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Beyond Almonds and Blond Lawns: Investing in Non-Profit Organizations To Sustain Central Valley Communities Beyond the Drought

September 1, 2015

California and the San Joaquin Valley are in the midst of the worst drought in state history. Due to record low rainfall and snowpack, in January 2015 Governor Jerry Brown declared a drought State of Emergency and introduced drastic water cuts, including a 25% reduction of water use by all cities. The drought has caused significant disruption and distress in urban and rural water use, agricultural livelihoods, the larger economy, and day-to-day activities of residents across the state.The San Joaquin Valley is particularly hard-hit, with rural and low-income communities especially hurt by the drought, in the context of long-term changes in the agricultural economy, historically low economic development, poor infrastructure, and a frayed social-safety net.In spring 2015, the Fresno Regional Foundation began examining the impacts of the drought on San Joaquin Valley non-profit organizations that have been at the forefront of helping struggling individuals, families, and communities. This project focuses on community-benefit organizations (CBOs) to highlight the often hidden community-level impacts of the drought, since non-profits have not been the focus of previous studies, and because these organizations provide the critical link between philanthropic strategy and lasting social impact.The project gathered information and feedback from nonprofits through an on-line survey of San Joaquin Valley organizations, a series of stakeholder interviews, and four workshops with CBO leaders in Fresno, Merced, Visalia, and Bakersfield. The report ends with conclusions and recommendations for how foundations and other investors can best assist CBOs to improve their impact and better serve vulnerable populations in the Valley.

Now. Here. This: Fresno Regional Foundation 2012 Annual Report

July 1, 2013

This annual report includes a letter from the Foundation's leadership, stories of current donors, the process, benefit and impact of the Fund for San Joaquin Valley, details of Grantmaking activities in the areas of arts and culture, youth development, human services, and the environment, information on donor-advised funds and teen pregnancy prevention activities, as well as financial, staff, and board information.

Down in the Valley: Financial Neglect in Rural California

June 11, 2013

The most powerful banks in California and the nation are failing to meet the financial services and credit needs of residents and businesses in the San Joaquin Valley. Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo (the "Big 3 banks") provide a lower level of affordable consumer, housing and small business lending and services to Valley residents and businesses than they do to consumers in other parts of California. Bank regulators contribute to this failure because they do not enforce the necessary attention from banks to nonmetropolitan areas like the Valley. As a result, the San Joaquin Valley lags in growth -- a bleak fact that has become increasingly apparent during the current economic recovery. The report documents disinvestment in the San Joaquin Valley.

Clearing the Air: How Clean Air is Possible and Affordable by 2013

February 1, 2007

Presents an alternative action plan for reducing emissions and improving air quality in the San Joaquin Valley, and identifies practical strategies to reduce ozone and particulate matter pollution.