SOLANA BEACH — Organizations that provide services in Solana Beach are encouraged to apply for a grant through the newly created Solana Beach Fund, part of the Coastal Community Foundation.
The deadline to apply has been extended through March 7.
The Coastal Community Foundation was founded in 1987 around a table in a small office at the Community Resource Center in Encinitas by Peter DeFrancesca, Liz Ferguson, Anne Omsted, Margaret Schlesinger and Greg Murrell.
They wanted to create a way to support social service, education and environmental issues in a rapidly changing area.
The foundation primarily serves the north coastal communities of Del Mar, Solana Beach, Encinitas, Carlsbad, Oceanside and Carmel Valley.
Grant programs include the mental health fund, awarded to nonprofit organizations that provide prevention or early intervention mental health services or counseling for youth.
The Ed Ventures grant program partners with three nonprofits to provide art and business education for students in grades 2 through 6.
Hand to Hand directs resources to programs that empower change and self-sufficiency in females by funding education and job training, helping women re-enter the work force and providing mentoring programs for girls.
The foundation also awards scholarships for students studying Suzuki piano music, as well as donor-advised funds established by families for specific charitable programs.
In the past, some Solana Beach organizations received funding from other Coastal Community Foundation grants. They include North Coast Repertory Theatre, the Solana Beach Historical Society as a sponsor of the Seaweeder project and the Boys & Girls Clubs of San Dieguito.
The Betty Scalice Foundation funded a portion of the free concerts at Fletcher Cove and education grants have been given to Solana Beach schools for creative activities in the classroom that enhance learning and art education.
About a year ago, board member and Solana Beach resident Laura Fleming asked her colleagues if they had any interest in creating a fund specifically for organizations in the city in which she lives.
“I’ve seen other communities with robust community funds,” she said. “They have a lot of pride and I wanted that for Solana Beach.”
In less than a year, Fleming said, about $14,000 was raised from 20 families for the Solana Beach Fund, which supports a thriving community “that builds strong nonprofits, supports neighborhoods and families and ensures vibrant culture,” according to the website.
Grant funds may be requested for new activities, but they are also available to help current programs expand, become more effective or improve organizational efficiency in delivering services.
Because this is the first year of the Solana Beach program, the focus is fairly broad, Fleming said. “Over time we will identify certain gaps but we wanted to open it up and see what comes the first year,” she said.
Programs must be in Solana Beach. Grants will not be considered for fundraising events, endowment campaigns, travel, religious or political advocacy or programs and services outside of the city
Preference will be given to organizations with budgets less than $2 million. The grant range is $2,000 to $5,000.
The short application is available at coastalfoundation.org/grants. Fleming said a subcommittee will review all applications and make recommendations to the board of directors, which makes the final decision.
An award ceremony will be held in late spring. The exact date and location haven’t been determined yet.
“One core value is intergenerational involvement,” Fleming said. “We want to involve residents of all ages. This is an opportunity to build and encourage service to our community.”