Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Recent Grants

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S. H. Cowell Foundation Grant (California)

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    Funder Type

    Private Foundation

    IT Classification

    B - Readily funds technology as part of an award


    S.H. Cowell Foundation


    The goal of the foundation is to improve the quality of life of children and families living in Northern and Central California by making grants that directly support and strengthen children, families, and the neighborhoods where they live. Priority is given to communities where Cowell has made, or could make, place-based complementary grants in Northern and Central California towns and neighborhoods where there is widespread and acute poverty and there are strong working relationships among residents and institutional leaders. The foundation funds efforts to increase a town or neighborhood's capacity to engage and serve its low-income families. These guidelines apply across all program areas: Family Resources Centers, K-12 Public Education, Responsive, Youth Development and affordable Housing.


    History of Funding

    Since 1956, S.H. Cowell has granted nearly $300 million to more than 2,000 non-profit organizations and public schools. A history of previous awards can be found here: https://shcowell.org/resources/grants-database/

    Additional Information

    Established in 1956 in CA - A businessman and philanthropist, S.H. Cowell was president of the Henry Cowell Lime and Cement Company, which was founded by his father, Henry Cowell. The foundation was established through a bequest from S.H. Cowell.

    Affordable Housing Grants

    Proposed projects must involve increasing the number of affordable homes for low-income families in a given community. In addition, funding is focused in communities that Cowell already supports through its other main program areas (Family Resource Centers, K-12 Public Education, and Youth Development). Proposals are considered for: Construction, preservation and rehabilitation of family housing; predevelopment working capital, including planning, land acquisition, and architectural design; helping communities develop policies that support increasing the number of affordable homes; community spaces in affordable housing developments that provide activities for families, after-school spaces, and computer labs. For more information visit the foundation's web site.

    Education Grants

    Proposed projects must benefit public elementary and secondary schools (K-12) that serve a significant number or portion of students in a given community. The foundation makes two general types of grants: 1) Grants to school districts; and 2) Grants to education resource organizations that work with schools and school districts. The majority of Cowell grants support the induction and professional development of teachers to help schools develop effective, coherent and responsive instructional programs. The program also fund projects that support students' learning by strengthening connections among schools, families and other agencies in the community, and projects that link classroom lessons to carefully aligned and structured programs beyond the school. For more information visit the foundation's web site.

    Family Resource Center Grants

    Proposed projects must involve the establishment a new FRC or strengthening an existing one. All FRC projects seeking support must demonstrate potential for long-term sustainability and documented success at helping to improve the well-being of children, families and communities. For more information visit the foundation's web site.

    Program-Related Investment

    Projects funded by the foundation's PRIs are limited to the following types that have a track record of repaying loans and have a prior relationship with the foundation: 1) The purchase/build-out/construction of operating facilities for non-profit organizations; 2) The purchase of land for affordable housing, nonprofit facilities and community development; 3) Bridge loans providing temporary financing to a borrower who has secured a loan or who has a receivable at a point in the future and who needs the funds for the above-stated purposes before that funding is put in place; or 4) Fiscal intermediaries who will re-lend the loaned funds for the above-stated purposes.

    Responsive Category

    Responsive grants are typically available to communities that already receive support from the foundation and have a critical need or unique circumstances which fall beyond the parameters of the foundation's program priorities. For more information visit the foundation's web site.

    Youth Development Grants

    Proposed projects must involve launching a new program or strengthening an existing one. This might include improving the quality of existing programs, increasing access to high-quality programs so they have a greater impact in a specific neighborhood, or increasing the capacity of proven organizations so that successful programs can be sustained over the long-term. For more information visit the foundation's web site.


    Ann Alpers

    Ann Alpers

    (415) 986-6786

  • Eligibility Details

    Communities must meet the following criteria to be considered for funding:

    • The community is located in Northern or Central California.
    • The community is experiencing acute and widespread poverty, as evidenced by the number of students who qualify for free or reduced-price school lunch.
    • The community has a strong sense of place” that arises from factors such as location, history and the shared goals and deep-rooted relationships among residents, community-based organizations and educators.
    • The community presents opportunities for investment in all of the following program areas: Families and Communities, Education and Youth Development.
    • Educators and public and non-profit service providers have productive working relationships and engage residents with a spirit of inclusion and interdependence.
    • Local leaders demonstrate commitment to the community as a whole by championing issues and efforts beyond the scope of their own roles and agencies.

    Deadline Details

    Applications are reviewed throughout the year during the five board meetings in a given calendar year, with final notification 3 to 6 months from receipt. Application form not required. Initial Approach should be a visit foundation web site, then telephone inquiry.

    Applicants should submit the following:

    1. Brief history of organization and description of its mission
    2. Geographic area and population to be served
    3. Detailed description of project and amount of funding requested
    4. Timetable for implementation and evaluation of project
    5. Results expected from proposed grant
    6. Copy of most recent annual report/audited financial statement
    7. Board of Directors Roster
    8. Budget for proposed workflow
    9. Copy of IRS 501 (c) (3) Determination Letter

    Additional information: If the project is of interest to the foundation, additional information may be requested. The foundation will usually arrange a site visit. Communication with directors is discouraged.

    Award Details

    Awards vary according to S. H. Cowell's place-based strategy. For more information, visit the Foundation's site at: https://shcowell.org/what-we-do/place-based-strategy-criteria/

    Related Webcasts Use the links below to view the recorded playback of these webcasts

    • Funding Classroom Technology to Empower Students and Teachers - Sponsored by Panasonic - Playback Available
    • Maximizing Technology-friendly Workforce Development Grants - Sponsored by Panasonic - Playback Available
    • Funding Data-driven Workforce Development Projects - Sponsored by NetApp - Playback Available


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