Why a Social Bond?In 2021, The California Endowment issued a historic $300-million Social Bond to advance racial justice and health equity in California in the decade ahead.
Inspired by a quote from the late Congressman John Lewis of Georgia, “Get in good trouble, necessary trouble, and help redeem the soul of America,” the Social Bond funds the people and the organizations doing exactly that - creating good trouble to impact systemic change. We call them the “Good Troublemakers.”Explore Our Grantees Dashboard
This investment came out of years of research
It was also created in response to a worldwide reckoning on racial equity and the disproportionately negative impact the COVID-19 pandemic had on communities of color.
It is Dr. Robert K. Ross, President and CEO of The California Endowment’s intention of a Beloved Community that makes the Social Bond a step forward beyond conventional grantmaking to meet the moment and commit to investing in innovative, long-term solutions throughout California.
One of the most important lessons
The Endowment learned over the past decade of listening and responding to partners is that “it begins and ends with people power.” The Social Bond grantmaking process was guided by the practice of trust-based philanthropy and the recognition that people closest to the problem have the best understanding of the solutions.
What is the goal of the Social Bond?
The Social Bond will advance racial justice and health equity in California over the next ten years, focusing on three key goals:
Reimagined Public Institutions
A 21st century “Health for All” System
These three goals focus on four priority areas – defined by the community as areas where resources are most needed to support powerbuilding efforts.
How are grantees selected?
The Endowment’s leadership and program teams will be responsible for selecting the grantees.
Step 1: Proposal Application Process
Subject matter experts review grantee and Program-Related Investment (PRI) partner proposal applications
Grantee proposal applications evaluate prospective grantees based on a number of criteria including, but not limited to, (i) the issues their organization/project addresses, (ii) geographic focus and/or communities and populations their organization/project intends to support, (iii) long-term goals, (iv) existing revenue sources, (v) potential impact, (vi) prior experience and (vii) diversity goals and efforts.
Proposals for grantees will be thoroughly reviewed to ensure The Endowment complies with all legal requirements (including, but not limited to, Internal Revenue Code requirements and U.S. anti-terrorism laws) for charitable giving. The Endowment has designed its grant making process – from preparation of the grant recommendation to processing final reports – to conform to applicable legal standards and The Endowment’s procedures and standards. Grantees will be monitored by The Endowment on an ongoing basis through visits, meetings, and written reports.
Step 2: Management of Proceeds
The Endowment tracks the net proceeds of the Social Bond.
Until distributed, the net proceeds of the Bonds will be held in a segregated account at The Endowment’s custodian bank. Bond proceeds will be transferred, as needed, to an operating account for disbursement. A register will be established and managed by the CFO and his Finance department staff to record on an ongoing basis the allocation of the net proceeds of the Bonds to grantees
Step 3: Reporting
Reporting will be posted on the website and will include recipients, location, subject area, and population served.
The Endowment currently reports on its grant-making by listing all of its grants and grantees on its website, updated monthly, as well as Form 990-PF tax filings, with ongoing updates on the work conducted in furtherance of its mission (https://www.calendow.org/).
Information contained in The Endowment’s website is not part of this Offering Memorandum and is not incorporated by reference herein. All updates on the expenditure of bond proceeds are voluntary.
What is the impact of the Social Bond?
Over the next several years, the Endowment will continue supporting the Good Troublemakers – nonprofit organizations advancing racial justice and health equity in California for systemic and policy change.
This process includes:
- Identifying projects
- Evaluating them
- Working together with partner organizations to develop proposals for approval by the foundation’s Board of Directors
To learn more about The Endowment’s progress on the Social Bond, click the button below for an update from President and CEO Dr. Robert K. Ross and Board Chair Bishop Minerva Carcaño.Hear from Dr. Ross & Bishop Carcaño
As the Social Bond project moves forward, the Endowment will continue to focus grantmaking on areas of greatest need, where inequity is highest, and to align with the community on goals and needs.
Together, we will create good trouble to impact systemic change, create a more equitable and racially just California and achieve a Beloved Community.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Bond?
Social bonds are loans contracted from private funding to support new and existing projects that achieve positive social outcomes.
The California Endowment’s Social Justice Bond is a $300-million fund that provides a long-overdue opportunity to invest in much-needed organizational and power infrastructure to advance and sustain efforts to secure health, wellness and racial equity for California and Californians.
