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h ig h l ig ht s

Winter 2014


Responding to a new generation of needs

CCF grantmaking has changed with the times. In this issue of Highlights, read about a new veterans fund that serves warriors returning from combat in the Middle East and how the longstanding Destino fund has changed the focus of its grants to place more Latino students on the college track. INSIDE

Find out what’s happening at VCCF on our new events page at events.

LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION: VCCF rolls out videos to mark its 25th anniversary. Page 11

Miguel, a 6-year-old student at the Assistance League School in Oxnard, hones his balance in the League’s motor room. A grant from VCCF’s Special and Urgent Needs Fund helped the organization serve its clients after an emergency roof leak. Photo by Hannah Davey

FUTURE LEADERS: VCCF launches programs to engage youth in nonprofit work. Page 12

Stewarding legacies. Building nonprofit leadership. Investing in the future.

President’s Letter

Working together promises a brighter future A

s 2014 gets underway, we at VCCF look back on our 25th anniversary celebration of 2013 full of gratitude and confidence. Launched a quarter century ago with eyes fixed on the future, this institution has evolved into a trusted partner for donors who want to invest their charitable dollars in Ventura County and the nonprofits that provide leadership and labor to solve our county’s problems. We also mark the first anniversary of the VCCF Nonprofit Center in Camarillo, which symbolizes our aspirations and serves as a platform for the difficult and essential work of building community — especially in the toughest of times. The Center’s first year has been nothing less than a rousing success. It is used daily by nonprofits, donors and community organizations. Nonprofit organizations occupy 50,000-plus square feet at below-market rent, a core priority of our project. More than 60 organizations gathered in our community rooms for free – thanks to a subsidy from VCCF and the United Way of Ventura County. Leaders from 850 organizations attended professional training workshops at our VCCF Center for Nonprofit Leadership. Our neighbors’ lives are made better every day because of the work done at the VCCF Nonprofit Center. Thousands were directed to services to help them find affordable housing, food banks and low-cost medical care through the 2-1-1 hotline. Families were strengthened by the work of tenants such as ACTION, Arrow Child and Family Ministries, Big Brothers Big Sisters, the Gold Coast Veterans Foundation, Interface Children & Family Services, New West Symphony, the United Way and Kids & Families Together. Beginning in January, one of our conference rooms has been filled with teams of volunteers reviewing thousands of applications for VCCF scholarships to make sure applicants match the

requirements established by donors who created these 110 funds. We are thrilled our 2014 scholarship budget will allow us to award a record $1.275 million to deserving Ventura County students in June. Professional training opportunities are expanding at the VCCF Center for Nonprofit Leadership. Our initiatives include delivering more access to hands-on technology training, helping nonprofits to engage the next generation, strengthening organizational storytelling and expanding financial literacy and transparency to deepen the trust between nonprofits and their donors. Over the past decade, donors working with VCCF have addressed needs such as providing mental-health services, strengthening the nursing corps, expanding the ability of arts organizations to thrive, identifying ways to help first-generation students go to college, keeping battered-women’s shelters open, equipping historical societies for the Digital Age, helping veterans and their families and improving workforce training. And we promise Ventura County will have a community foundation that continues to invest with you for a more promising future through grants to local nonprofits, leadership training to strengthen our local agencies and partnering with local donors to expand opportunities for youth. Thanks to our visionary founders and all who have joined us, VCCF has much to show for its first 25 years. Now we look forward to the next 25 years and creating an organization that meets the needs of generations yet to come. We invite you to join us in the fulfilling work of building that future together.

Hugh J. Ralston, President & CEO

I n v e s t i n g To g e t h e r. F o r G o o d . F o r E v e r.


