Imperial Valley Community Foundation Champions Local Philanthropy

October 21, 2022

Bobby Brock has served as the president and CEO of The Imperial Valley Community Foundation (IVCF) since 2008, and served on the organization’s board of directors prior to that. When describing the Foundation he says,  “We call ourselves a 35-year-old startup.”Brock explains that the IVCF prides itself on helping organizations and programs get their start. The mission of the IVCF is to champion local philanthropy to benefit the Imperial Valley community by helping donors fulfill their philanthropic goals while preserving enduring charitable assets for future generations. 

In recent years, the Imperial Valley has boomed as a renewable energy hub. 

“We have seen wind, solar, and geothermal growth here, and we’re excited about the implications it has for the future of our region.” Brock noted.

Beginning with its partnership with Pattern Energy’s Ocotillo Wind facility, IVCF has created a means for renewable energy developers to give back to the broader Imperial Valley community and establish programs for cultural and environmental causes.

The Ocotillo Wind Community Benefits Program

Pattern Energy created the Ocotillo Wind Community Benefits Program at the IVCF to fulfill its commitment to the residents of Imperial Valley. As part of the program, Ocotillo Wind made a substantial donation to kickstart three endowment funds: Ocotillo Wind Community Fund, Ocotillo Wind Education Fund, and Ocotillo Wind Imperial Valley Fund.

Ocotillo Wind also committed to making annual contributions earmarked for grant cycles to ensure at least $75,000 is available every year to support grants for the first 20 years of Ocotillo Wind’s operations. After 20 years, grant opportunities will continue using earnings and available distributions from each endowment.

The Ocotillo Wind Community Fund (OWCF) supports community, health and wellness, education, and youth initiatives in the towns of Ocotillo and No Mirage. A committee of residents of Ocotillo and No Mirage advise the IVCF on initiatives to pursue. 

One ongoing initiative is the Ocotillo Community Clean-Up Program, which entails an annual community wide clean-up event and has removed more than 432 tons since its inception. Materials removed from Ocotillo and No Mirage have included tires, household waste, electronics, brush, and hazardous materials, like paint and oil. 

Direct assistance is also provided to property owners and individuals who need an extra hand to remove large items. The program has made a significant visual difference and grown local pride. 

The OWCF also contributes to a back-to-school shopping program coordinated by the Desert Volunteer Optimist Club to help local youth purchase new clothing and school supplies.

Boys & Girls Club of Imperial Valley

The Ocotillo Wind Education Fund (OWEF) supports new and existing programs that advance education and educational opportunities in the Imperial Valley. In 2021, grants were awarded through a competitive process to Boys & Girls Clubs of Imperial Valley and Mom-Sense. 

The mission of the Boys & Girls Club is to inspire and enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to realize their full potential as productive, responsible, and caring citizens. Mom Sense is a source of mentorship, opportunity, motivation, service, encouragement, nurturing, sisterhood, and empowerment.

The Ocotillo Wind Imperial Valley (IV) Fund supports new and existing programs that improve the quality of life of Imperial Valley residents and communities. CASA of Imperial County received funding through the last grant cycle to support scholarships for foster kids to attend college. 

Spread the Love Charity is another grant recipient. The organization aims to strengthen those who feel the load of life is too heavy, unite the community to help those enduring hardships, and to do this with love that may spread and touch many hearts. 

Future Opportunities

“We’re very proud of our community,” Brock said, “and we’ve gotten to the point where we are starting to see regionalism develop. People are seeing us as a broader community that works together instead of apart.”

He went on to explain the Foundation is, “spreading its wings” and finding ways to help grow the region while protecting their assets.

“The ecosystems here are delicate.” Brock explained development in the region should find ways to give back to the community and protect its ecosystems. “We are providing a way to do that for the long haul.”

Check out the IVCF’s website to learn more, apply for grants, or contribute to one of their many programs.