Cathedral City Senior Center Birthday Celebration

IECF is proud to announce that three Coachella Valley nonprofit organizations received a total of $60,000 from the Margot Fund in its inaugural year of giving! Established in 2021, the Margot Fund benefits women’s programming, scholarships, and food insecurity.

In early 2020, IECF was quickly raising funds to provide COVID support to our communities. A donor to the CV Mask Project through IECF became acquainted with our work and decided to make more funds available to causes that were meaningful to her. Conversations with Joe Staley, our Charitable Giving Officer/Coachella Valley, led to the creation of the Margot Fund in 2021.

The Margot Fund awards grants to nondenominational, pro-choice nonprofits in the Coachella Valley. Nonprofits with any size budget are considered, but priority is given to smaller organizations, and the grants are by invitation only.  Staley says, “When COVID has subsided, the plan is to begin site visits to better understand the needs in the CV. We anticipate growing the fund and adding more than one grant cycle per year.”

The 2021 Margot Fund grant recipients are:

The Cathedral City Senior Center: $20,000 for women’s programming

The Cathedral City Senior Center’s mission is to improve the quality of life for seniors 55+ living in Cathedral City and surrounding communities. The purpose of the Center is to assist all seniors, from the active to the home-bound, by providing services that channel energy, relieve suffering, and protect health, happiness, and well-being.

The Ophelia Project: $20,000 for scholarships for young women

The Ophelia Project is a team mentoring program for teen girls in 8th – 12th grades. It teaches students to be better prepared for opportunities and acquire the skills necessary to make their dreams a reality. Their mission is “Empowering young teens to increase their sense of self-worth and maximize their potential contribution to society.”

The Center: $20,000 for their food bank

The LGBTQ Center of the Desert’s mission is to create a vibrant community by helping LGBTQ people along their way. In addition to many other programs, they operate the Community Food Bank @ the Center. Every Thursday evening, The Center provides free groceries for local families and residents without fear of discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, age, religion, political persuasion, national origin, disability, and/or covered veteran status. The Community Food Bank @ The Center is committed to serving those experiencing food insecurity.

Our work at IECF is made possible because of our generous donors. If you would like to learn more about how you can join us in strengthening our communities through philanthropy, contact Brie Griset Smith, Senior Vice President of Charitable Giving at, or 951-244-7777. In the Coachella Valley, please get in touch with Joe Staley, Charitable Giving Officer, at, or 951-244-7777.

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