Responding to 21st century needs


VCCF grants enter new era

n its first 25 years, VCCF underserved areas. awarded grants worth $57.5 “Our founders were visionary. million to local nonprofits to But no one could have foreseen make Ventura County an even the terrorist attacks of 9/11 better place to live and work. that triggered the war in the But the needs of the people Middle East or the economic who live in the county have downturn of 2008 that made changed in the quarter century education even more critical in since 10 extraordinary citizens establishing a career,” said Hugh founded VCCF. Ralston, VCCF president and The foundation responded to CEO. these shifts by premiering two The Veterans Fund at VCCF grant initiatives in 2013. was founded in 2009 as The Ventura County Veterans concerned citizens sought to Fund awarded its first round assist warriors and their families of grants in July to local transition to civilian life. VCCF Photo by Hannah Davey nonprofits serving military also saw a critical need for Reins of H.O.P.E. founder and Executive members and their families. after-school learning programs, Director Julie Sardonia joins Navy veteran Johnny Lewis and horse Cissy in some Thanks to the generosity of and for the first time it set aside “horse time.” “Horse time, as we call it, is our donors, the fund presented just grooming and getting comfortable and funds from its unrestricted a total of $75,000 to seven grant monies for this issue and calming down and just being,” Sardonia said. organizations that aid vets with invited applications. such assistance as college and career preparation These grants will support such efforts as tutoring and emotional therapy. homeless students and helping low-income In November, the Community Response youngsters who have fallen behind in their math Fund handed out its first competitive grants and science studies. since its founding almost 15 years ago. Six local “This is a further deepening of VCCF’s outreach nonprofits won a total of $20,750 for community- to strengthen nonprofits serving area youth,” based after-school programs, particularly in Ralston said. VCCF funds furthered their grantmaking in 2013. DESTINO: THE HISPANIC LEGACY FUND Destino awarded a total of $72,000 to five nonprofit organizations at the 2013 Destino Grant Awards Reception in September. Destino has focused its last two grant cycles on college preparation for Latino youth in Ventura County, particularly those who are the first in their families to go to college.

THE HERITAGE FUND Eleven nonprofits committed to keeping alive the history and culture of Ventura County received a total of $58,883 at the Heritage Fund Grant Awards Reception in August. The Heritage grants will allow nonprofits to focus on promoting a better understanding of Ventura County, especially among students, said Mary Schwabauer, Heritage Fund chair.

THE SMITH FOUNDATION The Martin V. and Martha K. Smith Foundation awarded in 2013 $412,000 to nine nonprofits that serve veterans, the homeless, the uninsured, at-risk youth and seniors. Its two largest grants of $100,000 each went to operational costs for the Boys and Girls Club of Oxnard & Port Hueneme and to the Museum of Ventura County to fund exhibitions to celebrate its centennial.

To learn more about VCCF grantmaking and 2013 grantees, go to and click on the blue button that says “Find a Fund.”

Stewarding legacies. Building nonprofit leadership. Investing in the future.


Responding to 21st century needs

Avid about AVID

Student credits success to Destino grantee A

s freshman Giovanni Rosales walks across the campus of California State University, Northridge, he observes two types of students. “I can actually see the difference between an AVID student and a regular student because you see their motivation and determination to be successful,” he said. Moorpark Unified School District’s AVID program, or Advancement Via Individual Determination, supports minority students in their journey to college. Project College Bound, a component of the AVID program, serves Latinos like Rosales who show academic potential and who are the first in their families to attend college. Project College Bound received a $20,000 grant in 2013 from Destino: The Hispanic Legacy Fund, its second grant from the VCCF fund. “Destino’s focus for the next several grant cycles is college preparedness for Latino students. When we saw such achievement by Project College Bound students in the past school year, the grants committee felt the youth served by this program are in good hands and are truly being set up for academic success,” said Hank Lacayo, a VCCF board member and chair of the Destino committee. Project College Bound guides Latino students from their freshman to senior years of high school. The program offers SAT and ACT preparation, workshops in financial assistance and coping mechanisms when children leave their family to follow their dreams, as well as scholarship research and field trips to colleges. In the 2011-2012 academic year, Project College Bound served 148 Latino students at Moorpark High. In the 2013-2014 school year, the program anticipates assisting 192 students. “The program has been steadily growing and our AVID team has a concise plan to identify students who will best benefit from the AVID program,” said Melinda Froelich, a mathematics and AVID educator at Moorpark High School. “I have been told

Photo by Hannah Davey

Moorpark High School AVID graduate Giovanni Rosales is shown with Executive Chairwoman and Founder of ProAmérica Bank Maria Contreras-Sweet at the 2013 Destino Grants Reception. Rosales is now a freshman at California State University, Northridge. President Obama has nominated Contreras-Sweet to the cabinet-level post of running the Small Business Administration.

time and again from parents that they don’t know how they would have helped their child get to college because they didn’t know the path.” Students, Froelich said, tell her they joined AVID because it seemed like a family and it looked like fun. “But the real reward was learning how to accomplish their own dreams. These students are brave. They are accomplishing what no one in their family ever has before,” she said. That is Rosales’ story. The youngest of five, he is the first of his family to go to college. “If it wasn’t for AVID, I wouldn’t be at a fouryear university,” said Rosales of Moorpark. “The program helped me find resources I can use to my advantage. You really become knowledgeable about universities. That is what they are setting you up for – success.”

Scan here to see Giovanni Rosales speak at the 2013 Destino Grantee Awards Reception.


