- What is California Consumer Protection Foundation (CCPF)?
- How does CCPF fulfill its mission to protect and benefit consumer interests, particularly in underserved communities?
- When and how was CCPF founded?
- What is the average size of a CCPF grant? How much money does CCPF award on an annual basis?
- What are the sources of CCPF’s funds?
- What is cy pres? What are consumer trust funds?
- Who is eligible to apply for a grant from CCPF? What types of work and where does CCPF fund?
- What distinguishes CCPF’s grantmaking?
- How much money is allocated for CCPF’s administrative costs?
- What is CCPF’s grantmaking track record? What has been the effectiveness of the projects that CCPF has funded?
- How can I support CCPF’s work?
What is California Consumer Protection Foundation (CCPF)?
CCPF is a strategic grantmaker and defender of consumer education and advocacy. Its mission is to protect and benefit consumer interests, particularly in underserved communities. CCPF is governed by a Board of Directors and has served as trustee for 15 major funds from law firms and regulatory agencies. Since 1991, its small, experienced staff have effectively and efficiently distributed over $30 million dollars to approximately 100-140 nonprofit organizations per year across California.
How does CCPF fulfill its mission to protect and benefit consumer interests, particularly in underserved communities?
CCPF fulfills its mission by funding a diverse range of nonprofit organizations across California, paying particular attention to efforts that address the gaps in service and resources to underserved communities or to issues that disproportionately affect underserved communities. Its culturally responsive grantmaking supports a broad range of consumer issues, including health care, abusive auto sales practices, consumer fraud, privacy, finance, insurance, energy, and telecommunications. CCPF’s small and savvy staff have decades of front-line program experience working with underserved communities and, as a result, CCPF has built an impressive network of consumer advocacy partners and supporters.
When and how was CCPF founded?
CCPF was established in 1991 by the Honorable Ira A. Brown Jr. (deceased) of the San Francisco Superior Court of the State of California to administer and distribute approximately $5 million in cy pres funds remaining from the precedent establishing consumer class action lawsuit, State of California v. Levi Strauss & Co. CCPF is incorporated as an independent 501(c)(4) with no connection with, or obligation to, Levi Strauss & Co. Nelson Holl was the founding executive director. Since that time, CCPF has administered 13 additional funds resulting from cy pres.
What is the average size of a CCPF grant? How much money does CCPF award on an annual basis?
The number of grants and size of award is dependent upon the trust fund. Under the CCF trust, CCPF made 50-70 grants per funding cycle (i.e., 100-140 organizations per year). The average size of a CCPF grant is $27,000-$30,000. Currently, CCPF grants approximately $1 million each year.
What are the sources of CCPF’s funds?
CCPF is a recipient of awards from settlements arising from class action lawsuits. To date, about 98% of CCPF funding comes from cy pres awards and mediations and about 2% directly from corporations.
What is cy pres? What are consumer trust funds?
The legal doctrine of “cy pres” is derived from a Norman French expression (cy pres comme possible) meaning “as near as possible.” Cy pres funds usually result when it is difficult, impossible or unreasonably costly to return the proceeds of monetary awards from class action lawsuits to individuals (class member) who have been injured. Cy pres funds can be used for purposes that indirectly benefit the injured class and/or further the purposes for which the lawsuit was filed (e.g., legal services, public education campaigns).
Consumer trust funds are not exactly the same as charitable trust funds. Charitable trusts cannot be used for advocacy work and individuals creating charitable trusts receive a tax deduction. Consumer trust funds, established with cy pres funds, can be utilized for the full range of consumer benefit work, including advocacy to advance and change regulatory policy.
Click here for more information about the cy pres doctrine.
As a result of the trust funds it has received to date, CCPF has provided support for a wide range of activities affecting California consumers in many diverse fields such as health care, auto sales, consumer fraud, privacy, banking, finance, insurance, energy and telecommunications. Each trust fund typically sets forth specific guidelines covering program areas and eligibility requirements.
CCPF conducts a statewide grantmaking process open to public agencies, tribes and nonprofit organizations. CCPF provides the names and contact information on all of its grantees in order to share best practices and to assist applicants in developing their potential project ideas. click here to read grantee profiles and access our grantee search engine.
What makes CCPF’s grantmaking different?
While CCPF has experience working with small- to medium-sized nonprofits to much larger organizations like school districts and government agencies, CCPF’s strategic and accomplished staff are particularly adept at working with hard-to-reach communities, communities of color, limited English-speaking communities and people with disabilities. CCPF staff are also highly skilled in providing culturally responsive technical assistance to start-up and grassroots organizations.
How much money goes to CCPF’s administrative costs?
As a fiscally conservative administrator, CCPF has made a conscious decision to limit overhead costs to approximately 10% of its total funding, which is far below the costs of most grantmaking organizations.
What is CCPF’s grantmaking track record? What has been the effectiveness of the projects that CCPF has funded?
Established in 1991, CCPF has made over 1,500 grants, totaling over $30 million, to approximately 100-140 nonprofit organizations per year. These grants have directly benefited over 200,000 individuals. Our grantees’ policy work on privacy, telecommunications, and auto lending and sales practices has impacted the lives of people in the entire state and, in many cases, the nation.
How can I support CCPF’s work?
Members of the legal community can create a consumer trust fund with CCPF, which will be managed by experienced professionals that will be accountable to both the court and the general public. CCPF will distribute funds while ensuring that the grantee selection process is transparent and open to all qualified applicants. Click here for more information on how to support CCPF’s work.