Extraordinary Gifts: California Community Foundation VP John E. Kobara on the Surprising State of Charitable Giving Nationwide and in L.A.

December 5, 2012

Photo from Huffpost Impact/AP

The complete blog/interview was originally posted by Shayna Rose Arnold on Los Angeles Magazine’s City Think Blog. Please click here to read the full entry: Extraordinary Gifts

With the election season behind us and the end-of-year giving season upon us, Shayna Rose Arnold of LAMag.com sat down with California Community Foundation’s Executive VP and COO, John E. Kobara to speak about needs in Los Angeles and how to inspire greater giving by Angelenos.

Of the dramatic statistics that emerged from the conversation, the fact that roughly 40% of Angelenos have negative or zero net worth, was the most startling in that it reveals the depth of poverty in the city. The wide range of issues that this degree of poverty creates is being confronted by the roughly 40,000 nonprofits of which 37,000 are small nonprofits that are themselves severely underfunded and at risk.

In the interview Kobara highlighted the fact that inspiring  donors to give in a meaningful way is challenging in a city as large and diverse as Los Angeles; “It’s a messy place. It’s hard to understand who needs help. National funders, even our own local donors, don’t give as much locally as they could because it’s a tough landscape to figure out.” Helping high net-worth individuals to see beyond the borders of their insular communities to identify on a human level with the needs around them is one of the most important touchpoints to connecting donors to their giving goals. Creating that tactile connection between the donor and the cause ultimately helps to break down the distance and leads to engaged philanthropy.

To read Extraordinary Gifts: California Community Foundation VP John E. Kobara on the Surprising State of Charitable Giving Nationwide and in L.A., please click here.

John E. Kobara is California Community Foundation’s Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.

3 Responses
  1. Thank you John and everyone at the California Community Foundation for your important work.

    Gregory Pierre Cox

  2. After reading John’s interview, there is reason to be optimistic. He says that the donors are out there but need to be directed to local causes and organizations. We can do that. LA-based non-profits can do a better job of telling their story and sharing their positive outcomes with the community. With the steep decline of public funds, it’s more important than ever to engage with local donors and supporters. Through better communication and education, we can better connect with those who are in a position to give. Imagine if all of those who could give, gave locally. LA would be a much different place.
    — Matthew Glasser, Director of Marketing and Communications, Exceptional Children’s Foundation

  3. john says:

    Thanks for reading and for your thoughtful comment. We need to tell our stories better, but we need to understand and communicate the diffeence we are making. More than ever, getting the attention of funders and donors will be driven by evidence and outcomes, not just effort and emotion. Cheers John

Leave a Comment


Subscribe to receive instant email notifications of our #LAtogether blog posts and CCF e-newsletters.



Join us in making an impact on the issues that face L.A.



Something is wrong.
Instagram token error.




California Community Foundation join us in Building Los Angeles Together.

© 2019 California Community Foundation. All Rights Reserved. | Privacy Policy

//Google Analytics