Grants & Initiatives

The Arizona Community Foundation of Yavapai County is a family of charitable funds created for the community, by the community. Some funds have a broad grantmaking focus while others target a specific organization or field. Grants are awarded year-round either through donor advice or through a competitive process overseen by our local Board of Advisors.

2018 Competitive Grants Process

The annual competitive grants process for the Arizona Community Foundation of Yavapai County will provide financial support for projects and programs serving the area's residents. The online application is now closed, and grant recipients will be announced at Joy of Giving in August. For more information contact Lisa Sahady.

The need for funding outpaced the funds available for grantmaking in 2018, leaving opportunities for people like you to make a difference. These 2018 Worthy Projects include opportunities to support Yavapai County with a gift to a deserving organization that will make an immediate impact.

2017 Competitive Grants

During the 12-month period ending March 31, 2017, the Arizona Community Foundation of Yavapai County awarded $1.3 million in grants and scholarships through the competitive grants process and through the advice of donors who have established funds with ACF of Yavapai County. Since inception, ACF of Yavapai County has awarded over $15 million in grants and scholarships to Yavapai County nonprofit organizations and deserving students.

Grants awarded by ACF of Yavapai County

The competitive grants process for 2017 concluded with the awarding of $488,437 in grants to nonprofit organizations and Arizona Reads Now, its early childhood literacy project. Nonprofit organizations of all kinds serving Yavapai County residents were invited to submit proposals, which were vetted by local volunteers through grant panels. 

The Joy of Giving Awards announced 2017's local philanthropists and nonprofit organizations, which pay tribute to the contributions of individuals and organizations for the betterment of Yavapai County:

  • Local resident Bill Fain (1938-2016) was recognized as Philanthropist of the Year for his long history of supporting the Yavapai County community. Many say that Bill Fain was the embodiment of Prescott Valley. Upon his generous donation of land, Prescott Valley built the Civic Center area, Bradshaw Mountain High School and the Yavapai Regional Medical Center East Campus. Bill’s generosity was not exclusive to Prescott Valley. The Prescott Airport is built on land he donated. His door was open to all and he handled deals the “old fashioned” way, with a hand shake. Bill has passed his philanthropic spirit to his children, ensuring that the Fain Family will continue to be a part of this community for many years to come.
  • The Kiwanis Club of Prescott received the Community Leadership Award for their annual auctions that have provided more than $2 million in funding for community projects and college scholarships, and their crowning jewel—Kayla’s Hands Playground, built in honor of Kayla Mueller whose life was cut short by ISIS.

The Joy of Giving philanthropic awards luncheon offered everyone in the sold-out crowd the chance to be a philanthropist for the day. Arizona Community Foundation of Yavapai County shined a spotlight on five shining stars from the 120 grant proposals received in 2017. These shining stars were:

  • Arizona Friends of Foster Children will utilize grant funds to provide awards to children in foster care in Yavapai County for athletic activities, tutoring services, camp, prom expenses, dance and gymnastics classes, swimming lessons, and other extracurricular activities that are not funded in any other way.
  • Hungry Kids Project - Chino Valley, one hundred percent of all funds will be used to purchase weekend food for approximately 250 children within the Chino Valley Unified School District through the Hungry Kids Project.
  • Old Town Mission, funds will be used to maintain current services, but will also allow the Old Town Mission to facilitate a new fresh produce market every Tuesday. This market is free to everyone and was created to meet the increased need for fresh produce in the Verde Valley.
  • Prescott Meals on Wheels, Aging Better and Bolder in Prescott shares positive initiatives on aging. This educational program is a free source with various communication approaches for local nonprofits and businesses with a cooperative spirit to encourage seniors to live in their own home with safety, dignity and joy for as long as possible.
  • Skyview Charter School will further develop its learning gardens, outdoor classroom space, and rainwater-harvesting infrastructure. This project will support the school’s science and project-based curriculum by providing a living laboratory for students and community members to learn about sustainable agricultural practices, water/energy conservation, indigenous plants/people, and pollinator restoration.

Take a look at some of the ways in which nonprofit organizations are making a difference in Yavapai County.

Stories of Impact


Major grant opportunity in literacy

The Arizona Community Foundation of Yavapai County has announced a major grant opportunity to support area youth in reaching the critical educational milestone of reading proficiency by third grade. With support from three additional funders, the project will provide $125,000 to $150,000 annually to support the development and implementation of an early literacy program for three years.

Nonprofit organizations and colleges are invited to submit proposals for programs that serve students in Yavapai County public schools and employ evidence-based strategies to improve literacy rates for students from pre-kindergarten through third grade.

According to data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress, many students in Arizona fall short of reaching this critical milestone. In 2013, only 28 percent of students were reading proficiently entering fourth grade and a full 40 percent were not reading at even basic proficiency.

Recognizing the great need for the promotion of early literacy in Arizona and Yavapai County, Chamberlain wanted to involve other community partners supportive of education and student achievement. The James Family Foundation, the Margaret T. Morris Children’s Foundation and the Arizona Community Foundation Venture Fund for Quality Education agreed to serve as collaborative funding partners in the three-year literacy initiative. Each organization has committed to fund a portion of the grant in its first year or to contribute annually for the entirety of the three-year project.