October 11, 2018

Imperial County Focus of Request for Proposal to Establish Local Health and Wellness Fund

Proposed $25 million fund to be underwritten with a $7.5 million challenge grant from Alliance Healthcare Foundation

El Centro, CA. October 11, 2018. Alliance Healthcare Foundation (AHF), a nonprofit organization working to advance health and wellness for those in need in San Diego and Imperial counties, announced today a Request for Proposal to establish a $25 million locally controlled foundation in Imperial County, California, with $17.5 million of that amount to be raised in response to the AHF Challenge Grant.

With this Request for Proposal (RFP), AHF invites Imperial County residents, community leaders, foundation partners and other interested parties to propose a process, structure, timeline and related considerations that support AHF’s vision for a locally controlled health and wellness fund in Imperial County. AHF’s vision is that the Valley Wellness Foundation (VWF) will be governed and administered independently in Imperial County in a way that provides Imperial County with an enduring source of funds to advance the health and wellness of the region.

Alliance Healthcare Foundation Interim Executive Director Elizabeth Dreicer commented: “Independent foundations play a unique role in communities across the country. They are different from community foundations in that they are independent foundations that, once established, have invested assets that keep generating new income for the foundation. This positions them to independently assess and address problems and challenges without fundraising dependency and enables longer term thinking. And, because the foundation is nongovernmental and independent, it can support innovation endeavors, often high risk and high reward, that are needed to transform the current paradigm (high cost and poor outcomes) to improve quality, increase capacity and reduce costs where other traditional funders too often shy away. We recognize raising $17.5 million might seem a daunting task. Yet, Alliance is committing resources — grant funds, consultant time, relationships with other funders and our own leadership — to actively support Imperial County residents in this opportunity.”

To help establish the new foundation, AHF has reserved $7.5 million until June 30, 2020, in the form of a potential matching grant with the following conditions:

  1. The grantee must be a 501(c)(3) nonprofit entity organized and operated under and in full compliance with California and federal laws and regulations;
  2. The VWF must have a minimum of $17.5 million from other sources, to create a fund with at least $25 million;
  3. The VWF must be domiciled in Imperial County;
  4. The VWF must have a mission dedicated exclusively to improving the health and wellness of vulnerable populations in Imperial County; and
  5. The mission of the VWF must be irrevocable.

In a statement, 56th District Assembly Member Eduardo Garcia said: “Having a new, independent health foundation in the valley that’s governed by local residents and civic leaders will add an important dedicated funding source for local nonprofits. Alliance’s effort complements other big initiatives currently coming together for our region. We need to take advantage of every opportunity to improve the living conditions of our hardworking families. Current and future generations are counting on us to act now.”

AHF is prepared to invest up to $175,000 in a single grant to support the planning, organizing and fund development efforts for the new foundation. AHF expects to award the planning grant in December 2018, which will allow a full 18 months for organizing, convening and fundraising to establish the Valley Wellness Fund.

“The timing is perfect for Alliance Healthcare Foundation’s challenge grant,” said Alex Cardenas, Division 1 director-elect of the Imperial Irrigation District. “Hundreds of millions of dollars are coming to the Salton Sea from Sacramento; the national economy is booming, and I understand that charitable foundations and donors across the country are increasingly concerned about health disparities in rural counties like ours. Eyes are on us. With Alliance’s support, I believe we can raise the necessary funds for this new and very important foundation. We can do this!”

AHF recognizes that this effort also will require careful attention to ensure that all community voices are heard throughout the process. AHF welcomes proposals from entities, coalitions or civic groups that use a collaborative, team-oriented, inclusive approach.

“As a business owner and resident of the Imperial Valley for over 20 years, I welcome AHF’s inspired new fund. It would be a welcome addition to our community,” said Anne Irigoyen, vice president of Ametza, LLC. “Being involved is the key to the health and wellness of our valley. Welcoming a new wellness fund would enhance our ability to maintain a healthy environment for our citizens. We are in an area with a high percentage of needs, including homelessness, and need all the help we can get to help those in need in our community.”

AHF believes that progress and good ideas are as likely to come from community residents as they are from experienced professionals.

Priority considerations will be given to applicants that:

  • are based in Imperial County;
  • are culturally competent and committed to broad community inclusion;
  • propose a thoughtful, iterative and detailed process for steadily working toward and ultimately establishing the new health foundation;
  • have a strong record of successful collaboration across different sectors;
  • can leverage the experience of multiple partners; and
  • demonstrate the capacity to effectively and cost-efficiently manage a team of staff, volunteers and consultants.

Julio Rodriguez, executive director of First 5 Imperial, said: “Statewide data show that Imperial County babies are born healthy. By early adulthood, though, too many of our children have developed chronic diseases like asthma that can be life-threatening. First 5 Imperial welcomes the addition of another philanthropic resource in the valley to help positively affect the health and wellness of local families.”

To learn more about the AHF Planning Grant RFP and to RSVP to our next upcoming Community Workshop through November 2018, please use register using links below. Responses to this RFP must be submitted by Tuesday, December 4, 2018, at 12:00pm Pacific Time.

Register for Upcoming RFP Workshops (all 11:00 am – 1:00 pm, complimentary lunch provided)


About Alliance Healthcare Foundation. We work to advance health and wellness for the most vulnerable in San Diego and Imperial counties. We accomplish this work through collaborative funding, convening and advocacy. We currently operate a portfolio of five programs: i2 is our innovation initiative, also referred to as “venture philanthropy”—based on the thesis that innovation capital (often high risk, high reward) is needed to transform the current paradigm (high cost and poor outcomes) and improve quality, increase capacity and reduce costs; Mission Support—based on the belief that trusting those closest to our constituents and providing core operating support for great organizations will best advance our mission; Responsive Funding—based on the belief that it is important to be responsive to time-sensitive community needs and opportunities; InvestUp—based on the belief that it is important to actively and strategically be looking for ways to meaningfully advance our mission and it is worth spending some or all of our corpus—beyond the earnings off of our endowment—if we can substantively, sustainably and positively change the dynamics; and Program-Related Investments, also referred to as “impact investments,” based on the thesis that we can activate our investment portfolio to achieve more positive impact. More:

AHF Media contact:
Jan Strode, CEO Advisors
P 619-890-2725 E

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