With Broad knowledge of the worlds of philanthropy, law, and consumer protection, the foundation staff and board members consistently leverage limited resources into much greater impacts through our grantmaking.– Ann Haskins, CCPF Board Member, Administrative Law Judge, California Unemployment Appeals Board
California Consumer Protection Foundation (CCPF) ensures that cy pres funds obtained from class action settlements are distributed through a transparent, open and competitive process, with stringent policies to guarantee no conflict of interest.
Cy pres funds are a potential funding source to benefit low income, underserved consumers through direct service and advocacy that directly benefit the injured class.
We provide grants to nonprofits and government agencies working on diverse consumer issues, such as health care, auto sales, consumer fraud, privacy, finance, insurance, energy, and telecommunications.
Since 1991, CCPF has distributed over $30 million dollars. We provide funding to 100-140 organizations per year, with an average grant size of $27,000-$30,000.
- CCPF was created from a cy pres action. We were established in 1991 by the Honorable Ira A. Brown Jr. (deceased) of the San Francisco Superior Court of California to administer and distribute cy pres funds remaining from the precedent establishing consumer class action lawsuit State of California v. Levi Strauss & Co. Since that time, we have administered and distributed $30 million from 14 separate consumer trust funds.
- CCPF has a solid grantmaking track record. We have successfully worked with and supported a diverse pool of nonprofit organizations serving communities throughout California from small, grassroots organizations to regional governmental agencies and tribal agencies. Our culturally responsive grant making strategy has been particularly important as we have developed a long history of working with some of the most hard-to-reach, underserved communities in California.
- CCPF funds and supports consumer advocacy. As a 501(c)(4), we also have more expertise and discretion in funding advocacy projects than traditional 501(c)(3) foundations.
- CCPF administered funds are managed efficiently and appropriately. CCPF has a small, effective, and experienced staff with very low administrative costs which ensures that funds secured from class action lawsuits directly benefit organizations working on behalf of consumers.
- CCPF promises accountability. We develop a tailored outreach strategy for each fund designed specifically to meet the requirements of the trust that calls attention to the objectives of the settlement. Based on the terms of the trust, a transparent grantmaking process is used so that private settlements with cy pres awards are fully disclosed to both the court and the larger public. A stringent conflict of interest policy precludes awarding grants to organizations affiliated with the board or staff which avoids potential or real conflicts of interest.
How to Support Our Work
Creating a trust with CCPF is perhaps the simplest and most cost-effective way to distribute consumer trust funds. Consumer trust funds are created in a variety of ways, from different situations. However, one the most common sources of consumer trust funds are lawsuits and regulatory proceedings.
In legal or regulatory actions, the parties only need to secure an order or decision which stipulates:
- CCPF as the recipient,
- A purpose or funding priorities consistent with the underlying case and/or benefiting the class,
- The duration of trust,
- CCPF’s administrative fees, and any reporting requirements to the court or the parties. As trustee, CCPF is bound by the terms of the trust.
CCPF staff are always available to help develop or review the terms and conditions of a trust prior to court submission, to ensure that they are agreeable and capable of fulfillment. When necessary, we are also able to refer cases to other appropriate foundations. For more information or assistance, please call CCPF’s Executive Director at (323) 857-0526(323) 630-4492 or firstname.lastname@example.org.