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September 26: Women’s Giving Fund Event

Join TCF at the Mission Gables House in Redlands to roll out the Women’s Giving Fund! On September 26, we will be hosting a special event for women who are interested in hearing about the fund and giving back. The event will feature guest speaker, Stephanie Buckley. Stephanie serves as SVP and Senior Regional Fiduciary Manager of Philanthropic Services at Wells Fargo. She’ll be speaking about how people can plan their philanthropy to fulfil their values. Purple Hearts – the first grantee organization of the Women’s Giving Circle – will give an update about the impact of the grant they received to help women and children recovering from domestic violence. Cost to attend is $25.

September 26, 2019
Mission Gables House
168 S. Eureka St.
Redlands, CA
RSVP today!

Women''s Giving Fund Event

TCF Creates an Inclusive Space for Women of All Giving Levels

Women's Giving Fund

The Women’s Giving Circle launched in 2017 as a way to encourage women to give locally. It was our vision that it would build a community of women philanthropists with a mission of supporting women and their families in the Inland region. We were encouraged by the excitement and enthusiasm the Circle generated in the community. Every member contributed $1,000 annually – helping to grow the Circle to award grants to local organizations making a difference in the region. Within the first two years, the Circle grew to 29 members, raised over $43,000 and awarded its first $15,000 grant to Purple Hearts. Members also attended various social and educational events throughout the year.

While support for the Women’s Giving Circle was positive from members, we found that using the membership model limited the number of women who could engage. As a result, a new direction began to take shape.

We’re now excited to announce the creation of the “Women’s Giving Fund” at TCF. Instead of inviting members to make a standard annual contribution, the focus of the new Women’s Giving Fund encourages giving in ways that make sense to the donor. The Fund will be a unique opportunity for donors to join together – contributing at any level – to learn about and invest in programs that support women and their full and healthy participation in the Inland Empire. Donations will be accepted year-round to grow the fund for re-granting. As with the Circle, women will be encouraged to attend special events, hear from inspiring speakers and network with others. Those who choose can be part of the grants committee to determine who receives the funding for the year.

All of us at TCF want to thank the Founding members of the Circle and all of our donors who have been a part of this journey with us. We look forward to keeping you engaged in the exciting changes happening at TCF and seeing you at future events in support of the new fund.

If you're interested in giving to the Women's Giving Fund, click here. For more information about the Fund, contact Darcy McNaboe, Regional Charitable Giving Officer at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 951.241.7777.

A New Scholarship Fund is Carrying on the Legacy of Former Lake Elsinore City Treasurer

The City of Lake Elsinore opened the Carl Graves Endowment Scholarship Fund at TCF with a gift of $1 million through a bequest to the City from former City Treasurer Carl Graves. The new fund provides scholarships to graduating seniors who plan to attend a four-year college or technical school. Scholarship recipients must be students of Lake Elsinore Unified School District high schools.

Recently, four students received a total of $20,000 in scholarships from the inaugural scholarship fund.

“We are pleased to carry out the legacy of Carl Graves in partnership with the City of Lake Elsinore,” said Michelle Decker, President and CEO of The Community Foundation. “Scholarships remain a large focus of our donors’ investments in the IE, and increasingly we need to target students for whom higher education is a critical investment for their stability and that of their families. This scholarship fund reaches students who have barriers to education, which makes it one of the most potent ways we can ensure Lake Elsinore thrives in years to come.”  

The scholarship fund offers three four-year scholarships of approximately $4,000 and one four-year scholarship of $6,000 for a college ROTC candidate to be awarded in the spring and disbursed in the fall of each year. Each Carl Graves’ Scholar will each have a local mentor who will aid and assist the student throughout their education.

“This amazing gift is a testament to Carl Graves’ dedication to our community that now extends well beyond his years of service; his generosity will help several deserving students further their education and become key pioneers for our community for decades to come,” said Steve Manos, Mayor of the City of Lake Elsinore.

The Carl Graves Endowment Scholarship Fund is named in honor of Carl Graves, who served as the City Treasurer of Lake Elsinore. Graves was a United States Army World War II Veteran and a mathematics teacher at various high schools in Southern California, including Lake Elsinore High School. 