What is Power Infrastructure?
Power infrastructure is defined by the Grassroots Policy Project & PIVOT as “The people, systems and resources that provide the underlying foundation or basic framework needed for a long-lasting robust power-building ecosystem for transformative change. It includes the skills, capacities, organizational forms, resources and apparatuses to drive the agenda and build movement power.”
Why offer a Bond now?
In response to the COVID-19 global pandemic and its devastating impact on communities of color, along with the nation’s reckoning on racial justice, The Endowment seeks to substantially increase the impact of organizers and grassroots groups who are doing civic engagement work on the ground by providing the necessary funding for powerbuilding.
The Endowment’s grantmaking in the coming years will provide new, dedicated support for the infrastructure and institutional needs of organizations in California driving transformational changes in health, public education, criminal justice, and community development systems and policies.
How do you measure the return on a Bond, and how will The Endowment report this impact?
The Endowment’s Social Bond specifically aims to advance social justice – racial and health justice specifically – by way of investing in infrastructure, the health workforce, climate resiliency and Power infrastructure to achieve policy solutions that create opportunities for health, wellness and access to healthcare for all.
The Endowment intends to report on the grants financed through the Social Bond along with its other grantmaking activities on its website, which will include:
- Subject area
- Population serve
In addition, we are conducting a formal evaluation of the Bond to assess its near-term and long-term impact.
What has happened with the Bond over the last year?
Since February of 2021, The Endowment has established a Bond committee, developed a grant assessment rubric, brought on consultants and an advisory committee, engaged directly with communities, partners and other stakeholders while creating strategy frameworks for its grantmaking priority areas.
Who funds the Bond?
The Endowment has committed to having 50 percent of the underwriting work supported by BIPOC-owned and women-owned firms – including Black-led underwriting firms Loop Capital and Siebert William Shank who partnered with JP Morgan to move the investor recruitment and execution phase forward.
How much funding does the Bond allocate, and over how much time?
The Social Bond will issue grants within the first three years to support nonprofit organizations and/or coalitions.
When and how will The Endowment pay back the Bond?
Principal repayment will be made at maturity in 2051, with funding from investment assets.
What makes the Bond different from other investments from The Endowment?
2020 was a historic time period – the COVID-19 pandemic; the unjust killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor (along with many other Black people killed by law enforcement); and the persistence of white supremacy – that unearthed deep inequities in the nation’s systems. The Social Bond represents a dedicated commitment to supporting infrastructure and power-building movements for social justice and health for all Californians. This is not a time for philanthropy as usual – this moment calls for unprecedented action for systemic transformation.
The Endowment’s Social Bond is a commitment to make historic investments in building power and agency in communities and to dismantling racist systems that impede health and civic engagement. Through investing in lasting support, The Endowment seeks to address the ongoing harm of racist policies and practices and accelerate the impact of its partners far beyond traditional grantmaking.
How does the Bond specifically uplift bold ideas and advance movement and power infrastructure in California for the next 10 years?
The Endowment will fund organizations, programs and projects that are working toward long-term power-building and infrastructure. This includes “institutionalizing” or “endowing” collaborations that support grassroots community organizing and leadership development, building economic power by investing in the health workforce and strengthening policy and advocacy networks.
Where will Bond funds be allocated, and how are those choices made?
After a year of intense planning, The Endowment strategically determined priority areas to expand and strengthen the infrastructure for health, equity and racial justice across California. The Bond funds are allocated and invested across these priority areas:
- Power Infrastructure
- Health Systems (Coverage, Health and Wellness, Workforce)
- Resilient Communities (Climate Resiliency)
- Research and Evaluation
Who is eligible to receive a grant from the Bond?
Grants from the Social Bond are intended for nonprofit organizations, as well as projects and programs that address racial justice and anti-racist practices. Grantees’ mission, projects and/or programs must also be aligned with The Endowment’s current strategic plan.
Each Bond project will be assessed based on the same criteria:
- Sustainable Impact
- Transformative System Change
How can people apply for grant funding from the Bond?
Similar to The Endowment’s other grants, unsolicited letters of intent or proposals are not accepted. Funding opportunities are by invitation only.
Have any grants for the Bond already been issued?
