This article originally appeared in the Desert Sun, November 2021
Founded in 2005, the Coachella Valley Fund was created to enhance the quality of life in the Desert by supporting local nonprofits doing exemplary work in the community. It is one of the many donor-advised funds stewarded by the Inland Empire Community Foundation (IECF). The Inland region’s largest foundation, IECF stewards over $100 million in primarily donor-directed giving.
Recently, The Coachella Valley fund awarded over $11,000 in grants. Recipients of these grants were The LGBT Community Center of the Desert for support of their Thursday Food Bank. Grants were also awarded to the Coachella Valley Rescue Mission, Boys & Girls Club – Coachella Valley, Boys & Girls Club – Palm Springs and The L-Fund for general support. Additionally, Foundation of Palm Springs Unified School District was awarded a grant for art supplies and College of the Desert Foundation was awarded a grant for books.
The sub-funds within the Coachella Valley Fund include Coachella Valley Endowment For HIV Fund which benefits agencies serving persons diagnosed with HIV; George and Evelyn Howard Endowment Fund established for general charitable purposes; Carol G. Meier Fund to Benefit Arts Education in the Coachella Valley which benefits arts education; Bud and Myrna LaRue Stark Literacy Fund which was established to fund literacy projects; and Youth Grantmakers of the Coachella Valley which was established to empower high schools students to address issues important to them by participating in grantmaking.
“Anyone can donate to the Coachella Valley Fund,” said Joe Staley, Regional Charitable Giving Officer at IECF. “We hope that more of the community will learn about the fund and help it grow.”
Coachella Valley Fund advisors Karen Hudis, Phil Hudis, Bob Fey and Robert Smith meet periodically to discuss the fund, strategize on its growth and to recommend grants. The advisors are residents living across the valley from Indio to Palm Springs and are in tune with the needs of the many nonprofits in the desert community. The Fund can always use more support and is also open to additional advisors who will help forward its mission.
When individuals, families, private foundations, and businesses donate to the Coachella Valley fund they can be assured that the grants are going to organizations that are having an impact in the valley, Staley said. IECF works closely with regionally nonprofits and is familiar with the region and the needs of the area as well as the organizations working to meet them. This gives IECF the ability to match donors with the nonprofits that align with their philanthropic passions.
Philanthropists who have a particular field of interest for their giving can also consider creating their own donor-advised funds to pinpoint causes they feel strongly about. Currently, IECF is working with community leaders to create a fund that will support arts programs in the desert. Individuals interested in helping to support the arts, create their own fund, or donate to the Coachella Valley Fund can contact Staley directly.
“Donations to the Coachella Valley Funds are great way to help effective local nonprofits that are doing great work,” Staley said. “We always looking for connected enthusiastic advisors to help grow our impact.”
For more information on the Coachella Valley Fund, please contact Joe Staley, Regional Charitable Giving Officer at jstaley@IEGives.org or 760.836.2400.