healthier and more prosperous features for all the residents of Los Angeles(California Community Foundation, 2017). They have worked very hard to ensure that the philanthropic visions transformed the communities. Some of the services the organization offers include promotion of art, civic engagement, health, housing and opportunity, youth empowerment and facilitating smart growth. One of the organizations successes that inspires me is that the organization have established a Portraits of Compassion that showcases 30 individuals who are considered unsung heroes, who are have dedicated themselves doing extraordinary things, and have transformed L.A. as a region, and help people to realize the potential of L.A(California Community Foundation, 2017).

Mission Statement

The mission of CCF is to lead a positive systemic change that would strengthen the communities of Los Angeles. The organization envisions a future where the Angelenos would have the opportunity to contribute to the health, productivity, and well-being of the region. The organization is highly involved in activities that are aimed at improving and strengthening communities for instance through the provision of affordable housing, strengthening the youth and providing opportunities to men through the BLOOM program(California Community Foundation, 2017). The mission of CCF provides the rationale for organizations work, and the large social need is identified. The statement follows the model that we studied in class. I do not recommend any change to the mission statement as it reflects on what the organization is working to achieve in L.A(California Community Foundation, 2017).

Key Sources of Revenue

The Key sources of funding for the California Community Foundation include giving by an individual and turn the donations into charitable visions, which bring about meaningful change. In the 2016-2017 calendar, CCF granted over $81 million to the L.A. County, more than $53 million to other charities in the United States and more than $33 million to charities outside of the United States(California Community Foundation, 2017). The organization has been entrusted with more than 1,600 funds and over $1.5 billion in assets, and it gives out more than $2.2 billion donor contributions in the form of grants. According to Giving, giving by individuals accounts for 72% of all the funds that are given to charity, and it amounts to over $281 billion. The foundations account for about 15% of all the charity contributions, amounting to $59.28 billion. California Community Foundation is one of the foundation, and its contributions are over $2.2 billion(California Community Foundation, 2017). This translate to a huge percentage in that category, implying that the organization, has contributed significantly to charity, based on the donations that they entrusted with.


The organizations main mission is to strengthen and empower communities, hence helping them determine their destiny. The organization acknowledges that the communities in Los Angeles face significant complex challenges yet they possess extraordinary potential(California Community Foundation, 2017). The organization fulfills through fundraisings, charitable fund management, convening with donors, granting, local nonprofits, financial advisors, and foundation partners. It also carries out advocacy activities for the poor and the vulnerable. The organization consists of a leadership team, Board of Directors and staff that is not only diverse bit uniquely qualified, and experienced to address some of the challenges faced in Los Angeles(California Community Foundation, 2017). The leadership is in support of the CCFs long tradition of excellence in governance, stability as well as fiduciary responsibility. It is the reason; donor entrusts them with funds which are then channeled to implement change in Los Angeles, the United States and the World as a whole(California Community Foundation, 2017). Donor contribution is very critical because the sustainability of the programs that are supported by CCF, to run the projects that are dedicated towards community improvement in L.A. is entirely dependent on the willingness of donors to keep contributing.

The target audience of the organization is the donors, and corporates who are willing to partner with it to create a positive change in Los Angeles. Their collective efforts of not contributing but also supporting the mission of the organization are important as it helps it attain its targets and goals. The elements of the package to be sent to the mailing list should be personalized, implying it should address the issue as an organization and not an individual, images to support the need for an emotional appeal, a summary inform of PS and a call for action to capture the attention of the audience. This ensures that the letter is read, and the shorter, the better. The strategy applied by the organization to mail letters is 3D direct mailers, which has been recognized to be more efficient than other strategies, for instance, 40/40/20 rule despite being costly. It is known to perform 250% better than other approaches applied by companies.

Efficiency and Effectiveness

A fundraising event was carried out, and it involved donors. Stakeholders, corporates, and other charities saw the organization spending a total of $14,900. The event saw a return of $250,500.

Return on investment can be calculated using the following formula:

= (250500-14900) 14900 = 15. 81 or 1581%

Cost to raise a dollar can be calculated using the formular:


14900 (250500-14900)= 0.063.

Based on the calculations, the fundraising activity was effective and efficient. The activity made good use of the organizations fundraising resources, although other cheaper strategies such as direct mail programs can be utilized by the organization to cut costs.

Assessment of the Nonprofits Total Development Program:

The organization utilizes a planned giving program that features customizable donor letters to ensure that starting or building a planned giving becomes easier. The organization maximizes the planned giving program to ensure that the process in itself is rewarding, without depending other strategies. The organization does not conduct an annual fund, considering that it is a foundation, that accumulates grants from other charities, and distributes it to established programs in L.A.

The organization does not have a special gift program, although they conduct research programs that empower donors, to enhance their effectiveness. They also provide grantmaking tools and resources that can help the donor evaluate non-profits they wish to donate to. The organization has not conducted any recent capital campaign.

The organization has a planned giving program depending on the programs and the charities that they support. The program has been very effective because it first identifies the priority areas, and makes investments before embarking on others. For instance, the BLOOM program has been supporting men to be more resourceful and efficient in the community, since 2012. To be more effective the organization, can set parallel programs, and budget adequately for them to ensure that they achieve more within a short time, than it is recently.



California Community Foundation. (2017). Transform LA - California Community Foundation. California Community Foundation. Retrieved 6 January 2018, from


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