Julian Crocker introduced our speaker, Heidi McPherson. He told us the Community Foundation of SLO County was founded in 1998 and has given $40 million in local grants ,and in this year alone $290,000 in scholarships.

I was amazing to hear that, in a county of only 300,000 people, the Community Foundation SLO County has charitable assets of $66 million!

Heidi explained to us that, during a disaster, the Foundation seeks donations that will go directly into a disaster fund. All money raised will ONLY be used to assist in that disaster. Disaster funds

will only be distributed to a 501c3 nonprofit in San Luis Obispo County. The nonprofit must serve the most vulnerable populations with basic needs (food, shelter, transportation, etc.) and have a broad reach. They define vulnerable populations as homeless, food-insecure, low income, farm workers, senior citizens, disabled and household with prenatal to children up to 5 years old.

They are currently providing funding to : Atascadero Loaves & Fishes, CAPSLO, Center for Family Strengthening, The LINK, El Camino Homeless Organization, Peoples’ Self-Help Housing, San Luis Obispo County YMCA, SLO Noor Foundation,

Transitions Mental Health Association and Wilshire Health and Community Services in order to get funding to the most vulnerable during this pandemic. The need is great, Heidi explained, as one of the grantees, SLO Food Bank, has seen a 200% increase in demand for food during the pandemic!

In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Foundation has opened its Disaster Support Fund and will waive all administrative fees to provide urgent assistance to organizations working with our most vulnerable communities. Foundation grants will provide flexible resources to organizations in our region working with communities who are impacted by the Coronavirus and the economic consequences of this outbreak. To learn more about the Foundation’s support during this crisis, go to https://www.cfsloco.org/wp-content/ uploads/2020/03/Disaster-Support-Fund-Opened-for-COVID-19-Support-3-18-20.pdf

We thank Heidi for this very informative program about Community Foundation of SLO County.