Yes, initial grants have been issued to seven collaborative efforts – including the California Black Freedom Fund, Latino Community Foundation and Foundation for California Community Colleges. Additional grantees were announced in September and November 2022.
What happens now?
While there’s much more to be done, The Endowment has made substantial progress toward actualizing this vision in a historic way in tandem with community partners and initial grantees. Over the next year, as we embark on this next phase of the Social Bond, The Endowment plans to finalize the frameworks, identify projects the Bond will fund, evaluate them against its criteria and work with partner organizations to develop proposals for approval by the Endowment’s Board of Directors.
How will the bond proceeds be used?
The Endowment will have broad discretion as to its use of the proceeds of the Social Bonds, provided that such use complies with The Endowment’s tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and The Endowment’s classification as a private foundation.
Learn more about our Foundation
We believe good leadership and people power are essential to social justice and better health for all of California. We believe in a "Beloved California," grounded in wellness, inclusion, and shared prosperity. A California for All.Explore Our Story About our Grant Making
Advancing Health Access For All Californians
To advance health access for all Californians by providing technical support for The California Endowment’s role in the Healthy California for All Commission.
Supporting Health Through The Development Of Hope Village
To support The California Endowment’s leadership in their vision of replacing jail beds with health-related supportive services and housing in Los Angeles by connecting The Endowment to important local- and state-level public and private influencers and investors.
Assessing The Power Building Landscape To Improve Community Health
To support a landscape assessment of power building models, structures and functions of a potential thinktank on community power, organizing and leadership that can promote improved health and wellness in California communities.
Advancing Health Equity And Wellness For Resilient Communities
To support cross-departmental planning efforts related to The California Endowment’s social bond, including helping build a strategic framework, priorities and potential investments for resilient communities that aligns with the bond’s priorities and scoring criteria.
Communicating Health Equity Impacts Of Social Bond Work
To support education and communication around The California Endowment’s social bond work, which includes efforts to support power building and transform systems grounded in justice, inclusion, equity and community health.
Communicating Health And Race Equity
To elevate communications on health, social justice and racial equity throughout California.
Communicating The Community Health Impact Of Social Bond Work
To communicate the work and community health impact of The California Endowment’s 300-million-dollar Social Bond initiative.
Center For Outcomes Research And Education – Improving California’s Health
To help develop and strengthen the data infrastructure for building, tracking and evaluating community power in California to achieve health equity.
Visioning Hope For Community Health And Wellness In California
To support an inclusive, participatory process that will produce site development options and help catalyze The California Endowment’s broader Hope Village vision to promote improved health and wellness in California communities.
Advancing A System Of Health And Well-Being For All
To support the coordination and facilitation of a robust planning process, inclusive of community engagement, that leads to the development of a framework with strategies for advancing a system of health and well-being for all Californians.
Designing A Power-Building Movement Infrastructure Center For Health
To support a design process for the development of a power-building infrastructure center to significantly enhance the strategic capacity to achieve transformative change across the movements for health equity and justice in California.
Supporting a Community Resilience Campaign for Health Equity
To create a solid, aggressive, focused and diverse public-private-community hub in the Salton Sea region (Riverside County and Imperial County) to coordinate, plan, and advance projects that will increase the competitiveness and readiness of the region to capture public dollars that will strengthen the community's campaign for health equity.
Young Climate Leaders of Color, People’s Climate Innovation $1.5 million for three years
Support the development of Young Climate Leaders of Color, a power and movement building infrastructure that develops, fosters and supports youth of color in California as a new wave of climate justice leaders, innovators and philanthropists working on addressing the root causes of climate injustice and transforming the health of their communities.
Resilience Hubs, Asian Pacific Environmental Network $1.5 million for two years
To improve community resilience and health against climate change disasters for BIPoC communities.
The Johns Hopkins University P3 Lab $1.5 million over three years
Invest in the development of the scholar and field- based infrastructure to support deep, sustained learning within the field of organizing by strengthening tools and capacity for adaptive strategy.
FoodLink for Tulare County, Central Valley Agroecology Network $1.5 million for two years
Support regenerative agriculture to support healthy land stewardship and food sovereignty for predominantly Native American and immigrant communities in Tulare and Fresno counties.
