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Desert Financial Community Giving Guidelines

As a part of our commitment, Desert Financial is proud to assist nonprofit organizations in their endeavors to improve our community's well-being in the counties of Gila, Maricopa, and Pinal. We seek to leverage many of our resources to build long-term relationships with our community partners to make the largest impact possible. Priority is given to initiatives/programs that:

  • Serve 100+ individuals and address large-scale social problems in Arizona
  • Successfully collaborate with multiple stakeholders to leverage resources and make the largest impact possible
  • Support innovation in program design while fostering a culture that supports outcome measurement
  • Can easily be replicated

Organizations must have tax-exempt status under IRS section 501(c)(3).

Types of Support

Within these general guidelines, we consider the following requests:

Program Support — Grant funds to support the implementation of programs and services that are highly effective or innovative.

Funding Priorities

  1. Children Services & Youth Development: Addresses programs that work with children and youth that are at risk due to socioeconomic factors. Typical programs that would fall under this category include:
    • After-school programs
    • Civic, social, cultural and work opportunities

  2. Community & Neighborhood Improvement: Helps improve the economic well-being of our local community and its citizens, and helps neighborhoods to create a greater sense of community. Typical programs include:
    • Poverty reduction — addressing hunger, workforce development, and other financial capability strategies
    • Affordable housing

  3. Education: Addresses critical educational focus areas. Typical programs include:
    • Literacy programs (reading, writing and math)
    • Financial education

Starting the Application Process

Organizations interested in applying for funding must provide proof of 501(c)(3) status. Proposals may be for up to $10,000. The first step is to provide a Letter of Intent that includes the following:

  • Mission of your organization
  • Need that will be addressed
  • Demographic group reached
  • Program description
  • Specific amount requested

Email letters to donations@desertfinancial.com; they must be received by April 15 or September 15 of each year in order to be considered. Letters will be reviewed, and selected organizations will be contacted and invited to submit a full program proposal. Please note that due to the large volume of requests, only agencies selected will receive a response. Grant applications are by invitation only.

Additional Considerations

  • We do not fund programs related to the overall operation and management of a nonprofit entity.
  • Funding one year does not automatically guarantee funding the following year.
  • We do not fund travel of any kind, school sports teams, individuals or capital campaigns.

Please also note that we are generally unable to support the following types of requests:

  • From organizations that discriminate based on race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, national origin, disability, veteran status, or other legally protected status
  • Political candidates, parties, campaigns or causes
  • Individuals — including raising money for a nonprofit organization through activities such as racers or bikers needing pledges or money raised for charitable organizations or fundraisers that support a single individual
  • Social, labor union, alumni, or trade associations, fraternal or political organizations, or organizations serving a limited constituency
  • Faith-based organizations or religious programs whose principal purpose is promulgating a particular religious faith, creed or doctrine
  • Pageants and the individual contestants for any part of the event or process
  • Bachelor/Bachelorette auction events
  • Individuals seeking assistance for personal travel to conferences, training or learning programs, reunions/anniversaries, mission trips, races, contests, competitions
  • Team travel to competitions, tournaments, playoffs, etc.
  • Federal or corporate United Way campaigns
  • Online auctions
  • Clubs, groups, and smaller organizations within a school (e.g., booster clubs, athletic departments or academic groups)

Donations of Equipment

Desert Financial provides in-kind contributions of miscellaneous office and computer equipment when available. To be added to the email list of nonprofits receiving notification of available items, email donations@desertfinancial.com a copy of your most recent 501(c)(3) tax-exempt determination letter and key contact information, including name, phone number, email and street address. Individuals are notified when items are available via email, and items will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. Priority will be given to those who have not previously received items and that meet the giving guidelines and funding priorities. The email will detail follow-up instructions.