- Associated Press - Thursday, October 8, 2015

LOS ANGELES (AP) - In celebration of its 100th anniversary, the California Community Foundation is pledging a whopping $1 billion to Los Angeles County nonprofit organizations over the next decade.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas were among the officials on hand Thursday as the philanthropic foundation announced the funding commitment.

Nonprofit organizations must apply for the funds, which will be given out as grants, loans and scholarships. Applications will be reviewed by staff and the foundation’s 20-member board when it meets four times a year.

The foundation hopes to focus on early childhood education, low-income housing, community clinics and the arts, said President and CEO Antonia Hernandez.

Los Angeles County has “traffic, high cost of living, congestion, issues of safety, and we can go on and on about all the challenges,” Hernandez said. “But I ask you this one question, would you live in any other place? This is the place we can make better and we’re here.”

The announcement follows a survey that found county residents want to be involved in their communities but believe they don’t have enough time or knowledge to help.

Forty-nine percent of respondents said they were too busy or didn’t have enough time to be involved, while 39 percent said they weren’t sure how to help, according to the USC Dornsife/California Community Foundation/Los Angeles Times poll.

The California Community Foundation provided $700 million in grants over the past decade. To provide the new funds, foundation staff will have to fundraise in addition to the interest received from a $1.5-billion endowment, Hernandez said.

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