VCCF Power of Purpose – December 2023

 In Newsletters

Power of Purpose - Growing Philanthropy in Ventura County

Dear Ventura County Community Foundation Family,

Last week, nonprofits came together at the Center for Nonprofit Leadership’s 2023 Celebration of the Sector to honor the heroic efforts taking place across our region by hundreds of local organizations. This celebration brought nonprofits spanning the arts, education, healthcare, the environment, animal welfare, public safety and so much more! The diverse array of community-driven efforts in that room fills our hearts with optimism and hope, and reminds us of the power of generosity to change lives and create a brighter future for all. In the words of Loretta Merewether, “We are stronger, together!”

Our entire VCCF team is forever grateful to Dena Jensen and the Center for Nonprofit Leadership Board, staff, volunteers and donors for being a true champion and leader of our nonprofit sector, which by all accounts is stretching itself and innovating more than ever to be of service to our community. Not a day goes by where we aren’t referring a nonprofit colleague to the Center for help and support, and the results are tremendous.

According to the 2023 State of the Region Report by the Ventura County Civic Alliance, Ventura County’s nonprofit sector has grown substantially these last few years, with the total number of people working in the sector climbing 16.5% from 2020 to 2022. This is a testament to the vital role nonprofits play in our local economy and social fabric.

Surrounded by my treasured nonprofit colleagues, I couldn’t help but reflect on the words of Bernard Shaw, “True joy is being used for a purpose deemed by yourself to be a mighty one.” Let us all work together this season to spread joy.

Thank you for your continued support and commitment to the invaluable work carried out by our nonprofit community. Please consider making a gift to advance the great work of the Center for Nonprofit Leadership, a cornerstone of what makes our sector so special and effective.


In Gratitude,

Vanessa Bechtel

VCCF President & CEO

The VCCF Board of Directors

Happy holidays to everyone from the VCCF Board and Team

VCCF Grant Opportunities

A student wearing a blue flannel and black backpack stands in front of a school building, smiling and holding a book

A musician in a parade playing a shamisen, a traditional Japanese instrument

VCCF 2023/2024 Scholarship Season – Open Now

Over 470 scholarship opportunities are available to students, with over $1.4 million dollars available in scholarship awards. The deadline to apply for the scholarship season is January 19, 2024. Read More

Barbara Barnard Smith Fund for World Musics – Open Now

This meaningful grant opportunity is open to applications from schools and nonprofit organizations to help fund concerts open to the public that feature non-Western classical and folk musics, and of contemporary compositions for traditional or Western instruments inspired by and incorporating elements of these world musics. Apply Now

2023 State of the Region

Mike Silacci presents to an audience at the 2023 State of the Region event with the VCCF logo on-screen

Vanessa Bechtel speaks to an audience while sitting at a panel with other guest speakers at the 2023 State of the Region event

Every two years, the Ventura County Civic Alliance (VCCA) publishes its State of the Region Report. This powerful compilation is focused on advancing regional stewardship and promoting thoughtful dialogue to foster vitality throughout the region. VCCF is proud to continue its long tradition of serving as Research Sponsor of this powerful report.

This event provided invaluable insights about our region’s economic, environmental, and social equity perspectives, and beyond.

Welcome to VCCF, Kinsey and Julia!

A headshot of Kinsey Cohen

A headshot of Julia Stermer

VCCF would like to welcome our newest team members, Julia Stermer and Kinsey Cohen! Julia serves as Executive Assistant to the President & CEO, and Kinsey serves as Executive Assistant to the Chief Philanthropy Officer. We are so grateful for their talents and passion for serving their community.

What is the Isabella Project?

A preschooler stacks letter blocks

The Isabella Project is a collaborative pilot project in Ventura County working to make highest-quality early childhood education available for all families in Santa Paula. This group is comprised of over 90 community partners from across Ventura County and includes sectors ranging from higher education to childcare to government and more.

This ambitious effort is working on many solutions to this complex challenge, including helping home-based childcare providers and our local school systems expand access. The long-term goal is to expand this effort to include all cities in Ventura County, and it will take all of us working together to ensure its success. Please join us in supporting this vital work.

Power of Community

Good News from YOUR Ventura Community

Power of Community header, faces of community members

Emergency Preparedness: A guide for Central Coast small businesses and nonprofits

The cover of the Emergency Preparedness guide

The Pacific Coast Business Times recently released “Emergency Preparedness: A guide for Central Coast small businesses & nonprofits,” proudly co-sponsored by VCCF.

This guide is designed to help small businesses and nonprofit organizations prepare for natural disasters and be aware of what is likely to happen as an emergency unfolds and to understand the stages that will eventually lead to recovery for all.

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