Stewarding legacies. Building nonprofit leadership. Investing in the future.

Responding to 21st century needs

Grant helps nonprofit raise roof


the motor room need to be replaced but the leak he Assistance League School has raised the academic hopes for children with developmental had caused mold to spread onto the supporting beams. delays for almost 55 years in Ventura County. The estimate came in at $21,000, said Patricia The nonprofit school in Oxnard has a nearly Spears, Assistance League president. perfect success rate at getting its students “It wasn’t a repair we mainstreamed into could put off,” Spears public schools in the first said. “If the roof falls grade. in, you can’t wait for the So when the roof insurance company. It started to fall in over was an unexpected and the school’s missionextraordinary expense.” critical motor room, So the Assistance the Assistance League League applied for turned to VCCF for an emergency grant emergency assistance. from the Special and The motor room is Emergency Needs essential to the program, (SUN) Fund at VCCF. said Victoria Elliott, The fund is designed to the school’s director. offer a one-time grant Children who fall behind to nonprofits hit with their peers in verbal unexpected emergencies, expression also tend such as flood damage, to have difficulty with heating and cooling coordination, she said. failures and even theft or Teachers use vandalism. obstacles, swings and The Assistance scooter boards in the League application was motor room to help the reviewed and the school usually 4- and 5-yearreceived $5,000 to repair olds develop large and remove mold from muscle acuity. the roof. “We call it Much of the occupational construction was done intervention. But to the while the school was kids it’s just fun and on break, Spears said, play,” said Elliott, who so the children didn’t has taught at the school Photo by Hannah Davey fall behind in their for more than 25 years. Matthew, age 5, uses a “mouth toy” to assist with motor movements therapy. Elliott likened the of the lips, tongue and cheeks for improved production of speech. She noted the roofing problem to League returns an onion. As workers almost 90 percent of the money it raises to help the peeled away layers of the roof, they realized the job children. was more complex than originally believed. “The money we would have to spend on the It started, she said, as a drip from an overhang. building would have taken away from what we could But then a smell permeated the building, which spend on our programs,” Spears said. made the staff concerned for the health of the For more information on the SUN Fund, go to students. Contractors determined not only did the roof over, click on Find a Fund.

I n v e s t i n g To g e t h e r. F o r G o o d . F o r E v e r.


Responding to 21st century needs

Photos by Hannah Davey

Air Force veteran Ernest Broussard of Moorpark, far right, explains his challenge to his fellow vets at the Reins of H.O.P.E. arena in Ojai.

Good steeds for veterans

VCCF grantee helps warriors on a healing journey


activities created to address their mental-health breeze flutters. A hawk glides overhead. Soft needs. whinnies and nickers sound as stringy tails Using items such as pool noodles, cones, lazily flick the air. With the Topa Topa Mountains medicine balls, rope, hula hoops and stuffed standing sentry, the tranquility that surrounds the animals, the veterans create a physical small gathering of combat veterans representation of the challenge they creates a place for healing through the Reins of H.O.P.E. “There is something wish to focus on in this Ojai Valley horse arena, surrounded by orange An equine-assisted psychotherapy about the outside of and lemon groves. Sardonia and nonprofit and 2013 Ventura County a horse that is good other Equine Assisted Growth and Veterans Fund grantee, Reins of Learning Association-certified H.O.P.E. serves local vets through their for the inside of a therapists then set stage for H.O.P.E. for Warriors program. man.” participants to find their own solutions “I wake up every morning because —Winston Churchill to their challenges. I know these horses and the program The veterans then talk through their we developed are helping people challenge with the guidance of a horse. on a daily basis,” said founder and The horses interact with items the vets Executive Director Julie Sardonia. place around the arena symbolizing their challenge. “Developing coping skills through relationships The horses also react to the vets’ emotions as they with the horses helps our men, women and families describe their challenge. The veterans then analyze heal from their invisible wounds of war.” the horse’s reactions, helping them understand their Unlike other equine-assisted therapy programs, feelings and leading them to create solutions and Reins of H.O.P.E. doesn’t focus on horsemanship. coping mechanisms for their problem or trigger. Instead, clients interact with horses through


Stewarding legacies. Building nonprofit leadership. Investing in the future.

