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.

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.”

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.

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:

  • Recipients
  • Location
  • Subject area
  • Population serve


In addition, we are conducting a formal evaluation of the Bond to assess its near-term and long-term impact.

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.

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.

The Social Bond will issue grants within the first three years to support nonprofit organizations and/or coalitions.

Principal repayment will be made at maturity in 2051, with funding from investment assets.

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.

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.

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

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
  • Scale
  • Boldness
  • Leverage

Similar to The Endowment’s other grants, unsolicited letters of intent or proposals are not accepted. Funding opportunities are by invitation only.

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.

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.

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.

Unveiling Our 2023 Annual Report

The California Endowment is proud to present our 2023 annual report. Read about the work we are supporting and our partners who are changing California to a state of belonging and inclusion.

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