The Make It Better Foundation is thrilled to announce the winners of its first annual Bay Area Philanthropy Awards presented by the Marin Community Foundation. To select the winners of the first annual Bay Area Philanthropy Awards, a panel of judges made up of some of the most influential names in the local philanthropy scene reviewed and whittled down more than 78 applicants until arriving at three stalwarts of giving and making a difference. The winners, in the categories of Health and Wellness, Environment, and Social Service, join the more than 40 nonprofits recognized with Philanthropy Awards in the greater Chicago area in previous years. Winners were chosen based on excellence, scalability, efficiency, leadership and effectiveness. The foundation offers its sincerest congratulations to the inspirational winners and to the dedicated employees and volunteers who keep these nonprofits going strong.
Health and Wellness
Founded in 2008, San Francisco-based Clinic by the Bay provides primary care health services for the medically underserved in the San Francisco Bay Area. The clinic’s goal is to improve the overall health, vitality and economic climate of the community it serves. Last year, Clinic by the Bay served 670 people, and since opening, have enrolled more than 2,500 patients and completed more than 17,000 patient visits. According to the clinic’s annual survey, 85% of patients report that their health has improved. To date, the clinic’s volunteers have contributed nearly 70,000 hours of service, valued at well over $3 million. In addition, Clinic by the Bay has made a positive impact with programs like the Food Security Program, which provides boxes of fresh produce to patients experiencing food insecurity. In the past year, they also provided Health Coaching and Diabetes Education visits to patients to help manage their chronic diseases, as well as prescription assistance to help cover the cost of life-saving prescriptions. Learn more at clinicbythebay.org.
Amazon Watch, whose headquarters are in Oakland, works in five countries across two continents with indigenous federations, nations and partners to protect the Amazon Basin from deforestation and defend indigenous rights. Founded in 1996, the organization’s goals are to decrease the flow of capital from financial institutions to the destruction of the Amazon rainforest; equip Indigenous-led organizations with capital to advance their voices and rights; and raise global awareness about the importance of Amazon rainforest in the health and well-being of the planet by building a robust community of supporters. In 2020 during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, Amazon Watch contributed $1.5 million in grants to indigenous communities and organizations in the Amazon Basin through its Amazon Defenders Fund. Also in 2020, the nonprofit successfully launched a global climate finance campaign that resulted in five European banks committing to withdraw $5.5 billion that once funded the extraction of crude oil from the Ecuadorian Amazon. Amazon Watch has an online following of more than 600,000 people throughout the world advocating for the permanent protection of the rainforest and for indigenous voices in climate justice. Visit amazonwatch.org for more information.
Assistance League of Diablo Valley is an all-volunteer organization serving Contra Costa County since 1967 with 16 different programs, all designed to help children, students, seniors and families in need. Last year, the organization’s 450 members volunteered 33,000 hours and touched the lives of 10,000 people in Contra Costa County. Many programs focus on children and education, such as provisioning 6,000 students in K–12 with new clothes and shoes; donating books valued at $20,000 to children, classrooms and school libraries; and awarding scholarships to 52 young adults, helping them to pursue a college education or vocational training. The organization also supports community programs for other age groups, including donating boxes of food to families on CalWorks, and providing baby bags for infants at risk of developmental delays and backpacks with emergency supplies to foster children and teens in crisis. Last year Assistance League of Diablo Valley also provided 5,028 reassurance calls to homebound clients, along with offering support to many other groups and individuals. All programs are funded by proceeds from the Assistance League Way Side Inn Thrift Shop in Lafayette, and grants and donations from individuals, businesses and foundations. Find out more at assistanceleague.org/diablo-valley.