To discuss how you can establish your own charitable fund or contribute to existing funds, contact Jose Marquez, Vice President of Charitable Giving at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 951-241-7777.

Want to be a Youth Grantmaker? Apply Today!

Want to be a Youth Grantmaker?The Community Foundation’s Youth Grantmakers (YG) are currently recruiting for their 4 programs: Riverside, Coachella Valley, San Bernardino, and Native. The Youth Grantmakers (YG) program is made up of high school students from across our two-county region. Each program is 9 months long and meets separately once a month in their individual cities. Join us and gain valuable experience in skills such as conducting surveys, participating in community service projects, reading and analyzing grant requests, engaging in respectful debate, and other hands-on work in the non-profit sector.

Want to be a Youth Grantmaker?
“I’ve been a part of the YG family since my junior year and I have enjoyed every second of it,” said high school senior Maryeli Garay. “I’ve learned what it truly means to be a leader, I’ve given back to my community, and I’ve had the pleasure of meeting other amazing students throughout the area. YG has taught me to be a better version of myself, and I have grown immensely as a result.” Maryeli, who will be attending UCLA in the fall, is one of thirty graduating seniors this year. Although we are sad to see all our seniors go, we are excited for them to move on to their next chapter in life while we welcome new members into our YG family.

To join the YG program, please fill out the application form on our website. The application deadline for all programs is SEPTEMBER 14.We hope to see you soon!

For more information please contact Denisha Shackelford, Youth Initiatives Manager at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 951.241.7777.

S.L. Gimbel Foundation Fund Awards Over $350K

In a recent grant cycle, the S. L. Gimbel Foundation Advised Fund at The Community Foundation awarded $354,460 to 11 nonprofit organizations. 

One of the largest donor advised funds at TCF, the S.L. Gimbel Foundation Advised Fund was established in 2010 to support nonprofits nationwide on a variety of charitable purposes.

This cycle’s grantees are: Boys and Girls Clubs of Cleveland, Delaware Nature Society, Education Through Music, Family Health Partnership Clinic, Girl Scouts of San Gorgonio Council, LA Family Housing Corporation, LEAP Learning Center, Olive Crest, RAPHA House International, Inc., Surrey Services for Seniors, Inc., and The Heat and Warmth Fund (THAW).

Two of the 11 organizations are located in the Inland Empire: Girl Scouts of San Gorgonio Council and Olive Crest.

“Because of the generosity of The Community Foundation, youth from low-income families are able to participate in the Skyland Ranch Environmental Education Program,” said Cynthia Breunig, President and CEO of Girl Scouts of San Gorgonio Council. “Through this program, these young people become invested in the natural environment and learn team-building and problem-solving skills. Students with this skill set mature into the community leaders and environmental advocates necessary for success and sustainability in the future.”

The S. L. Gimbel Foundation is named for Susan Gimbel from Orange, California who sadly lost her battle with ovarian cancer in May 2006. Susan was passionate about a variety of causes including the arts, education, the environment and human dignity issues.

To discuss how you can establish your own charitable fund or contribute to existing funds, contact Jose Marquez, Vice President of Charitable Giving at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 951-241-7777.

The Community Foundation Support Trona Community with Recovery Grant

In the next few weeks, The Community Foundation will begin awarding $10,500 in funds collected from its Inland Empire Disaster Relief Fund (San Bernardino County) to support nonprofits who are meeting the needs of people affected by the recent earthquakes in the Trona area.


Of the $10,500 in contributions, The Foundation allocated $6,500 from the Cornerstone Fund, which was established in 1997 to provide funding to organizations for emergency, urgent and unexpected demands. The remaining donations came from fund holders and individuals in the community.

Thank you for support of the Trona community in their time of need. To prepare for the next disaster, the Foundation will be collecting donations all year round. There are two funds you can contribute to: Inland Empire Disaster Relief Fund (San Bernardino County) and Inland Empire Disaster Relief Fund (Riverside County).

TCF Welcomes Joe Staley as New Regional Charitable Giving Officer, Coachella Valley

Joe StaleyMichelle Decker, President and CEO of The Community Foundation, has appointed Joe Staley, Jr. to represent the Foundation in the Coachella Valley as Regional Charitable Giving Officer.