Community Economic Mobilization Initiative, Sierra Health Foundation $1,804,500 for two years
Strengthen Health and Community Resiliency to strengthen the ability of BIPOC led and serving organizations in the use of public funds designated to reduce economic and environmental inequities.
Refugee Immigrant Cultural Hub, Partnership for the Advancement of New Americans $2.7 million for 18 months
To support land acquisition and development of the Refugee and Immigrant Cultural Hub in San Diego.
Decolonizing Wealth Project - Building Resilience and Health in California
To provide strategic support to over 12 diverse California Tribal land trusts as they further equitable systems and practices for longer-term adaptation, recovery, and rebuilding by applying Indigenous wisdom and land management practices to heal; transition built and natural systems and social infrastructure to be resilient and sustainable; and support community restoration, stewardship, health and ultimately ownership of land, soil and water through community ownership, governance and care.
The University of Southern California Equity Research Institute $2,996,357 over three years
Strengthen California’s ecosystem of BIPOC and community-engaged researchers who are equipped with the skills and capacities to provide data and narrative that bolsters community power and power building for health equity.
Community Ownership for Community Power, Possibility Labs $2 million over three years
To provide capacity building and capital infrastructure for communities of color and immigrant communities across California to advance community ownership as a common model for equitable real estate preservation, working towards widespread housing affordability, intergenerational community wealth, and the right to health equity for all Californians.
Climate Science Alliance - Building Tribal Climate Resiliency and Health
To strengthen California’s Native community-driven efforts to further equitable systems and practices for longer-term climate adaptation, recovery, and rebuilding by applying Indigenous wisdom and land management practices to heal landscapes, build climate-resilience workforce pathways and strengthen Tribal governance.
Alameda Wellness Campus – Advancing Health Access Through Housing
To pioneer a new standard of care for unhoused adults with complex health challenges through the construction of a clinic that will provide short-term housing, recuperative care and health services for 400 unhoused Alameda County residents annually discharged from hospitals who have no safe place to heal.
Promoting Climate and Community Resilience via Leadership, Health and Safety
To support efforts to create the first carbon-negative rural/Tribal region in the US by 2030 through accelerating climate resilience development while confronting inequitable health and safety impacts of rapid transitions in the Redwood Coast, Humboldt, Trinity, and Del Norte region.
Advancing Public Health Leadership And Workforce In California
To establish and implement initiatives to advance the leadership and collective impact among public health educational institutions and strengthen connections and coordination between schools and programs of public health and local health departments to strengthen the public health workforce in California.
General Operating Support
To support an organization that strengthens community organizing capacity and leadership among youth and adults and trains organizers to advance health equity and racial justice across the Central Valley and beyond.
Supporting Drought Resiliency and Economic Stability for Farmworker Health
To support farmworker health through an ecosystem of partners supporting movement building across California and working to build farmworker capacity in rural communities for long-term drought resilience planning, action and structural implementation.
California Medicine Program – Building Healthy Career Pathways
To reduce health disparities for underserved communities by increasing the diversity of physicians who are trained and practice in California.
Latino Power Fund – Rebuilding A Healthy Equitable California
To build the civic, political and economic power of Latinos for a stronger, healthier, more equitable California.
California Black Freedom Fund – Advancing Health Equity
To support a pooled fund designed to help build and sustain the power of Black-led organizations, coalitions, and networks and bolster the infrastructure of Black-led organizations working to build power, advance health equity and transform inequitable systems across California.
Bold Vision, Liberty Hill Foundation $5 million over three years
To support a philanthropic-community organization partnership project to strengthen the power building infrastructure in Los Angeles County to advance health and racial justice efforts to ensure that BIPoC youth have the resources and skills they need to thrive.
Center for Community Organizing, Community Coalition for Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment $6 million for one year
Support multi-faceted community power building to be scaled locally in LA, statewide, and nationally. CoCo is an organization at the center of the Los Angeles ecosystem with a long history of organizing, civic engagement, arts and culture, and resident leadership development in the region.
California Accountable Communities for Health Initiative, under fiscal sponsorship of Community Partners $7.5 million over 5 years
To support the scaling of a model that links health care systems, providers, and health plans with public health, community and social services organizations, and residents across California.
California Primary Care Association $13million over 5 years
To bridge community clinics, health centers, and networks in communities through advocacy, education, and civic engagement to improve health equity across California.