Veterans have a special connection with the horses, Sardonia said. Like humans, equines are herd animals with a deep sense of empathy. Veterans recognize this through their constant vigilance ingrained from training and time on the battlefield, watching out for their brothers and themselves, she said. “They are an animal of prey, and they have to be cautious of you. But then they sense where you’re at emotionally,” said Vietnam War veteran Dan Riley of Ojai. In the veterans support groups, the program addresses issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, suicide, grief, anger and working on resilience and emotional strength. Not all of the healing is done with horses. H.O.P.E. for Warriors creates bonds between the veterans, allowing them to rely on each other in times of need. “It’s my highlight of the week, just to come here and sit out with my fellow vets,” Riley said. “We all relate to each other because we’ve all had the same traumatic experiences. When we see younger guys who have their issues fresh in their minds, we can assist them a little bit. This is a mentoring program which really feels good.” A bond of brotherhood forms between the vets, giving them a familiar feeling of support from their time in the military. “With the horses is where the work is done, but it’s also transferred among the table of everybody supporting each other. Then outside the arena, these guys call each other when they need help. Some of these guys may not have had that outside of coming to Reins of H.O.P.E.,” Sardonia said. Invisible wounds of war are not healed overnight. Some veterans have been coming since the

Above: From left to right, Air Force veteran David Lightfoot, Army veteran David Parker and Air Force veteran Ernest Broussard guide Cissy through Broussard’s challenge at the Reins of H.O.P.E. arena in Ojai. At left: Navy veteran Johnny Lewis enjoys some quiet time with Cissy at Reins of H.O.P.E. Says Lewis of the H.O.P.E. for Warriors program: “It’s absolutely the best thing that’s happened in my life.”

H.O.P.E. for Warriors program was developed in 2011, but many of the more than 175 veterans served have seen a change in themselves. David Lightfoot, an Air Force veteran, puts it this way.

“I’ve gotten a new way of thinking acting with the horses and watching my buddies acting with them. I’ve never had anything like this in all my years of talking to people. The horses don’t judge you.”

I n v e s t i n g To g e t h e r. F o r G o o d . F o r E v e r.


Responding to 21st century needs


enerous contributions from donors impact the people of Ventura County and beyond through VCCF grantmaking. This map shows FY ’13 grant distribution across the Ventura County. More than one quarter of the grant monies were awarded to organizations that serve the entire county. Other grants focus on particular regions or cities. Below we have organized the grants by program area, which includes grants by the Smith Foundation.

Grant Program Area Amounts VCCF Scholarship Program $1,002,300 Arts & Culture $550,457 Health Care Services $502,037 Libraries $347,661 History Associations/Museums $271,764 Human Services $187,597 Food Banks $187,587 Disaster Preparation/Response $166,889 Primary/Secondary Education $121,135 Youth Development $107,931 Religious Development/Churches $91,941 Community College/Universities $89,787 Outside Scholarship Program Support $87,827 Mental Health $65,700 Homeless Services $62,177 Social Justice/Equity $59,075 Recreation $55,644 Community/Neighborhood Development $47,435 Philanthropy/Charitable $39,985 Abuse/Neglect/Domestic Violence $37,380 Environment & Conservation $30,550 Animal Welfare $24,643 Employment Assistance/Job Training $23,500 Senior Services $16,248 Handicapped $16,017 Housing $14,165 International Aid/Understanding $13,430 Nonprofit Development/Capacity Building $10,500 Legal Aid $6,517 Public Safety $4,204 Agriculture $4,000 Preventative Health Services $1,300 General Support/Unrestricted $1,000 Other $2,974 Total FY ’13 Grants


OJAI $194,830


VENTURA $365,157

OXNARD $453,534


Stewarding legacies. Building nonprofit leadership. Investing in the future.


HUENEME 74,029

SANTA PAULA $231,135




MOORPARK $81,645 CAMARILLO $629,065

SIMI VALLEY $107,645



Grants and Pledges in FY 2013 East Ventura County West Ventura County All Ventura County Outside Ventura County

$148,227 $188,900 $1,170,518 $321,701

Total (including all 10 cities)


I n v e s t i n g To g e t h e r. F o r G o o d . F o r E v e r.


VCCF Nonprofit Center

From dream to reality in one year C

onstruction to build out the interior of the VCCF Nonprofit Center in Camarillo started in late September 2012. It was completed just over a year later. When the VCCF Board bought the 53,500-square-foot office building at 4001 Mission Oaks Blvd., their dream was to offer belowmarket rent to our fellow nonprofits and to serve as a gathering place for organizations to collaborate in building a better Ventura County. The community foundation was able to strike such a good deal, the Pacific Coast Business Times named the purchase to its list of the best deals of 2012. Today the VCCF Nonprofit Center is fully leased. Every tenant is a nonprofit, with some of the county’s largest nonprofits sharing the facilities, including VCCF, United Way of Ventura County and Interface Children & Family Services. The 2-1-1 system, which handles more than 20,000 calls from

