Wells Fargo Awards $50,000 Grant to Arizona Citizens for the Arts for Business Volunteers for the Arts
Arizona Citizens Action for the Arts (AzCA) has received a $50,000 NeighborhoodLIFT grant from Wells Fargo to manage and operate Business Volunteers for the Arts, a program matching business volunteers with a range of skills with arts organizations in metropolitan Phoenix.
Business Volunteers for the Arts had been managed by the Arts & Business Council of Greater Phoenix which suspended operations last year.
"Community support is at the heart of Wells Fargo's Vision & Values and we are proud to support nonprofits like Arizona Citizens Action for the Arts in their efforts to help strengthen and stabilize Phoenix communities," said Pam Conboy, Wells Fargo Arizona Lead Regional President.
AzCA was one of six organizations receiving a total of $1 million in grants through the Wells Fargo NeighborhoodLIFT program that was launched early last year. NeighborhoodLIFT is an innovative effort created to help stabilize neighborhoods and help people buy homes by making properties more affordable with down payment assistance available for prospective buyers.
Grantees were identified in close collaboration with the City of Phoenix and Mayor Greg Stanton. Grants are targeted to support five key areas: Support services for the homeless, neighborhood beautification and improvement, education and workforce development, small business and economic development, and the environment.
"This grant enabling Arizona Citizens Action for the Arts to take over and manage Business Volunteers for the Arts will pay tremendous dividends in supporting the work and efforts of arts and culture organizations looking for professional assistance but without the necessary funds," said Catherine "Rusty" Foley, Executive Director of Arizona Citizens Action for the Arts. "Over the years, BVA proved to be a significant resource for nonprofit arts and culture organizations applying sound business practices to their operations."
Business Volunteers for the Arts, a licensed program of Americans for the Arts since 1979, began operating in Phoenix in 1990 to engage skilled individuals from the business world to contribute their time and technical support for projects like marketing initiatives, strategic planning, financial and personnel management systems, and communications support. The result is that business-sector volunteers gain a deeper appreciation of the value arts and culture brings to a community, and the nonprofits expand their operational knowledge, skill and capacity to support their missions and grow their organizations.
Generally, BVA volunteers deliver an average of $7 of added value for every dollar invested in the program. Over its 22-year existence, BVA completed 1,900 technical assistance projects to help expand the operating capacity of more than 100 arts and culture organizations. More than 1,400 business volunteers had been recruited, providing more than $3.7 million in consulting services.
In addition to the local grants, the NeighborhoodLIFT program is helping further the nation's housing recovery by providing down payment assistance to help more local families achieve successful, sustainable home ownership.
Wells Fargo collaborates with the City of Phoenix and the non-profit organization NeighborWorks America and its local affiliate,Neighborhood Housing Services of Phoenix, to implement the program.