Quarterly Update from the Office of the Governor: August 2020

Philanthropy California has invited Kathleen Kelly Janus, Senior Advisor on Social Innovation to Governor Gavin Newsom, to use our platform to provide an update from the Office of the Governor on California's public-private partnerships. 


Dear Philanthropy California Network, 


I hope you continue to stay safe and healthy as you all work diligently to help California and the nation’s most vulnerable populations. You are supporting our communities as they face natural disasters and a global pandemic, fighting systemic racial inequity, as well as caring for your own families and loved ones. It is truly nothing short of superhuman.

I am happy to report that in the last year and a half, Governor Newsom and his administration have led 22 public-private partnerships totaling $368 million in philanthropic funding, leveraging over $1 billion in public dollars. This work would not have been possible without your efforts and partnership — thank you all for everything that you have done and continue to do!   

As we all continue to grapple with how to meet the longer-term challenges of COVID-19 recovery and the already gaping inequities in our state to rebuild California back better, I’m eager to join with you to continue developing philanthropic-public partnerships that are smarter, bigger, and most effectively leveraging critical resources.

Today, I want to take this opportunity to share a few exciting partnership highlights (and of course if you are interested in engaging in any of these partnerships, feel free to be in touch with me directly):  

  • Returning Home Well: Just yesterday we announced an exciting new $30 million partnership to provide essential services like housing, health care, treatment, transportation, direct assistance, and employment support, for Californians returning home from prison after July 1, 2020. This partnership between the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), California Department of Social Services, and philanthropic partners will lean on hundreds of community-based organizations, with Amity Foundation serving as the hub. Many partners helped make this happen, organized by Tim Silard of Rosenberg Foundation with lead investments from The Meadow Fund, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, The California Endowment, Heising-Simons Foundation, Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, Open Society Foundations, The California Wellness Foundation, Ford Foundation and more. 
  • Wildfire Response: As many of you are experiencing first-hand, Californians everywhere have been displaced from their homes as wildfires blaze across large parts of our state. As part of our continued partnership on disaster response between the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services and Philanthropy California, you can find a full list of vetted funds to support Californians impacted by fires at the Northern California Wildfire Response website. We are particularly excited about our new partnership with the League of California Community Foundations on a centralized Relief, Recovery and Resilience Fund for communities experiencing disasters, which will also focus on resilience and longer-term recovery. Philanthropy California is hosting a funder webinar to learn more about California's wildfire response efforts more generally next Wednesday, September 2nd — Register here.
  • “Wear a Mask” Public Awareness Campaign: Over the past few weeks you may have seen billboards, social media posts, radio spots and tv ads from our “Wear a Mask” campaign, a statewide COVID-19 public awareness effort Governor Newsom launched in early-July to reinforce mask-wearing, social distancing, and other healthy behaviors, targeted particularly at high-risk communities. Supported in large part by philanthropy, initial partners in this campaign include Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, The California Endowment, California Health Care Foundation, The Skoll Foundation, IKEA, CDC Foundation, and Sierra Health Foundation.   
  • Helping the Homeless with Project Homekey: Last month, Governor Newsom announced the launch of Project Homekey, an effort to purchase and renovate buildings across the state of California to transform them into service-enriched housing for the homeless. Project Homekey leverages $600 million from the CARES Act funding for counties to purchase and renovate units, as well as $45 million from private partners Kaiser Permanente and Blue Shield of California, to support operating costs and wraparound services for the Homekey units. Next month we will be hosting a webinar with Philanthropy California to highlight partnership opportunities – Please email me directly if you are interested in learning  more.  
  • Supporting Domestic Violence Survivors: In May we launched a partnership to support survivors of domestic violence in CA through several different channels and partners. These efforts included the expansion of the text 911 program and a $45 million-dollar Relief and Resilience Fund led by the Women’s Foundation of California with initial seed funding from Blue Shield of California Foundation to raise private funds to support domestic violence organizations. Additionally, Airbnb and Uber are partnering to provide free accommodation and transportation for domestic violence survivors. These services are being distributed through the California Partnership to End Domestic Violence and Governor Newsom appeared on "The View" to announce this effort.
  • Supporting Relief Efforts in Inland California: Building on our efforts to drive philanthropic investments inland, on August 3 the Governor announced a $6.5 million COVID-19 San Joaquin Valley Health Fund in partnership with Sierra Health Foundation to support relief efforts in the Central Valley, focusing on community-based organizations serving vulnerable populations such as farmworkers and other low-wage and essential workers. This funding will be distributed to organizations working alongside the Governor’s CalOES Central Valley COVID-19 Task Force, which was deployed this month to address the spike in cases in the region. 
  • COVID-19 Isolation and Quarantine Support: This month, in partnership with the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Labor, the Governor announced philanthropic commitments totaling $81.8 million led by The California Endowment, California Health Care Foundation, Kaiser Permanente, and others, which will complement the $286 million committed by the state to support contact tracing and supportive isolation. This funding will be critical not just to reduce the spread of COVID-19, but to create well-paying jobs and future job opportunities, particularly for Black and Brown Californians who come from the highest-risk communities.

Thank you for your continued leadership, insights, and partnership on all these projects and more. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me with ideas, to discuss the work you are undertaking, or with opportunities for further partnership. It has truly been a pleasure to be in this role for over a year now (and what a year!) and I am so appreciative of all your support.

I look forward to continuing our work together. Stay safe and don’t forget to wear your masks.   

Stay well,
Kathleen Kelly Janus
Senior Advisor on Social Innovation
Office of Governor Gavin Newsom


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