Still by Christopher Charles, taken from VCCF’s 25th Anniversary Short Film The grand opening of the VCCF Nonprofit Center drew local leaders in April of last year.

county residents who need help with food, shelter and medical care is located here. It also houses some of the newest and smallest nonprofits in the VCCF Grassroots Office Suite, which VCCF offers at deeply discounted rent so these organizations can focus more on their mission than raising funds just to keep their doors open. The VCCF Nonprofit Center was designed by one nonprofit to be

used by all nonprofits. The amenities include the VCCF Center for Nonprofit Leadership, which offers more than 160 workshops a year to nonprofit professionals and the Community Rooms, which are open free of charge to any local nonprofit. In 2013, more than 60 organizations have taken advantage of this space that accommodates 150 — making it a civic landmark in just over a year.

Hilton Foundation grants VCCF $2 million T

he first year of the VCCF Nonprofit Center was capped off by a $2 million investment by the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation to support the center’s work. “We are most grateful for this generous support that reflects the value the Center provides to Ventura County nonprofits,” said VCCF President & CEO Hugh Ralston. “It reaffirms VCCF’s decision to create this community asset.” The Hilton Foundation funding is critical to the $10 million Capital Campaign VCCF has launched to cover the costs of buying the building and establishing a permanent endowment to support the expanded work of the Center for Nonprofit Leadership, Ralston said. The funding comes in the form of a programrelated investment, or PRI, in which a foundation

leverages its portfolio to further its charitable mission. The Hilton Foundation’s assets are in excess of $2.2 billion. “We’re pleased to be able to help VCCF cover the costs of establishing the Center for Nonprofit Leadership and by extension to help local nonprofits in the Ventura County area,” said Steven M. Hilton, chairman, president and CEO of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. “Under VCCF’s guidance, hundreds of nonprofits stand to benefit from the center’s programs, creating a ripple effect of impact in the region.” This is the Hilton Foundation’s second act of generosity to the VCCF Nonprofit Center. When the Foundation moved to its new headquarters in Agoura Hills last year, it donated the furnishings from its former offices, which are used throughout the building.

Stewarding legacies. Building nonprofit leadership. Investing in the future.


Milestone anniversary


VCCF fetes 25 years

he Ventura County Community Foundation commemorated its silver anniversary by leaving two lasting marks on the organization’s history: a short film series that captures VCCF’s first 25 years of service and a scholarship that will support graduate students for years to come. The VCCF 25th Anniversary Community Celebration in June 2013 was more than a salute to the vision of its founders, the generosity of its donors and the achievements of its volunteers over the past quarter century. Net proceeds from the celebration helped endow the 25th Anniversary Scholarship Fund to assist a local student in receiving a post-graduate education. The sold-out luncheon drew 255 people to the historic Camarillo Ranch House and garnered $25,000 for the scholarship fund. Video booths, dubbed time capsules, were available so guests could record a short clip on how VCCF helped them reach their charitable goals. Their vignettes can be viewed on “The 25th Anniversary Scholarship is the perfect legacy to expand on the work of our founders. By helping students receive a 21st century education, this award ultimately benefits all of Ventura County,” said Hugh Ralston, VCCF president and CEO. The first 25th Anniversary Scholarship Award will be given at the 2014 VCCF Scholarship Reception in June. Guests at the anniversary event were the first to screen the “The VCCF 25th Anniversary Short Film,” directed by Fillmore

Photos by Fred Bauermeister

Board members and staff, past and present, celebrated VCCF’s silver anniversary last June.

In memoriam

VCCF commemorated its 25th anniversary with a celebration at the Camarillo Ranch House. Proceeds from the event established an endowed scholarship fund for graduate students, carrying forward another investment in our future leaders.

filmmaker Christopher Charles. It explores the founding of VCCF and the impact the organization has made on Ventura County for the past quarter century. Two more films have been produced. A film focusing on the VCCF Founders premiered at the 2013 Heritage Grantee Reception while the film featuring the Center for Nonprofit Leadership had its first showing at the Center’s donor recognition event in October.

VCCF lost two founding board members in 2012 and 2013. Joseph Brown, who served as the foundation’s second board chair, passed in March 2012. VCCF Board Member Richard Shipley passed in June 2013, one day after VCCF’s 25th Anniversary Community Celebration. As part of the visionary founding board, both left a lasting legacy. We are eternally grateful for their service.

More films are scheduled to debut in 2014, including one on the VCCF Nonprofit Center and investing in youth. Said Ralston, “Our founders gave us so much to build on for the first 25 years of VCCF’s history. We wanted to preserve this history through these films.” Scan here to see the 25th Anniversary Film Series.

