SOCIAL BOND

One-Year Update

In 2021, after a period of social unrest due to ongoing racial injustices unleashed by the political divisiveness and the coronavirus pandemic, The California Endowment took out a $300-million social bond to fund power-building infrastructure and advance health system transformation in California.

This was a step forward beyond the foundation’s conventional grantmaking to meet the moment and commit to investing in innovative, long-term solutions. While there is much more to be done, in tandem with our community partners, we have made substantial progress toward realizing the vision of the Social Bond in a historic way.

One-Year Progress Update on the Social Bond

Since issuing the $300 million in social bonds, The Endowment has established Social Bond framework that will guide our investment. We have completed the beginning phases of planning for the Bond, which included making initial investments and preparing to make investments through our grantmaking process.

Planning for the Bond

As part of an overall commitment to racial equity, The Endowment ensured that our investment of the social bond was being led by people of color-led and women-led firms who assisted in the business and financing of the bond.

An internal committee of Endowment staff was established to specifically develop strategic frameworks and a rubric for the social bond. In addition, a select group of community members, consultants and advisory committee members provided their input on grantmaking priority areas.

Through thoughtful planning and collaboration, the TCE Bond Committee worked with the Board of Directors to finalize the strategy frameworks to guide Bond grantmaking.

Initial Investments

Initial grants have been issued to seven collaborative efforts – including:

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.

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.
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.
General Operating Support
To support an anchor community organizing group in Los Angeles County working to build power among youth and adult residents and train community organizers to advance health and racial justice efforts across Southern California.
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.
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.
Communicating Health and Race Equity
To elevate communications on health, social justice and racial equity throughout California.
$175,000
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
$397,440
Communicating the Community Health Impact of Social Bond Work
To communicate the work and community health impact of The California Endowment’s 300a-million-dollar Social Bond initiative.
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.
$65,000
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 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.

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 powerbuilding 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 longer-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 Building
  • 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 will be announced in May of 2021.

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.