Prescott has always been a place where everyone looks out for each other. Perhaps it’s the “Everybody’s Hometown” title, or just the way we live, but as a community, Prescott has always been supportive of local organizations and nonprofits.
Whether it’s an immediate crisis, or a long-term social concern, if you are in need, there is most likely a resource or organization that is willing to help.
For the past seven years, Lisa Sahady, has been at the forefront of guiding local nonprofits and donors through the process of obtaining grants and financial assistance, as well as helping individuals create lasting legacies through The Arizona Community Foundation of Yavapai County.
Lisa spent her adolescence and her young adult life living in rural Texas. Upon obtaining her degree in psychology, she began her career in nonprofits working in rehabilitative services.
Upon her move to Prescott Lisa would continue her career path, but now, working with foster families through Arizona’s Children.
“I really enjoyed my work with Arizona’s Children and the foster program” Lisa says. “It was a positive change from the challenging and sometimes overwhelming work of rehabilitative services.” This is also where she would meet her husband David.
Later, Lisa met Carol Chamberlain, then Executive Director of ACF of Yavapai County. “During the interview process, for an administrative assistant, Carol asked me where I saw myself in five years, and I shamelessly replied, I wanna be you.” I want to do what you do,” she said.
With that goal in mind, Carol took Lisa under her wing and basically began a mentoring program that resulted, upon Carol’s retirement in 2020, in Lisa being selected as Regional Director of the largest philanthropic nonprofit in Northern Arizona.
“The benefit of having been on both sides of the nonprofit world, is that I know the challenges they are facing and can help guide organizations through the grant process and help them obtain the funds from resources that they may not be aware of.
“And on the other side, we are able to help individuals who want to either leave a legacy gift, or a onetime financial gift, by reviewing the over 130 different funds we have available to assist our community,” Lisa explained.
Individuals, or organizations are able to set up a fund with ACF, which is then managed by ACF, and the groups can direct how those funds are used as they grow interest. This also allows groups to collect donations as a nonprofit, if they are not already one, which is extremely beneficial.”
“Each year we begin our grant cycle in the spring and through participation of community members who sit on panels and review applications, ACF provides funds to worthy organizations. Last year we provided over $4 million in financial assistance to local nonprofits in Yavapai County.” Lisa added.
The group also recently completed its “Cash for College” scholarship program, which brings together colleges, civic organizations and individuals who are providing scholarships to students pursuing higher education. More than 200 students attended the evening event and were able to source out potential funds and information on college cost assistance.
When asked as to resources for smaller nonprofits, or groups that may not yet have their 501C3 designation, Lisa offered Arizona First. Arizona First’s focus is on locally owned businesses, but also offers a database of grants that many groups may not know are currently available. www.localfirstaz.com (Economic Recovery Resources).
The Holiday Season and pretax season always see an increase in financial gift-giving. “Regardless of the season, there are always individuals who are making plans and thinking about making a long-lasting difference with the assets and wealth they have accumulated during their life.” Lisa says.
“ACF offers a variety of workshops and resources to educate individuals who are looking at creating a fund or foundation. These can be created at any time, and we are able to make that happen so they can be confident that their wishes are being followed, and their life’s work can have an impact well beyond their time.”
Lisa adds, “And it can be done quite easily.” ACF has a variety of funds where contributions can be made at any time. These involve everything from Animal welfare, Childhood Education, Outdoors and Recreation, as well as a variety of Health and Social Assistance programs.”
Regardless of where, or with whom, you decide to donate this holiday season, do your research which can be accessed online in a variety of ways. If you are considering a larger donation, perhaps check with a financial planner to weigh the benefits to both the organization and yourself, so that your gift has the largest impact possible.
For more information on the Arizona Community Foundation, or to speak with Lisa about planned giving or access to funding, www.azfoundation.org or 928-583-7815.