I n v e s t i n g To g e t h e r. F o r G o o d . F o r E v e r.


Passport to the future

CNL helps students explore nonprofit careers S kylar Wortman has a passion for helping young and adolescent girls going through bad times and is eager to learn more about starting and running her own nonprofit. When she saw a chance to get an exclusive look into the nonprofit world, the 20-year-old Largo, Fla., native went for it. “I thought it would be a wonderful opportunity to learn more about VCCF and other nonprofits, not just the mission but what’s inside,” said Wortman, a senior at Pepperdine University majoring in psychology and minoring in nonprofit management. VCCF’s Center for Nonprofit Leadership launched the Nonprofit Fellows Program and the Youth Ambassador Internship last fall to encourage and educate the next generation of nonprofit professionals. Supported by the Amgen, Weingart and Wood-Claeyssens Foundations and the VCCF Community Response Fund, the Center is partnering with Pepperdine and California State University, Channel Islands. “Through these fellowships and internships, we see a unique opportunity to captivate the hearts and minds of young people and inspire a lifelong connection to the nonprofit sector,” said Vice President and Center for Nonprofit Leadership Director Dena Jenson. “Whether they be board members, volunteers, donors or professional nonprofit staff, we feel investing in youth leaders will pay great dividends long into our future.” The Nonprofit Fellows program connects four Pepperdine students with four local nonprofits: Habitat for Humanity, Kids & Families Together, the Los Robles Master Chorale and VCCF. The

Photo by Hannah Davey

Center for Nonprofit Leadership’s Nonprofit Fellow Skylar Wortman works on a project in CNL’s Technology Center at the VCCF Nonprofit Center. Wortman looks forward to founding her own nonprofit.

nonprofits have committed to a yearlong program at the Center with workshops tailored to their organization’s needs and goals. The fellows work with the organization eight to 10 hours a week, taking an active role addressing their nonprofits’ goals with research and projects that offer a fresh perspective and ideas. The Fellows will share their insights and experience through a presentation in April. The Youth Ambassador Internship at VCCF is in the research phase, with an expected test launch in the spring with three students from CSU, Channel Islands, and one from Ventura College. The program aims for a twofold youth engagement: nonprofits take on a Youth Engagement Ambassador to help develop and implement strategies and programs geared toward youth. The Youth Ambassadors and their host organizations will participate in personalized Center workshops focusing on best practices in youth engagement,

leadership development and project management. At the end of their one semester partnership, the Youth Ambassadors will have conducted a feasibility assessment, strategy design, pilot implementation and an evaluation of outcomes. The goal for the Ambassadors and their organizations is to design sustainable strategies for their youth engagement programs past the pilot phase. The Nonprofit Fellows and Youth Ambassador Internship programs differ from regular internships. “The Fellows and Ambassadors are not only manpower; they are researchers, teachers and innovators,” Jenson said. As for Skylar, she is taking this opportunity and using it to her advantage, applying her new knowledge to see if her dream of founding a nonprofit for at-risk girls is on the right path. Said Skylar, “I’m hoping to learn more about the nonprofit process and seeing if my nonprofit dream is not only sustainable but the best way I can impact and help these women.”

Stewarding legacies. Building nonprofit leadership. Investing in the future.


VCCF’s portfolio gains nearly 14 percent in 2013


Performance Summary (net of fees)

as of Sept. 30, 2013 VCCF Endowment Portfolio

Attribution Index*

FY 2013



Last 3 Years



Last 5 Years



Last 10 Years



Since Inception



Asset Allocation Summary as of Sept. 30, 2013 Private Equity 11.4%

Cash 3.2% Domestic Equity 37.4%

Hedge Fund 15%

Fixed Income 13.8%

International Equity 19.2%

Check the web: Visit for more information on VCCF’s investment strategies and performance.

he VCCF portfolio grew just under 14 percent for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30. VCCF invests the capital of more than 500 philanthropic funds that serve Ventura County. Nonprofits depend on returns from these investments to deliver charitable services to local residents. VCCF also manages endowments that will support more than $1.2 million in scholarships for Ventura County students in 2014. “The better our portfolio does, the more good local donors and nonprofits can do in our communities,” said Robert Katch, VCCF investment committee chair and board member. “Our rate of return over the past two decades proves a risk-adjusted, diversified portfolio is the right platform to make charitable capital grow.” The foundation’s total assets were more than $131.5 million as of Dec. 30. “The markets in 2013 proved the value of the VCCF board’s decision over the past few years to lower carefully our asset allocation in bonds and increase our investments in other areas,” said Katch, who founded Manchester Financial Inc. of Thousand Oaks. “Those sectors returned 7 to 9 percent in 2013 while bonds fell slightly.” Katch also pointed out VCCF’s 10-year investment performance ranked in the 14th percentile of foundations with less than $1 billion invested, meaning VCCF’s portfolio performed better than 86 percent of those managed by its peers. VCCF’s since-inception number — annual performance since 1992 — was posted as 8.4 percent versus its benchmark index of 7.7 percent, demonstrating the foundation’s strategies continue to generate additional value for its endowment funds. On an $85 million portfolio, noted Katch, that performance is valued at nearly $596,000 in additional annual earnings that will benefit local nonprofits.

