The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, the private philanthropic company founded by Palo Alto residents Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan, distributed nearly $3.5 million in grants to 40 Bay Area organizations working to address critical community needs in East Palo Alto, Belle Haven, North Fair Oaks and Redwood City, the organization announced Jan. 9.
The grants, which were awarded through the organization's CZI Community Fund, range from $25,000 to $100,000 and will be used to tackle some of the most pressing challenges in these communities, including food security, workforce development, homelessness, immigration, health care, mentoring and education.
"CZI Community Fund recipients are on the front lines of critical work to support our neighbors and strengthen our community," said Cristina Huezo, director of CZI Community Fund.
Among the grant recipients are Project WeHope, an East Palo Alto organization that provides social services, such as mobile showering facilities and free certification courses for employment opportunities; and the nonprofit Live In Peace, which provides youth and young adults with resources focused on academic and career support. Both nonprofits also were grant recipients of the 2018-19 Palo Alto Weekly Holiday Fund.
Other recipients include the Boys & Girls Club of the Peninsula, Ecumenical Hunger Program, Youth United for Community Action, Girls to Women and Nuestra Casa de East Palo Alto.
In addition to receiving the year-long grants, these organizations will partner with the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative to pursue ways to strengthen their nonprofit work, including training opportunities for leaders of nonprofits and other collaborative opportunities.
The Facebook co-founder and his wife launched their charitable initiative in 2015, pledging to donate 99% percent of their Facebook shares toward efforts promoting equality and advancing human potential.
The CZI Community Fund, launched in 2017, has distributed grants to more than 70 local organizations. To qualify for the grants, organizations must be a 501(c)(3) nonprofit with a budget of at least $100,000 and have a fiscal agent or sponsor, or be a local municipality or government agency.