Important News About the East Bay Community Foundation and East Bay Gives

From the Office of James W. Head, President & CEO

The East Bay Community Foundation

Dear Partners,

I am writing to share some important news about EBCF and the status of our 24-hour giving day, East Bay Gives.

East Bay Gives was first launched in 2014 with an eye toward improving the digital fundraising capacity of local nonprofits serving communities in the East Bay. To accommodate interest from beyond Alameda and Contra Costa Counties, in 2017 the program’s reach was expanded to include organizations along the Peninsula and in the South Bay. Over the last 4 years, we have learned that East Bay Gives has been a valuable tool; helping to increase nonprofits’ organizational visibility and expose your missions to larger audiences. In partnership with participating groups, The East Bay Community Foundation is proud to have helped raise nearly $4 million dollars and along the way, strengthening organizations’ internal capabilities in social media and online fundraising management.

As is often the case, the evolving needs of our communities has meant re-examining EBCF’s role in how best to support those needs. At this moment in time, we believe that the region is experiencing a collection of challenges that calls for a new approach from community philanthropy. For example, immigrant communities have been increasingly dogged by Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) heightened targeting of residents, including arresting individuals as they go about their daily routines — dropping kids off at school, earning a living, or attending religious services. Additionally, working families or those employed for minimum wages struggle mightily to pay rents that now average $2,500 per month for a 2-bedroom apartment. Finally, as commercial rents continue to rise throughout the area, scores of nonprofit organizations are being displaced; departing familiar locations in vulnerable neighborhoods where families have long received vital services.

In consideration of how EBCF can best address the region’s changing dynamics, we have made the difficult decision to suspend East Bay Gives for CY 2018. Despite this decision, the foundation’s commitment to East Bay nonprofit organizations and building a culture of philanthropy in the region remains unchanged. Engaging local nonprofits to help build capacity, advance their missions and boost their impact is a core focus area. The foundation is exploring strategies to increase greater civic engagement as a means of sustaining nonprofits’ efforts to support those that are relegated to the margins of society. The East Bay has a storied history of leading the fight for social change and the broader region’s reputation for innovation has been rightly earned. As the center of community philanthropy serving the East Bay, we are working earnestly to live up to the region’s legacy by reimagining what a community foundation can do to advance a just East Bay; where equitable access and opportunity are available for all.

On behalf of our staff at EBCF, I would like to extend our gratitude to each organization that has participated in East Bay Gives. There are many reasons to be proud. The program has trained over 1,000 nonprofits and partnered with hundreds of others to leverage fundraising dollars. As EBCF continues to uncover innovative and powerful ways to advance a just East Bay, we invite you to partner with us along this journey; providing much needed insight into the community and giving voice to the strategies that can accelerate a just region for all.

Stay tuned for further developments in our efforts to advance a just East Bay and feel free to contact us at eastbaygives@eastbaycf.org with any questions that you may have about this news.

With Appreciation,

James W. Head

President & CEO

 

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