News Releases

2012 High Impact Grant Cycle Open


September 26, 2012

Media Contacts:       

Dan DeSantis, Chief Executive Officer, 559-226-5600 x101; [email protected]

Sandra Flores, Sr. Program Officer, 559-226-5600 x104 or cell (559) 790-5852; [email protected]


Fresno Regional Foundation to grant $600,000 

to pressing issue facing the Valley

Organizations working to address the many factors affecting children in poverty and their ability to become literate by the 3rd grade urged to apply.

Fresno, CA – Too many children in the San Joaquin Valley are growing up in poverty. In Fresno County alone, the poverty rate among school-aged children jumped from 27 percent in 2007 to 36 percent in 2010 – the highest in the state.

Also, 60 percent of Valley children are not reading on grade level by the third grade, making them much more likely to drop out of high school and face greater challenges later in life. 

To address this issue, the Fresno Regional Foundation (FRF) will invest $600,000 this year to support children living in poverty to succeed in school. 

“For the Valley to see greater prosperity, we must increase the rates of educational success and attainment of our children, especially those living in poverty,” said FRF Chief Executive Officer Dan DeSantis. “After much deliberation, the Foundation decided helping families and children through the early years of education to be a very strategic investment for our future.” 

This first round of grants is part of a larger initiative called The Fund for the San Joaquin Valley. The Fund aims to build a $20 million endowment to solve the most pressing local issues. Local community members will be invited to donate to the endowment, and then the Foundation will grant $1 million every year to a critical issue, guided by an expert advisory committee of community leaders, forever. 

“As a member of the advisory committee, not only am I confident we are addressing a critical need for our community, I also learned a tremendous amount of information that will affect my decisions as an elected official,” said Fresno City Councilmember Oliver Baines. “Investing early to help children succeed in school will transform the future of the Valley.” 

To learn more about the High Impact grants and The Fund, please see the schedule of information sessions below:

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