* In the case of the VCCF portfolio, the attribution index includes 35 percent Russell 3000, 20 percent Morgan Stanley Capital International All Country World Index Except U.S., 15 percent Barclays Capital Aggregate Bond, 15 percent Hedge Fund Research Index Fund of Funds Composite Index and 15 percent CA US Private Equity Lag.

Charitable gift annuity: VCCF helps you assist multiple nonprofits For One Life (Yourself) Age Rate 60 4.4% 65 4.7% 70 5.1% 75 5.8% 80 6.8% 85 7.8% 90+ 9.0%


For Two Lives VCCF gift annuity offers dependable benefits to you and an opportunity to make a difference for the Ventura County (Yourself and another) charity or cause you choose. Age Rate 65/65 4.2% 65/70 4.4% 70/75 4.8% 75/80 4.9% 80/80 5.7% 85/85 6.7% 90/90 8.2%

Only at VCCF can you benefit multiple regional charities of your choice.

These annuities allow you to leave a legacy in Ventura County while receiving guaranteed life income. For more information about eligibility requirements and program details, contact Lindsay Laubacher Smith at (805) 330-6667, or email her at

Effective date 1/01/14

I n v e s t i n g To g e t h e r. F o r G o o d . F o r E v e r.


Inside VCCF


Changes come to VCCF Board

all 2013 brought change to the VCCF Board of Directors. Gary E. Erickson took the position of Board Chair on Oct. 1, inheriting the seat from Pierre Tada who stepped down from that post after his five-year term was completed. Tada continues to serve on the VCCF board. Erickson of Oxnard is ERICKSON the founder and lead project director at The Erickson Group, a nonprofit consultant specializing in strategic planning, program and board development, marketing and fundraising. “Gary has over three decades of experience working with community-based nonprofit organizations to draw from, and he has been an extremely valuable asset to VCCF,” Tada said. “As board chair, he will help further the organization’s desire to continue to build philanthropic capital for Ventura County while fostering a culture of collaboration to better serve donors and community stakeholders. “Gary is the right leadership at the right time as we enter a new era with the opening of the VCCF Nonprofit Center,” Tada said. Scott Hansen, Wells Fargo Bank regional director of Wealth Management, joined the board in August. A Ventura resident, Hansen has nearly 25 years of experience in banking and wealth management and is

a Certified Financial Planner. Hansen volunteers for a variety of organizations that serve Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, including the Cancer Support Community Valley/ Ventura/Santa Barbara, Big Brothers Big Sisters Ventura County and the California State University, Channel Islands, Planned Giving Council. His financial experience and HANSEN background in nonprofits will be an asset to the VCCF board, said Hugh Ralston, VCCF president and CEO. VCCF has five new board officers. Henry L. “Hank” Lacayo of Newbury Park, Terri Lisagor of Camarillo and Stacy Roscoe of Ventura were elevated to vice chairs, while Mike Silacci of Newbury Park now serves as vice chair and treasurer. Roz McGrath of Camarillo is the new secretary of the board. The VCCF board and staff expresses its deepest gratitude to Timothy McCallion and Scott Samsky, who stepped down after serving a maximum 12year tenure on the board. McCallion will continue to volunteer at the community foundation, serving on the Administration/Finance Committee. To learn more about the VCCF Board of Directors, go to

Schwabauer honored as Ventura County Volunteer of the Year


ary Leavens Schwabauer was awarded the Volunteer of the Year Ventura County by the Association of Fundraising Professionals Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties Chapter in November. Schwabauer of Moorpark has served on the board of directors of the Ventura County Community Foundation since 2002 and


became VCCF’s first female board chair two years later. In his tribute to Schwabauer, VCCF President and CEO Hugh Ralston spoke of her strong, steady leadership. He brought up the acts of kindness she has shown the foundation’s staff, including serving them ice cream sandwiches on hot summer days.

The award was presented at a luncheon at the Four Seasons Resort The SCHWABAUER Biltmore in Santa Barbara and was attended by nearly 300 nonprofit professionals.

