Opportunity Fund is excited to announce that we’ll be starting the new year supported by a generous multi-year General Community Grant from the Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles (The Foundation). The grant is especially significant since it is our first time collaborating with The Foundation, an institution with a rich history of working with LA individuals and organizations to generate meaningful social impact for both the Jewish community and the larger LA community. The General Community Grants program reflects The Foundation’s commitment to “tikkun olam” (repairing the world), and every year, focuses on a different high priority concern in LA such as human trafficking, sexual and domestic violence, and homelessness. This year, the program has dedicated nearly a half-million dollars to help low-income Angelenos overcome barriers to employment and build self-sufficient lives.
Opportunity Fund is part of a larger cohort of organizations who will receive an award of $70,000 over two years. Grant recipients include impactful organizations such as Homeboy Industries, Chrysalis, and Downtown Women’s Center—each provides opportunities for LA community members to re-enter the workforce, transform their lives, and build a pathway to self-sufficiency.
“We are very proud to support this year’s General Community Grant recipients and the transformative work they are doing to provide opportunities to low-income Angelenos,” said Foundation President and CEO Marvin I. Schotland. “By supporting social enterprise, entrepreneurship, and job training, these organizations will provide many people with pathways out of poverty and into stable employment and self-sufficiency. Through these vital investments in our community, we anticipate that more Angelenos will lift themselves out of difficult economic circumstances and thrive in the coming years.”
For Opportunity Fund, meeting this expectation means leveraging The Foundation’s grant to expand affordable, responsible credit in greater LA. By growing the availability of working capital, more low-income entrepreneurs will grow their livelihoods, create more sustainable jobs for themselves and their neighbors, and generate more wealth in their communities.
By 2020, Opportunity Fund will originate 1,900 new microloans to underserved small-business-owners in Los Angeles county, investing nearly $57 million over two years. As a result, we’ll create nearly 3,348 jobs and generate $112 million in new annual economic activity to LA’s economy through new wages, taxes, and spending.
And not only will the grant help strengthen our own microlending program—it will help enrich the impact of our Community Partners, a network of partnerships with mission-aligned organizations who offer Opportunity Fund’s microloans to their constituents. The grant will help Community Partners deepen their capacity to provide community-informed lending, and provide local business-owners and their communities with the capital they need to thrive.
The above includes excerpts from a press release by the Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles.
More about the Jewish Community Foundation
Established in 1954, the Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles manages $1.25 billion of assets entrusted to it by over 1,300 families. The Foundation partners with donors to shape meaningful philanthropic strategies, magnify the impact of giving, and build enduring charitable legacies. Over the past 25 years, The Foundation has distributed over $1 billion in grants to thousands of nonprofits across a diverse spectrum. www.jewishfoundationla.org