“We’re thrilled to have Joe join the staff of The Community Foundation,” said Decker. “We are confident that his experience and skills will help strengthen the Foundation’s presence in the desert.”

Working from the Foundation’s Palm Desert office, Joe’s responsibilities will be to lead the Foundation’s asset development activities, cultivate donor relationships and provide donor services in the Coachella Valley.

Joe has served as a fundraising executive in the nonprofit sector spanning 15 years—most recently as the Development Director of The Hambidge Center for Creative Arts and Sciences in Georgia. At The Hambidge Center, he was responsible for expanding their Distinguished Fellowship program, creating a success soiree model to fund special projects and increasing multi-tiered support for their three most important fundraising events of the year. Prior to The Hambidge Center, Joe worked for an environmental nonprofit called Trees Atlanta for over 11 years. There, he was instrumental in the expansion of the organization, helping Trees Atlanta relocate to a multi-million dollar, state-of-the-art facility.

“I am delighted and honored to be joining the dynamic Community Foundation team,” said Joe. “Now that we have made Palm Springs our new home, I look forward to partnering with individuals and organizations dedicated to enhancing the quality of life of residents of the Coachella Valley.”

Riley Dutton: Youth Grantmaker & Student Leader

Riley DuttonRiley Dutton, one of our Riverside Youth Grantmakers, is proving that youth can be impactful leaders in their communities. As a Youth Grantmaker, she learned about the issues youth face within the local community and practiced philanthropy by recommending grants to nonprofits who proposed impactful solutions to these issues.

“When I first joined Youth Grantmakers I knew very little about the amazing charities and organizations that benefit Riverside County and beyond. Now, with three years of grantmaking up my sleeve, I am confident to enter the world with a new found knowledge of philanthropy,” said Riley. “I will carry the knowledge and the love for philanthropy that this program has instilled in me for the rest of my life.”

Riley DuttonIn addition to being a Youth Grantmaker, she is also a 2019 Bank of America Student Leader. As part of the program, the student leaders work eight-week paid internships with local nonprofits. Riley is spending her internship with The Community Foundation. Every year, the Bank of America Student Leaders take a trip to Washington DC where they are able to meet their Student Leader counterparts from across the country. The Bank of America Student Leaders Program allows these students to continue to be engaged and become impactful citizens.

Riley graduated from Notre Dame High School and will attend Franklin University in Switzerland then transfer to USC. Congratulations to Riley and best of luck on your future endeavors!

To learn more about the Youth Grantmakers Program, please contact Denisha Shackelford, Youth Initiatives Manager at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 951.241.7777.

MSJC Gives Students Opportunities for Higher Education

For more than 56 years, Mt. San Jacinto College (MSJC) has provided quality educational programs to Inland Empire students. Today, they continue to create opportunities for students to pursue higher education.

One way in which MSJC has provided higher education opportunities is through its Mt. San Jacinto College Foundation Fund at The Community Foundation. The fund, which just celebrated its four-year anniversary since its establishment in 2015, was created to provide scholarships to students attending Mt. San Jacinto College (MSJC). Through this fund, they’ve helped students mitigate the financial barriers associated with college.

MSJC also just launched its MSJC Promise program that provides free tuition to first-time, full-time students.

graduates“We know that tuition can be a major financial barrier that prevents people from attending college,” said Dr. Roger W. Schultz, Superintendent/President. “The MSJC Promise will remove that obstacle for incoming students who qualify. We urge students to take advantage of this great program to earn a high-quality college education tuition free at MSJC.”

MSJC serves more than 26,000 students at its campuses in the San Gorgonio Pass, San Jacinto, Menifee and Temecula.

In fall 2020, MSJC will expand access to higher education for residents of Southwest Riverside County and surrounding communities when it opens its new Temecula Valley Campus to students. The two five-story office buildings will be the first permanent higher education campus in Temecula.

To learn more about MSJC, visit their website at

For more information on how you can establish your own charitable fund or contribute to existing funds, please contact Jose A. Marquez, Vice President of Charitable Giving at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 951-241-7777.