Stewarding legacies. Building nonprofit leadership. Investing in the future.

Meet VCCF’s new colleagues


shley Chaparro came to VCCF as an assistant for the Center for Nonprofit Leadership. She provides support for all CNL activities including the library, workshops, the CHAPARRO Technology Center and special events. Steven Guetzoian joined VCCF as a development assistant, supporting the VCCF Nonprofit Center Capital Campaign and fund development. Natalie Kamajian came to VCCF in January 2014 as a program assistant supporting


the Philanthropic Services department. Taking the lead in the VCCF Nonprofit Center Capital Campaign, Stephanie Wilson came to VCCF as the Capital Campaign coordinator. She works with foundations, corporations and individuals



to build relationships and legacies that will sustain the VCCF Nonprofit Center for years to come. Read our staff bios at shtml.

VCCF staffers honored for going above and beyond


quartet of VCCF employees earned Staff Leadership Awards for surpassing expectations on behalf of the foundation and its donors. Hannah Davey was cited for her rapid turnaround of draft materials for the VCCF Nonprofit Center Capital Campaign. LaToya Ford was recognized for her quick and efficient preparation for a donor meeting. Steven Guetzoian earned his award for updating the fund pages and for his successful backup during a co-worker’s extended vacation. Judie Talbott was rewarded for her assistance in deploying furniture donated by the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation throughout the VCCF Nonprofit Center as well as her patience and persistence in making everything fit. “It gives me great pleasure to honor our staff ’s skills,

Photo by Kay Wolverton-Ito The latest VCCF Staff Leadership Awardees. Congratulations to, from left, LaToya Ford, Hannah Davey, Judie Talbott and Steven Guetzoian.

expertise and dedication to the community foundation,” said VCCF President and CEO Hugh Ralston. “The Staff Leadership

Awards recognize employees who go above and beyond the call, and these four did exactly that.”

I n v e s t i n g To g e t h e r. F o r G o o d . F o r E v e r.



Investing Together. For Good. For Ever. VCCF Nonprofit Center 4001 Mission Oaks Blvd., Suite A, Camarillo, CA 93012 (805) 988-0196 Fax: (805) 484-2700

Nonprofit Organization U.S. Postage PAID Oxnard, CA Permit No. 210

RETURN SERVICE REQUESTED Board of Directors Gary E. Erickson, Chair Henry L. “Hank” Lacayo , Vice Chair Terri E. Lisagor, Ed.D. , Vice Chair Stacy A. Roscoe, Vice Chair Michael L. Silacci, Vice Chair & Treasurer Roz McGrath, Secretary Pierre Y. Tada, Immediate Past Chair Tim Gallagher Scott Hansen Robert J. Katch Stan Mantooth Charles Maxey, Ph.D. M. Carmen Ramirez Mary L. Schwabauer Bonnie Weigel President & CEO Hugh J. Ralston

Confirmed in compliance with national standards for U.S. community foundations.

Highlights contributors: Writers: Hannah Davey, Colleen Cason, Hugh Ralston; Design: Linda Martinez; Photos: Hannah Davey, Fred Bauermeister, Christopher Charles and Kay Wolverton-Ito. To access Highlights online go to This publication is printed on recycled materials.

VCCF Datebook COMING THIS YEAR March 3: VCCF Community Leadership Series: Engaging the Millennial Generation in Philanthropy. Info: Click on VCCF Events under the Inside Events tab. March 21 & 22: Nonprofit Leadership Institute, Pepperdine University, Malibu. Registration: April 3: Ventura County Civic Alliance Workforce Education Conference: “The 2020 Workplace, Are You Ready?” VCOE Conference Center, 5100 Adolfo Road, Camarillo. Registration: 2020workplace.eventbrite. com. April 22: Community Leadership Awards, Los Robles Greens Golf Course, Thousand Oaks. Info: April 29: VCCF Community Leadership Series: Assessing the Community’s Needs: Public Health & Hospital Needs Assessment Findings. To register: See March 3 event info. May 21: VCCF Community Leadership Series: Donor Impact and the New Nonprofit Venture. To register: See March 3 event info. June 19: VCCF Community Leadership Series: Nonprofit Salary & Benefits Study 2014. To register: See March 3 event info. Note: Unless indicated otherwise, all events are at the VCCF Nonprofit Center, 4001 Mission Oaks Blvd., Camarillo, CA 93012. Find us on Facebook.

Highlights Newsletter Winter 2014  
Highlights Newsletter Winter 2014  

Ventura County Community Foundation Newsletter