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Announcing the recipients of $500,000 in initial community funding grants for Solano nonprofits

By California Forever · Tue May 21 2024

We are excited to share the recipients of our first community funding grants designed to support nonprofits across Solano County. Last December, we promised an initial $500,000 in grant funding to help close the nonprofit funding gap in Solano County, and today, we are fulfilling that promise.

For years, Solano County has not received its fair share of philanthropic giving compared to the rest of the Bay Area. Our community has received less than 1% of funding despite being home to nearly 6% of Bay Area's population. In recognition of this gap, we wanted to do our part and take a first step in supporting 45 different organizations that work on critically important causes across Solano County.

Thank you to everyone who applied. We were overwhelmed by the number and quality of applications and were inspired by all the organizations committed to improving our community. From the many important and deserving applications we received, we selected recipients based on several factors including their location within the county, area of focus, impact, and support for the organization that we heard from the community. The full list of recipients is included below.

We sought to support meaningful work in every community within the county and a broad range of initiatives. We are excited to see this funding be used for projects including housing and food programs, educational initiatives, youth sports, faith communities, arts, veterans, social services, and more.

This is just the start of our hope to help support a thriving Solano County. Last week, we announced the initial set of employers committed to coming to Solano County. This week, we are delivering on our commitment to provide initial nonprofit grants. We look forward to sharing more exciting news in the weeks to come, and partnering with the community at every step of the process of building the East Solano Plan. 

Randy Zawaideh, Executive Director of SafeQuest Solano, shares the impact that the grant program has had on his organization.

Hear from Demos Punsalan, Executive Director of California Technological Care, how the grant program will enable his organization to fulfill its mission.

“There are so few direct services available for unhoused transitional aged youth (16-26 year old constituents) in Vallejo. Your resources will ensure that a handful of the many vulnerable youth in our community have the skills and mentors needed to establish gainful employment. Vallejo Project supports youth with job readiness, mentors housing and exposure to arts and culture. We serve about 26 youth annually. Thank you for supporting our work from the bottom of our hearts!”

- Adjoa McDonald - Founder, Vallejo Project

“Special Care Angels is thankful to California Forever for providing funding that will go directly to our programs and services supporting children and adults with developmental disabilities and other special needs in Solano County, including opening more scholarship spots for our Club Chaos summer 2024 activity camps for special needs kids, and providing direct access to needed equipment and supplies for individuals to improve their quality of life. Access and inclusion in all local activities and programs is crucial to help individuals with different abilities thrive in our communities, and support from California Forever will help us do this!”

- Debbi Davis, RN, Board of Directors

Complete list of recipients:

  • Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority

  • APAPA Solano

  • Art and Music Center in Rio Vista

  • BayNorth Church

  • Benicia Chamber of Commerce

  • Boys & Girls Empowerment Group in Vallejo

  • Bright-Horizon Agriculture

  • Broken by Violence

  • California Human Development

  • California Technological Care (CTC)

  • Center for Urban Excellence (CUE)

  • Change and New Beginnings

  • Dixon Family Services

  • E5 Therapy

  • Faith Food Fridays

  • Filipino Community of Solano County

  • First Chance Vallejo

  • Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano

  • Global Center for Success

  • Leadership Vallejo

  • Legacy Tile Project Fundraiser for Downtown Vacaville Theater

  • House of Acts

  • Lady Echelon Project

  • Mount Calvary Church

  • Meals on Wheels of Solano County

  • On Stage Vacaville

  • Opportunity House - Vacaville

  • Ramtown Boosters

  • SafeQuest Solano

  • SANE-SART (Sexual Assault Nurse Examines Sexual Assault Response Team)

  • Solano Mudcats Collegiate Baseball Program

  • Solano Surf Soccer Club

  • Special Care Angels

  • The Coach Sarna NFL Flag Football League

  • Top Klasse Dutch Football (Soccer) Club

  • Travis Community Champions for Wings over Solano

  • TruPlay Sports

  • Vaca High Quarterback Club

  • Vacaville Museum

  • Vacaville Wellness Foundation

  • Vallejo Center for the Arts (VCA)

  • Vallejo Project

  • VEST Solano

  • Veteran VIPS

  • Young Artists Conservatory of Music

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • Are you all done with grants?

This initial $500,000 round of grant funding was our focus at this stage. We look forward to continuing supporting the work of nonprofits across Solano County as part of the East Solano Plan, including its $500 million community benefits commitment for housing, education, parks, family farms, and other green initiatives, and $200 million commitment to invest in downtowns of the seven existing cities across Solano County. Learn more here.

  • Do the grants have any requirements associated with them?

No. Our philosophy is to directly empower the nonprofits we support. Each nonprofit stated how the requested funds would be used and we granted the money directly without any further requirements or conditions. We also never asked any of the recipients whether they supported the East Solano Plan, and the grant was in no way conditioned on any affiliation or work with us.

  • When were the grants announced? Who was eligible to apply?

These grants complete the $500,000 in Solano nonprofits grants we announced in December 2023.

  • What did applicants need to do to apply?

Nonprofit grants often have onerous and time consuming applications which make nonprofit leaders take time away from the good work they are doing in the community to focus on fundraising. Our intent with this process was to streamline the application as much as possible. As per the December 2023 announcement, we only required: 

  • Organization name and EIN, including confirmation of nonprofit status

  • Responsible individual, email, phone number

  • Amount requested

  • Description of how the funds would be used

  • If available, evidence of a successful track record of delivering results with prior funding amounts (annual reports, media coverage, references to local residents who can vouch for your program, or anything else we can rely on)

This allowed us to support many organizations that have small, or even just volunteer, staff but a big impact in the Solano community.

  • How were grant recipients and amounts chosen?

Recipients and grant amounts were chosen based on a number of factors including their location, focus area, impact, and support for the organization that we heard from the community. We are proud that these initial grants will be supporting projects across Solano County working in diverse areas including housing and food programs, education, youth sports, faith communities, the arts, veterans, social services, and more.

  • How can I stay informed about future funding opportunities?

Any future funding opportunities will be announced on our website and across our social media channels. For the $500 million community benefits commitment for housing, education, parks, family farms, and other green initiatives that’s part of the East Solano Plan, the ballot initiative requires that these funds be allocated pursuant to a community engagement process and approved by the Solano County Board of Supervisors. This process would start after the initiative is approved in November 2024.