Local nonprofit organizations can now apply for grants through two funds that support work benefiting Latino and Black communities.

The Inland Empire Community Foundation (IECF) is now accepting applications for the first round of grants from the Cultivating Inland Empire Latino Opportunity Fund (CIELO) Fund through December 5, 2022 and the second round of IE Black Equity Fund through December 16, 2022.

Grants of up to $15,000 are available through the CIELO Fund for Latino-led and Latino-serving organizations in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties.

Led and founded by IECF Board Member Jesse Melgar, and a Leadership and Grantmaking Committee comprised of regional community leaders, the CIELO Fund is one of IECF’s eight signature funds launched this year in celebration of the Foundation’s 80th anniversary. The fund has exceeded its initial goal of raising $80k in its inaugural year. Since its inception, the Fund has received significant support from the Weingart Foundation, Amazon, Inland Empire Health Plan, Bank of America, Edison International, and dozens of other corporate and private donors.

“Thanks to our generous donors and community partners we are excited to open our inaugural call for grant applications for Latino-led and serving organizations in the Inland Empire,” Melgar said.

Latinos are now the majority population of Riverside and San Bernardino Counties, making up 51.5% of its residents, according to Melgar who hopes the CIELO Fund can help strengthen and grow nonprofits that serve this population.  The Fund will assist nonprofits with resources to bolster operations, create a pipeline of leadership, and implement programs or initiatives that advance the CIELO Fund’s key areas of focus. The Fund will seek to make direct investments in local organizations doing impactful work in the realms of economic mobility, education, civic engagement, health equity and immigration services.

Interested nonprofits can review guidelines, determine eligibility, and download a grant application by visiting https://www.iegives.org/funds/cielogrant/. Organizations may submit questions by email to cielo@iegives.org. Applicants who require further guidance with applying can view the recorded CIELO Fund Grant Technical Workshop on the same webpage.

In addition to available grants through the CIELO Fund, Learning Tier grants of up to $20,000 are available from the IE Black Equity Fund.

In partnership with IE Funders Alliance and IECF, the Fund was created by The Black Equity Initiative – Inland Empire (BEI-IE). This coalition of nonprofit leaders focuses on creating solutions that end systemic racism and build political and economic power for the Black community in Riverside and San Bernardino counties. Since its inception, the Fund has received significant support from The California Endowment, The James Irvine Foundation, IECF, and more than 50 corporate and private donors.

The IE Black Equity Fund will assist nonprofits that are focused on systems change and power-building work in the Fund’s priority areas of civic engagement, criminal justice transformation, housing justice, health equity, education equity and economic liberation.

“We know the fight to undo structural racism must be sustained through intentional power building among Black-led and Black-empowering movements and organizations in the Inland Empire,” said Felicia Jones, Co-Founder of BEI-IE and Associate Director of C.O.P.E.

Interested organizations can review grant guidelines, determine eligibility and download a grant application at https://survey.alchemer.com/s3/7067111/IE-Black-Equity-Fund-RFP-2022. All interested applicants should submit through the online portal as emailed applications will not be accepted.

Applicants with questions regarding their grant requests should send an email with the subject titled “Questions” to Dina Walker at dwalker@bluedfoundation.org.

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