When Nelly Sanchez opened a spa in San Rafael, it also opened her door to economic security. To help her succeed, she received training in how to be an entrepreneur and develop skills to run her own business. Read more.

Learn more about poverty

Read the guidelines for this grant area

Find out about the results of our grantmaking

MCF Strategic Plan:

Ending the Cycle of Poverty

Many families in Marin County do not have enough income to meet their basic needs, such as housing, food, and health care. It is particularly difficult for the working poor, who have fewer resources to meet their basic needs and to move out of poverty. While a parent with two children needs an annual income of $68,800 to be self-sufficient, a minimum wage job pays only $16,640. The end result is that if you are poor in Marin, you are more likely to work two low-wage full-time jobs, live in substandard housing, and be underinsured.

The Marin Community Foundation believes that low-wage earners can escape the cycle of poverty if they have the tools and resources traditionally available only to middle- and high-income earners. This initiative focuses on creating lasting solutions to poverty and engages individuals and families, institutions, and the community in efforts to build assets.

Strategy 1: Increase the income of low wage earners

Increasing the income of low-wage earners is a key component of breaking the cycle of poverty. By reducing employment barriers, low-wage earners can move out of low-wage jobs and compete for jobs that support self-sufficiency. Higher-wage earners are more likely to access better educational opportunities, health care, and housing. Also, families with income sufficient to meet daily expenses can begin to save and invest, creating the conditions for economic mobility. MCF is funding a range of job training and business-development programs to help make this happen.

Grants made since the implementation of MCF's Strategic Plan:

Strategy 1 Grants
Organization Description Awarded Amount
Adopt A Family of Marin To prevent the homelessness of poor and low-income families with children through income-enhancement and work programs. $127,000.00
Adopt A Family of Marin To support collaboration with a network of agencies in strengthening services provided for low-wage earners. $125,000.00
Adopt A Family of Marin To support homelessness prevention for families in Marin. $125,000.00
Adopt A Family of Marin To support the Thriving Family Network. $125,000.00
Bay Area Male Involvement Network To support Bay Area Male Involvement Network. $50,000.00
Bay Area Male Involvement Network To support collaboration a the network of agencies in strengthening services provided for low-wage earners. $50,000.00
Bay Area Male Involvement Network To support the Bay Area Male Involvement Network. $50,000.00
Canal Alliance To help individuals escape the cycle of poverty through coordinated services to increase family income. $180,000.00
Canal Alliance To support Canal Alliance's work with the Thriving Families Network. $180,000.00
Canal Alliance To support collaboration with a network of agencies in strengthening services provided for low-wage earners. $180,000.00
Canal Alliance To support programs to end the cycle of poverty. $180,000.00
Center Point, Inc. To support collaboration with a network of agencies in strengthening services provided for low-wage earners. $45,000.00
Center Point, Inc. To support Income Enhancement & Responsible Fatherhood. $45,000.00
Center Point, Inc. To support income enhancement programs. $45,000.00
Community Action Marin To serve those in need of employment services after incarceration in Marin County Jail and the state prison systems. $25,000.00
Community Action Marin To support collaboration with a network of agencies in strengthening services provided for low-wage earners. $30,000.00
Community Action Marin To support economic development among immigrants. $30,000.00
Community Action Marin To support immigrant economic development. $30,000.00
Community Action Marin To support the ACE contract. $18,000.00
County of Marin Housing Authority To move families from public benefits and low-wage jobs into living wage jobs and increased economic security. $180,000.00
County of Marin Housing Authority To support collaboration with a network of agencies in strengthening services provided for low-wage earners. $180,000.00
County of Marin Housing Authority To support collaboration with a network of agencies in strengthening services provided for low-wage earners. $50,000.00
County of Marin Housing Authority To support income enhancement programs. $180,000.00
County of Marin Housing Authority To support the Phoenix Project of Marin. $50,000.00
County of Marin Housing Authority To support the Phoenix Project of Marin. $50,000.00
County of Marin Housing Authority To support the Work Incentive Program. $180,000.00
Gilead House To offer 12 months of transitional housing and 18 months of employment and support services for mothers. $25,000.00
Gilead House To support the Gilead House Transformation Project. $45,000.00
Homeward Bound of Marin To help homeless people achieve permanent housing and self-sufficiency. $225,000.00
Homeward Bound of Marin To support collaboration with a network of agencies in strengthening services provided for low-wage earners. $200,000.00
Homeward Bound of Marin To support income enhancement programs. $200,000.00
Homeward Bound of Marin To support the Thriving Families Network. $200,000.00
Homeward Bound of Marin To support transitional and permanent supportive housing programs. $275,000.00
Legal Aid of Marin To support the ACE contract. $15,000.00
Marin City Community Development Corporation To support collaboration with a network of agencies in strengthening services provided for low-wage earners. $200,000.00
Marin City Community Development Corporation To support income enhancement programs. $200,000.00
Marin City Community Development Corporation To support the Thriving Families Network. $200,000.00
Marin Community Foundation To support Marin Action Coalition for Equity (ACE). $101,000.00
Grassroots Leadership Network of Marin To advance social equity and strengthen the voice of underrepresented communities in public policy decision-making to reduce poverty and improve quality of life. $140,000.00
Grassroots Leadership Network of Marin To support income enhancement programs. $160,000.00
Grassroots Leadership Network of Marin To support lasting solutions to poverty. $120,000.00
Marin Grassroots To support the ACE contract. $25,000.00
Marin Grassroots To support the Marin County Equity Impact Initiative. $160,000.00
Novato Human Needs Center To assist low-income Novato families in improving their family health and economic well-being. $150,000.00
Novato Human Needs Center To support collaboration with a network of agencies in strengthening services provided for low-wage earners. $150,000.00
Novato Human Needs Center To support the Thriving Families Network. $150,000.00
Novato Human Needs Center To support the Thriving Family Network. $150,000.00
Public Advocates, Inc. To support the ACE contract. $32,000.00
SingleStop USA To connect low-wage earners to public benefits and other resources to help support self-sufficiency. $241,000.00
Tides Center To provide Thriving Families Network coordination. $93,000.00
Tides Center To support the Thriving Families Network. $90,000.00
Tides Foundation To support collaboration with a network of agencies in strengthening services provided for low-wage earners in Marin. $93,000.00
Upwardly Global To support collaboration with a network of agencies in strengthening services provided for low-wage earners $50,000.00
Upwardly Global To support Creating Pathways out of Poverty for New Americans. $50,000.00
Upwardly Global To support Creating Pathways out of Poverty for New Americans. $50,000.00
Upwardly Global To support jobseeker services and employer network programs in Marin. $50,000.00
Women's Initiative for Self Employment To support collaboration with a network of agencies in strengthening services provided for low-wage earners. $150,000.00
Women's Initiative for Self Employment To support income enhancement programs. $150,000.00
Women's Initiative for Self Employment To train low-income women to start microenterprises in Marin. $100,000.00
Total Grants Strategy 1: $6,750,000.00
 

