CARE Fund Grants

Celebrating 30 Years, Rooted in the Community, Dean & Margaret Lesher FoundationTo express gratitude to nonprofit organizations for their continued commitment to elevating the community, the Lesher Foundation is pleased to announce the CARE Fund. This one-time $300,000 fund marks the Lesher Foundation’s 30-year history of grantmaking and honors its community partners.

“We know many of our nonprofits carry their mission and vision on their shoulders, and that can be a heavy weight day after day and year after year,” said Devorah Levine, Executive Director of the Lesher Foundation. “The CARE Fund supports the strength and wisdom of the nonprofit sector and recognizes the essential need to focus on the care and renewal of staff and organizational resilience after the challenges of the last few years.”

The CARE Fund reflects the Lesher Foundation’s deep commitment to Contra Costa County and the desire to support the strength and wisdom of the nonprofit sector. The Lesher Foundation will award a limited number of one-time grants ranging from $1,000 up to $15,000, supporting organizational resilience and renewal of nonprofit organizations and their staff in Contra Costa to be able to serve their communities.


Types of Activities

Practices of Care: such as staff retreats, board retreats, short sabbaticals, staff-wide activities, wellness stipends, art activities, and convenings among nonprofits

Conferences and trainings: such as leadership development conferences, skill building, and training classes

Coaching: such as organizational or individual coaching for professional development, leadership transitions, and wellness



To apply, a nonprofit must meet ALL of the following criteria:

  • Have a 501(c)3 status or are fiscally sponsored
  • Located in or directly serving residents of Contra Costa County
  • Work in any of the Lesher Foundation’s focus areas of arts and culture, children and families, or education
  • Work with low-income or marginalized communities

We particularly invite nonprofits with less than 10 years of experience and/or annual organizational budgets of less than $1 million to apply. Nonprofits without any prior relationship to the Foundation are welcomed to apply.  For current grantee partners, this one time fund has no relationship to any current grant or requests for funding and you are welcomed to submit an application.


How to Apply

  • Requests for one-time grants can range from $1,000 up to $15,000. A request should not exceed 25% of any nonprofit’s organizational budget.
  • Applications will be accepted June 10 – July 19, 2024. Applicants will be notified of CARE Fund grant decisions by August 30, 2024.
  • Click to begin the online application process.