New Solar Project Helps Pima County Nonprofits Lower Energy Costs, Increase Sustainability

By Bret Fanshaw on April 25, 2022

TUCSON, AZ (April 22, 2022) – The Community Foundation for Southern Arizona (CFSA) announced today that it is accepting applications from nonprofit organizations based in Pima County for a newly-established initiative, the Nonprofit Solar Project.

The Nonprofit Solar Project offers eligible nonprofits the opportunity to meet a significant portion of their energy needs through solar power. By switching to solar, nonprofits will reduce their carbon footprint and energy costs, freeing up resources for programming or other infrastructure needs.

The project is the first initiative under CFSA’s new Environmental Sustainability Impact Fund, which aims to support nonprofits with funding for conservation and restoration programs, climate justice, habitat protection, community gardens, watershed management, and solar initiatives in Southern Arizona.

“For most nonprofits, investing in a solar installation is too challenging and expensive of a commitment. By offering this opportunity to our nonprofit partners, the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona looks to address environmental disparities in our local community and increase the capacity of the nonprofit sector in Southern Arizona,” said CFSA President and CEO Jenny Flynn.

The Nonprofit Solar Project is open to any 501c3 nonprofit in Pima County with local leadership and owns its building.

The initiative was developed in partnership with Solar United Neighbors (SUN) and is funded primarily through generous support from an anonymous CFSA donor. In addition, Tucson Electric Power has contributed $15,000 to help expand the project’s reach.

SUN will help review applications and conduct site visits with potential grantees to determine project costs and commitments. A community review committee will make final recommendations for organization selection, and selected participants will then work with SUN to choose their preferred solar installer.

Bret Fanshaw, West Region Director for SUN, shared, “When the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona approached us about this project, we were excited about finding ways to work together and help nonprofit organizations go solar. Nonprofits often have trouble installing solar because of the upfront cost and the fact that nonprofits aren’t currently able to access the tax credits that make solar more accessible for individuals and for-profit entities.”

Important Dates:

  • Friday, April 22: Application Opens
  • Friday, May 27: Application Closes at 5:00 PM MST
  • April to June 2022: Application Review and Applicant Site Visits
  • Thursday, June 30, 2022: Grantees Selected

For more information about the application process and eligibility requirements, please visit

About the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona
Since 1980, Community Foundation for Southern Arizona has been a trusted philanthropic partner helping individuals, families, businesses, and nonprofits work together to create an equitable and vibrant community for all Southern Arizonans. Community Foundation for Southern Arizona has supported Southern Arizona with over $215 million in grants and scholarships, stewarding the philanthropic legacy of our community’s generous donors and increasing the breadth and depth of resources available to nonprofit organizations in our region. For more information, visit
or call (520) 770-0800.

Solar United Neighbors
Solar United Neighbors (SUN) is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to help people go solar, join together, and fight for their energy rights. We have deep experience helping people and organizations go solar. Through our over 250 solar co-ops (bulk-purchase programs), we have directly helped more than 5,000 homeowners go solar across the country.