Strategy 2: Build assets of low-income families and individuals

Building assets creates long-term economic stability and self-sufficiency. Assisting low-income families to accumulate assets for education, housing, and micro-enterprise activities is a proven means of achieving economic self-sufficiency and helping to permanently break the cycle of poverty. The Foundation is funding efforts that provide a financial incentive—and support—to families who are building long-term assets.

Grants made since the implementation of MCF's Strategic Plan:

Strategy 2 Grants
Organization Description Awarded Amount
Corporation for Enterprise Development To provide start-up and operating expenses for the Bay Area Match Fund. $100,000.00
Earned Asset Resource Network To support an asset-building program for Marin low-wage earners. $349,000.00
Earned Asset Resource Network To support an asset-building program for Marin low-wage earners. $536,000.00
Earned Asset Resource Network To support low-income families and individuals through an Individual Development Account program. $989,000.00
Earned Asset Resource Network (EARN) To support low-income families and individuals through an Individual Development Account program. $990,000.00
Total Grants Strategy 2: $2,964,000.00
 

Strategy 3: Build community infrastructure to support income and asset development

Strong community and financial institutions are needed to support income and asset building efforts of Marin families. Products and services designed specifically for low-wage earners help ensure that affordable credit, capital, and financial services are available to start a micro-enterprise, purchase a home, or invest in education and training. MCF is helping several organizations provide such services as loans and savings programs for low-income residents.

Grants made since the implementation of MCF's Strategic Plan:

Strategy 3 Grants
Organization Description Awarded Amount
Buckelew Programs To provide matching funds for the Social Innovation Fund to support the launch of Fresh-Cut Social Enterprise. $250,000.00
Community Financial Resources To support banking tools for low-income households in Marin. $89,000.00
Community Financial Resources To support community infrastructure programs. $68,000.00
Comprehensive Health Education Foundation/MissionWise To support organizational capacity building to develop services and products for low-income families and individuals. $27,500.00
Earned Asset Resource Network To establish a homeownership program. $50,000.00
Earned Asset Resource Network To provide occupancy support. $6,000.00
Marin City Community Development Corporation To provide comprehensive workforce services to low-income residents and employers. $200,000.00
Marin Community Foundation To support research and implementation of the Ending the Cycle of Poverty Strategic Initiative. $75,000.00
One PacificCoast Foundation To support increasing access to responsible financial products and services in low-wealth communities. $355,000.00
One PacificCoast Foundation To support the implementation of an employer-based alternative to payday lending. $261,000.00
REDF To create jobs that employ low-income Marin County residents while replicating a sustainable solution to joblessness for people with the greatest barriers to work. $150,000.00
REDF To support social enterprise development in Marin. $100,000.00
REDF To support the launch of Fresh-Cut Produce social enterprise and to research additional business opportunities in Marin. $180,000.00
Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center To fund a feasibility study of entrepreneurship in Marin. $42,500.00
Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center To support community infrastructure programs. $347,000.00
Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center To support Renaissance Marin. $835,000.00
SingleStop USA To support social innovation projects. $79,000.00
TMC Development Working Solutions To support the Marin Microloan Initiative. $90,000.00
Women's Initiative for Self Employment To support a revolving loan fund for women entrepreneurs. $150,000.00
Total Grants Strategy 3: $3,355,000.00
 
Total Poverty Grants: $13,069,000.00