Trona Earthquake


The community of Trona, CA, an unincorporated area in San Bernardino county, was hit hard following two earthquakes over the July 4th holiday. As we’ve witnessed over the past few days, residents are unable to use the roads, their homes are badly damaged and many are without water. Show your support today by donating to the Inland Empire Disaster Relief Fund at The Community Foundation. At this time, all donations you provide will support the recovery efforts for the Trona community and surrounding communities to take care of immediate needs. TCF is working with the County of San Bernardino to identify the nonprofits who can receive funds and assist in clean-up and the provision of emergency services.

To support earthquake relief efforts in the Trona area and surrounding communities, The Community Foundation is accepting online donations to:

Inland Empire Disaster Relief Fund - Established in 2019 to provide relief funds to those affected by disasters in San Bernardino County July 2019 - Trona Earthquake

Donors may also send checks made payable to The Community Foundation with “Trona” written in the memo line or make contributions from their donor-advised funds to either fund. 

Send to:
The Community Foundation
3700 Sixth St., Suite 200
Riverside, CA 92501

To support earthquake relief efforts in the Ridgecrest area, Kern Community Foundation is accepting online donations to:

Kern County Earthquake Disaster Relief Fund - Established to address the community's recovery needs in the aftermath of recent earthquake activity.

TCF Awards $192,000 in Community Impact Grants

The Community Foundation recently awarded $192,000 in grants to 21 local nonprofits. These one-year capacity building grants were made possible by the Community Impact Fund at the Foundation.

The Community Impact Fund makes awards to nonprofits to increase their core capacities to carry out their missions. It is meant to enable an organization to reflect, learn, and take action in developing short and long-term, sustainable solutions to challenges they face in addressing critical community needs. 

“Most funding opportunities are directed to programs, but the Community Impact Fund is different,” said Celia Cudiamat, Senior Vice President of Grants & Community Impact. “This capacity-building fund allows us to enhance effective community impact through the development of strong, efficient, and sustainable nonprofits.”

The 2019 one-year Community Impact Fund grantees are: Arts Connection ($10,000); Bear Valley Community Healthcare District Foundation ($7,800); Calicinto Ranch Inc ($10,000); California Partnership ($10,000); Canine Support Teams Inc ($10,000); Child Advocates of San Bernardino County ($10,000); Cove Communities Senior Association ($10,000); Desert Blind Association Inc ($10,000); Dezart Performs ($10,000); Growing Inland Achievement ($10,000); HIV + Aging Research Project – Palm Springs ($10,000); Making Hope Happen Foundation ($10,000); My Learning Studio Outreach ($1,500); Rebuilding Together Mountain Communities ($10,000); Samaritan Counseling Center($6,700); The Empowerment Center ($8,500); The LGBT Sanctuary Palm Springs Inc ($10,000); United States Adaptive Recreation Center ($10,000); United Way Of The Desert ($10,000); Young Idyllwild Inc ($7,500); Youth Mentoring Action Network ($10,000).

“As a collective impact organization focused on improving people’s lives in the region through education, we couldn’t be more grateful for this Community Impact Fund grant that will be used to create consistent outreach materials so we can engage additional partners and expand programming in service of the community,” said Ann Marie Allen, Senior Director at Growing Inland Achievement.

The Foundation accepts competitive grant proposals from nonprofit organizations who work to make a difference in the lives of Riverside and San Bernardino County residents throughout the year. Nonprofits interested in applying in 2020 can check the TCF website for guidelines and giving periods.

The 2020 grant schedule and instructions on how to apply will be available in February 2020.

Individuals who wish to offer financial support to a cause or issue in the community that is particularly meaningful to them, can also contact TCF to see how their donation might make the biggest impact. 

TCF’s Brouse Legacy Society Welcomes Two New Members

BrouseDora Buchner and guest Robert PenderOn May 8th, The Community Foundation (TCF) held a luncheon at Cuistot Restaurant in Palm Desert to celebrate members of the Brouse Legacy Society in Coachella Valley and welcome two new members. Current member Dora Buchner, and new members Don and Joanne Barajas Clarke were in attendance.

The Community Foundation established the Brouse Legacy Society to recognize individuals and couples who have made provisions in their estate plans to provide a gift to The Community Foundation for the benefit of their community.

BrouseMichelle Decker, Michael Barba, Robert Smith, and Brian McDonaldDuring the lunch, the newest Legacy Society members, Don and Joanne Barajas Clarke, received their Legacy Society recognition pins and autographed the Legacy Society Recognition Book.

