The Community Foundation San Luis Obispo County logo
July 30, 2020
"The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members.” ~ Coretta Scott King, author & civil rights leader

Dear Friends-

We find ourselves facing many challenges during this unprecedented time, both in our local communities and across the nation. As we mourn the passing of civil rights activist Representative John Lewis, we are reminded of some of the most important things in life: equality, justice, love, compassion and most of all empathy. In the quote by Coretta Scott King above, we can recognize the power that our local community has in reaching out to help those in need. It is evident that San Luis Obispo County is a great community filled with compassionate people.

The work of the Foundation is vital during challenging times such as these - we need to remain nimble and responsive to provide critical resources to help sustain the nonprofit services that are essential to our community. Our Disaster Support Fund continues to provide much needed financial resources to essential programs across our County. This has been made possible by you, our Foundation Family, who continues to donate to lift up those in need. We thank you for your generosity and thoughtfulness.

We have not been idle during the pandemic: rather, our staff, Board of Directors and volunteers have been kept busy with many programs. I hope you enjoy learning about some of the projects we have been involved with the past few months, including our 2019 Community Impact Report, facilitating support for area youth through scholarships and livestock auctions, and focusing on how to best support our nonprofit partners through grant funding.

Thank you for coming along the journey with us to support the health and well being of our friends and neighbors. We are a better community because of YOU.

With gratitude,

Heidi H. McPherson
Chief Executive Officer
Spotlights and Highlights
2019 Community Impact Report
 2019 Community Impact Report

We are pleased to share our 2019 Community Impact Report which is hot off the press! Click on the image of the report to learn about the 552 grants that were awarded in the amount of $2,492,712 to our local community during 2019. You find stories about about our scholarship recipients, hear from our donors about our financial resources and learn about our special programs that support a vibrant San Luis Obispo County. Let us know if you would like us to mail you a hard copy of the report. Thanks to Badger Branding for their assistance designing this report.

Disaster Support Fund Update

The Community Foundation continues to work hand-in-hand with our generous donors and our nonprofit partners to support important programs to our most vulnerable populations during this pandemic. To date 23 San Luis Obispo County nonprofits have received 35 Disaster Support Fund Grants grants totaling nearly $281,800Our generous community members have donated more than $385,000 to the Disaster Support Fund.The total amount the Foundation has awarded to support relief efforts is over $600,000. Thank you to our supporters that have already contributed to this fund. For more information about donating go to

Scholarships - Supporting our Future Leaders 

This year The Community Foundation awarded more than $290,000 in scholarships and awards to nearly 60 San Luis Obispo County high school seniors to support their continuing education. The Foundation’s Scholarship Program, established in 2000 by generous individuals, families, businesses and organizations, has awarded more than $2.6 million to local students the past 20 years to ensure students have the opportunity to pursue their educational dreams. We administer scholarships covering a wide range of interests including nursing, science, automotive studies, agriculture, art, ballet, leadership and many more.

Join us in congratulating the irrepressible class of 2020 as they celebrate their hard work and move forward to their futures! We know you'll love the sweet video compilation below of our scholarship recipients sharing their stories, as well as a slideshow of our Richard J. Weyhrich Leadership Award honorees that was shown at the SLO County Board of Supervisors' July meeting. For a list of this years' scholarship recipients go to our website at

Class of 2020 Scholarship Recipient Compilation
2020 Richard J. Weyhrich Leadership Award Recipient Slideshow
Community Support for Area Youth

Congratulations to our young community members that exhibited 400 projects at the virtual California Mid-State Fair (CMSF) this past week. After months of planning and hard work by local 4-H and FFA students, the pandemic threatened the ability for the students to show their projects at auction. Fortunately, with the support of the CMSF and the James W. Brabeck Youth Legacy Fund held at The Community Foundation, community members were encouraged to donate to the Buyers Coalition which provided bids on livestock to ensure that students were able to recoup their project investments. The number and amount of donations was truly remarkable and reflective of our generous and supportive Central Coast community.

Additionally we would like to say congratulations again to this year's Youth Legacy Scholarship winner Ashley Rosilez (pictured below) on her $20,000 award.

James W. Brabeck Youth Legacy Fund
Give OUT Day Results Provide LGBTQ Funding

Thanks to our thoughtful and generous supporters that care about equality and inclusiveness, our Growing Together: An LGBTQ Fund raised $9,585 during the June 30 national Give OUT Day event. David Elson and United Staffing Associates once again provided a matching donation challenge of $7,000 which doubled the impact of all donations. These funds will be used for grants to local programs that focus on the principles of social justice, a civil society, and safety of our youth.

Arroyo Grande High School LGBTQ + Club Members show off their shirts funded by a Growing Together Fund grant.
Women's Legacy Fund "Invest in Her" Virtual Event

The Women’s Legacy Fund (WLF) Luncheon has been an event for everyone who stands for and with the women of San Luis Obispo County. As the COVID-19 crisis has progressed, we have made the decision to host a FREE virtual event, knowing it is the right path that prioritizes the safety and health of our community and the leaders who convene with us.

Join us on Thursday, September 24 at 5:00 pm for a free, live broadcast of "Invest In Her". You'll learn how WLF grants impacted girls across our county last year as well as what's in store for our 2020 grant recipients. Registration for this free event will be announced in our next newsletter and on our Facebook page.

SLO County residents have shown that when we come together in love of community, our kindness, compassion, and generosity know no limits. The annual WLF event is a moment for our community to once again come together to fulfill this need. Your sponsorship of this event will power WLF’s critical research, fuel our advocacy, and support our essential grantmaking. Please email us if you are interested in more information.

Despite the unique circumstances we face in 2020, our annual event is not going anywhere – except into the comfort of your own home. We hope you’ll join us. Be informed, inspired, and a part of our impact. Invest in women and girls, and you invest a society that works—for everyone.

You can make a difference!
The Community Foundation San Luis Obispo County is a grantmaking and education foundation that provides support to charitable organizations throughout our county. For more than 20 years, the Foundation has provided more than $37 million in grants and scholarships and our charitable assets under management have grown to over $60 million, and provide support to all aspects of our community in perpetuity. For further information or to donate to any fund, please call 805-543-2323.
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The Community Foundation San Luis Obispo County
550 Dana Street, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

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