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The Funders Alliance is a collaborative network of organizations with significant formal grantmaking activities in the Inland Empire region of Riverside and San Bernardino Counties that have joined together to increase communication, coordination, and collaboration. The mission of the Funders Alliance is to advance equity, advocacy, and systemic change in the Inland Empire by uplifting the region’s assets and opportunities, and leveraging resources for impact.

Our mission is to advance equity, advocacy and systemic change in the Inland Empire by uplifting the region’s assets and opportunities, and leveraging resources for impact.

The primary goals of the Funders Alliance are:

Regional networking and information sharing among funders and with other sectors.
Advocacy for the needs of the region, its nonprofits, and communities.
Alignment and leveraging of funds to maximize impact on common goals.
Increasing the capacity of service providers within the region.

Strategic Priorities 2020-2023

Going forward, we have identified three guiding principles around which we will align all our efforts:

to advance social equity and racial justice, including disparities affecting communities of color

by and on behalf of nonprofits and the communities they serve

Systemic Change
to address problems at their roots and strengthen underlying determinants of well-being and flourishing

We will enact these through three primary strategies:

Leverage Our Resources:
We will maximize our individual and collective grantmaking impact by internally sharing information and data on our own funding activities and strategies, and by organizing ourselves to engage in co-funding or pooled funding for shared impact

Advance Our Collective Impact:
We will elevate the region’s needs, assets, and solutions so we can be more bold, strategic, and generative in our individual and collaborative action and that of other regional stakeholders

Strengthen Funders Alliance Capacity and Infrastructure:
To enable the other two strategies, we will build the Funders Alliance’s own capacity through effective structures, operating principles, resourcing, staffing, and ongoing self-evaluation for accountability, learning, and adaptation

Efforts and Accomplishments

Our current and future impact is built on our past accomplishments and learnings. Major initiatives over our first 10 years (2009-2019) have included:


  • Grants totaling $1,030,000 to organizations serving the region’s most vulnerable populations to aid their response to increased need and decreased revenue due to Covid-19 and associated economic impacts. Funds were granted through The Inland Empire Funders Alliance Rapid Response Fund over a 10-week period starting in March, 2020 with pooled funds contributed by a total of 12 Funders Alliance members.
  • The coordinated IECounts Initiative for a Census 2020 complete count in the region, with philanthropic funders strategically complementing public resources through a co-funding initiative and pooled grantmaking fund of $1.6 million to support local nonprofits engaged in community outreach and infrastructure-building efforts.
  • Outreach and education with funders in the Los Angeles metropolitan area and statewide to raise awareness of the unique needs and assets of the Inland Empire, regional and peer-to-peer advocacy to increase their grantmaking engagement here.
  • Successful implementation of the Expanding Nonprofit Excellence Initiative, a cohort- based capacity building program aimed at supporting promising nonprofits to increase their effectiveness and readiness to scale impact.
  • Listening sessions to build relationships and increase communication, trust, and learning among nonprofits and funders in the region for more responsive grantmaking and intersectoral collaboration.
  • Development of the Guide to Promising Initiatives for Funding Investments in Inland Southern California, a directory of collaboratives and nonprofits in the region with a track record of successful impact and stewardship of resources.
  • Co-convening, incubation, and backbone support for the Inland Empire Capacity Builders’ Network, a collaborative of nonprofit providers of training and management support services to local nonprofits across the two-county region.
  • Development and implementation of the Changing the Narrative Campaign to shift multi-sectoral stakeholder perceptions of the Inland Empire and generate a more coherent, affirming, and balanced framing of the region’s assets, needs, and potential.

These ongoing efforts have borne tangible fruit. Key results include:


  • Foundations outside the IE have increased grantmaking in the region by 143%, from an estimated $46.7 million in 2013 to $113.6 million in 2016.
  • In the past five years membership in the Funders Alliance has more than doubled, indicating increased interest and member value on the part of grantmakers.
  • Relationships among funders, nonprofits, capacity builders, and the communities they serve have been strengthened and deepened.
  • The Funders Alliance has established a reputation as a sought-after resource helping funders learn about the Inland Empire by creating informational resources on the region’s unique needs, assets, and opportunities for grant investment.
  • The Funders Alliance has become an advocate for Inland Empire nonprofits. There is an opportunity to extend that role to increase influence with business and public sectors.
  • The Inland Empire Census Funders Table leveraged relationships to raise $1.6 million in pooled funding for Census outreach efforts across the Inland Empire. Additional resources were also mobilized as co-funding by Funders Alliance members.


Celia Cudiamat, Chair.
Senior Vice President, Grants and Community Impact, The Inland Empire Community Foundation

Margarita Luna, Vice Chair.
Senior Program Manager, The California Endowment

Cindy Faulkner, Vice Chair.
Assistant Director, First 5 San Bernardino


Membership in the Funders Alliance is open to organizations providing substantial funding ($25,000+ annually in grants, program investment, or volunteer hours) to community based and/or public agencies in Riverside and/or San Bernardino Counties. Dues vary based on volume of contributions; contact us for more information.


To contact the Funders Alliance, please use the form below.

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