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March 2022

Our March update
Welcome to the second edition of our new newsletter! This month’s issue features our recently released Impact Report, exciting news for the School Participatory Budgeting program, Gabe Zimmerman Public Service Awards nominations, and more. 

Arizona Gives Day is April 5-6 – Invest in CFA!

Created to strengthen and sustain Arizona's nonprofit community, Arizona Gives Day is a statewide, online giving campaign that raises awareness about our state’s nonprofits and the critical role they play in our communities. Not only do Arizona nonprofits provide necessary services to our communities, but they are also an integral part of our state’s economy. By donating to nonprofits like CFA, you make an impact on this state we all love.

When you invest in CFA, you are helping us continue to drive Arizona forward.
  • Advance systems-level change that reflects Arizonans’ Shared Public Values
  • Support research and efforts to provide trusted information to the community and its leaders for data-backed decision-making 
  • Empower collaborative community partnerships that foster cross-sector innovation and solution building

We invite you to join us in creating a stronger and brighter future for our state. Arizona Gives Day is April 5-6, but you don’t have to wait - early giving is open!

Read more about the power of donating to CFA.


Creating The Arizona We Want: Read Our 2021 Impact Report 

Introducing CFA’s inaugural annual publication

We are proud to release Center for the Future of Arizona’s annual Impact Report. This inaugural publication highlights notable milestones, impacts and developments of our programs and initiatives, our audited financials, and more from our 2021 fiscal year.

Download the full digital report.

Actions Advancing The Arizona We Want

As we near the one-year mark of releasing the Action Agenda for Arizona’s Future, we’re reflecting on statewide progress made during this time. Here’s a look at just a few notable, broad-reaching advances and how they support The Arizona We Want

The Future of Civic Life in Arizona Looks Bright

Successful School Participatory Budgeting Program Receives Investment in Statewide Expansion from The Steele Foundation 

CFA was recently awarded $150,000 for the School Participatory Budgeting (SPB) program by The Steele Foundation – the philanthropic organization committed to helping children develop into confident, happy, and healthy human beings. This gift will support CFA and its partners with the current implementation and statewide expansion of SPB, a high-impact civic education initiative aimed at helping students tap into their civic leadership and make lasting impacts on their schools and community now and in the future. Read on to learn more about how this gift will support SPB and how to get your school or district involved.

SPB Vote Days are Underway! 

SPB Vote Days are a key part of the program experience and take place February through April each year. This year over 35,000 students– from Queen Creek and Chandler to Sunnyside and Phoenix school districts – are voting on school improvement projects they will fund. Seen here, a student at Queen Creek Unified School District casts their vote. 

Blue Zones Activate Well-Being Initiative Launching in South Phoenix

Equality Health Foundation, UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Arizona, and Valley of the Sun United Way recently announced the launch of a new Blue Zones Activate effort for the South Phoenix area, a comprehensive policy-based initiative to make the healthy choice the easy choice in all the places people spend the most time. We are enthusiastic about this initiative which employs an evidence-based solution in partnership with the community to help people live better and longer, and are thrilled for CFA President & CEO Dr. Sybil Francis to be supporting this innovative effort on the Blue Zones Steering Committee. Each community that becomes a healthier place to live, work, and thrive contributes to a stronger and brighter future for our state.

Learn more about the Blue Zones process and join the March 28 kick-off.

Op-ed: Wanted: Candidates who will listen to what matters most to all voters

Why not start each election year by asking: What matters most to voters? Read more of Dr. Sybil Francis’ latest op-ed with Arizona Capitol Times on putting voters at the center of campaign rhetoric and reporting this election year.  
Op-ed: How does Arizona create vibrant communities? The pandemic revealed a lot of answers

After two years of study during a pandemic, our friends at Arizona Town Hall asked hundreds for input on how to create more vibrant communities. Read about their findings and recommendations in a recent op-ed with The Arizona Republic, co-authored by AZ Town Hall Board Chair and CFA Director of Community & Economic Prosperity, Evelyn Casuga

Nominations Open Now: Gabe Zimmerman Awards 

CFA’s annual Gabe Zimmerman Public Service Awards honor the memory of the dedicated community outreach director who gave his life while serving the citizens of Arizona. Since 2011, the awards have recognized non-elected public servants contributing to their communities and taking meaningful action in their everyday lives that add up to creating a better future for all Arizonans. 

Awarded in three categories – Community Builder, Emerging Leader, and Civic Leader – honorees exemplify the impact Gabe Zimmerman had in connecting communities and engaging citizens.

Nominations for the 2022 Awards are open March 24 – May 9. Any Arizona-based non-elected public servant can be nominated for one of the categories. Learn more about the award criteria and make your nominations today

Awards will be announced and presented in July at the Arizona City/County Management Association Conference in Tucson. 
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