Capacity Building with a Racial Equity Lens

East Contra Costa STRONG Collaborative Fund

Residents in discussion around a table at a community convening

A Collaborative Pooled Fund

The East Contra Costa STRONG Collaborative Fund (STRONG) aims to increase racial equity and economic justice in East Contra Costa County by strengthening the capacity of nonprofits, supporting leadership development, and building community voice and power.

Since its launch in 2015, the Fund has supported capacity building for nonprofit leaders and leadership development for leaders of color; the establishment a nonprofit network; advocacy for a strengthened service delivery ecosystem; funded and shared important research and information to catalyze action; and supported community engagement and cross-sector collaboration to ensure the region has a voice at countywide tables.

The Fund’s priorities are informed by listening to and learning from community partners, centering Black, indigenous and people of color voices, leveraging relationships with community leaders and decision makers, seeking out unmet opportunities ripe for investment, staying flexible to meet emergent opportunities, and committing to long-term work in East Contra Costa County.


  1. Invest in leadership and capacity towards racially equitable changes in policies and institutions, especially around issues most important to BIPOC communities.  
  2. Support community-led narrative change efforts
  3. Increase philanthropic and private investment in ECCC


  1. Expand and deepen the leadership capacity of BIPOC leaders to build collective power by strengthening resident leadership, community organizing, and the connective tissue between coalitions and organizations
  2. Enhance the infrastructure of grassroots organizations and nonprofits to build and sustain equitable and thriving communities through effective service, advocacy, and access to public and philanthropic grants
  3. Support community and ethnic media expansion to inform, engage and amplify the voices of BIPoC communities, reshape racist narratives and increase transparency and accountability for justice 
  4. Educate and engage philanthropy and the public sector to increase investments in East Contra Costa County

STRONG is an invitation-only fund.  As the pooled fund expands, we intend to examine that practice and offer opportunities for organizations to introduce their work without creating burdensome structures and unrealistic expectations. The East Contra Costa STRONG Collaborative Fund members include East Bay Community Foundation, Justice Justice Fund, Dean and Margaret Lesher Foundation, Magic CabinetSan Francisco Foundation, The California Endowment, Y & H Soda Fund and Zellerbach Family Foundation.


Findings from the Field Learning Brief

Funder Directory

Data, Narrative, Action to Support Racial Equity in East Contra Costa County – UC Riverside Center for Social Innovation

Understanding Poverty and Philanthropic Giving Disparities in the Bay Area (2018-2020) – United Way Bay Area

According to a recent United Way Bay Area study, Contra Costa County received just 3% of the funding in the region, yet accounts for 15% of the share of Bay Area households earning less than the Real Cost Measure (estimated cost of living for a family of four). 

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