After the passing of their son, Todd Barajas, Don and Joanne approached TCF for advice in creating a meaningful way to honor his memory. With TCF’s help, the Todd Barajas Legacy Fund was created. “While we have both been involved in charitable giving and volunteerism for many years, nothing could have brought us more peace and comfort than honoring our son in this way,” said Don and Joanne. “We look forward to working with The Community Foundation in the coming years to continue Todd’s legacy.”

BrouseMichelle Decker, Don and Joanne Barajas Clarke, and Paula KennedyTCF staff Michelle Decker, Celia Cudiamat, Paula Kennedy, Jose Marquez, and Paula Myles, as well as Coachella Valley Fund Committee President Robert Smith and TCF Board Member Brian McDonald all attended to celebrate TCF’s Legacy Society members in the Coachella Valley. 

To learn more about leaving a legacy and joining the Brouse Legacy Society, please contact Jose A. Marquez, Vice President of Charitable Giving, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 951.241.7777.

Paula Kennedy Retires from TCF

Paula KennedyThe Community Foundation has announced the retirement of its Charitable Giving Officer Paula Kennedy after three and half years of service in the Coachella Valley.

“I feel very fortunate to have worked for such a highly respected organization,” said Paula. “It has been deeply rewarding to see the growth of the organization, and to have served the Coachella Valley nonprofits and donors who care about improving our community.”

Working from the Foundation’s Palm Desert office, Paula's responsibilities involved stewarding The Community Foundation’s donor relationships and donor services in the Coachella Valley. Her work has greatly contributed to the trust and confidence people have in the Foundation.

“We sincerely thank Paula Kennedy for her service to The Community Foundation,” said Michelle Decker, President and CEO of The Community Foundation. “Thanks to her leadership, the Foundation is in a stronger position in the desert and better known as a partner in philanthropy.”

The Foundation is currently seeking candidates for her replacement that will work out of the Palm Desert office. To apply for the Regional Charitable Giving Officer (Coachella Valley) position, please see the job description.

Youth Grantmakers Award Over $60,000 to Local Nonprofits

At the Youth Grantmakers 10th Anniversary Celebration & Recognition Ceremony on June 9, The Community Foundation announced 50 grants totaling $60,050 to support youth-led projects across the Inland region. The grants were funded by local high school students participating in the Youth Grantmakers program.

Youth Grantmakers Award

In 2018-2019, they made grants to the following nonprofits: Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Desert ($1,000); Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Inland Empire ($2,000); Boo2Bullying Inc. ($1,000); Boys & Girls Clubs of Coachella Valley ($2,000); Children’s Fund Inc. ($1,000); Coachella Valley Housing Coalition ($2,500); Family YMCA of the Desert ($2,500); Foothill Family Shelter ($2,500); Inland Empire Immigrant Youth Collective ($5,000); Operation Prom Girl So Cal ($2,300); Project Fighting Chance ($1,000); Read With Me Volunteer Programs ($1,000); Riverside Area Rape Crisis Center ($2,050); Riverside Medical Clinic Charitable Foundation ($1,250); San Bernardino Fatherhood ($1,000); Special Olympics Southern California – Inland Empire Region ($5,000); The Empowerment Center ($3,450); Young Women’s Empowerment Foundation ($2,000). An additional $21,500 in grants was given to nonprofits by seniors who selected their “Charity of Choice.” The Community Foundation’s Board of Directors approved the choices.

“We’re proud to celebrate the accomplishments of our young people who are modeling philanthropy across the region,” said Michelle Decker, President and CEO of The Community Foundation. “The future belongs to our youth, who are becoming leaders in their own right, helping to solve the ongoing challenges their peers face.”

With representatives from 27 high schools in both counties, 97 Youth Grantmakers make up the Riverside, San Bernardino, Coachella Valley, and Native programs.  Since the inception of this program, Youth Grantmakers have awarded over $387,000 to 155 nonprofit agencies.

View our gallery of photos from the Youth Grantmakers 10th Anniversary Ceremony.

To learn more about the Youth Grantmakers Program, please contact Denisha Shackelford, Youth Initiatives Manager at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 951.241.7777.