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The Save Mart Companies has been interested and involved in charitable causes since its founders, Nick Tocco and Mike Piccinini, opened the doors of their first store back in 1952. That legacy continues today with The Save Mart Companies and its owners and operators still living by the philosophy of giving back to the communities in which they serve. Over the years The Company has done its best to seek out worthy causes while still running its stores.  But that became increasingly difficult over the years, as the business grew.

Because The Save Mart Companies believes charitable giving effectively needs the same kind of attention as running a business, and because of its business makes it difficult for The Save Mart Companies’ regular staff to do so, Save Mart Companies determined to establish The Save Mart Companies C.A.R.E.S. Foundation. Save Mart Companies did so with the hope that the Board of Directors of The Save Mart Companies C.A.R.E.S. Foundation would bring the necessary focus to the business of giving and, by so doing, ensure the maximum benefit of the dollars available for donation.

In doing its job, the Board of Directors of The Save Mart Companies C.A.R.E.S. Foundation will be guided by these guidelines.

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Giving Guidelines for The Save Mart Companies C.A.R.E.S. Foundation

The Save Mart Companies C.A.R.E.S. Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization whose aim is in its name: Community, Arts, Recreation, Education, and Sports. The Save Mart Companies C.A.R.E.S. Foundation will seek out and select, and entertain proposals from, non-profit charitable groups and programs in the communities in which Save Mart Supermarkets does business, primarily the Great Central Valley of California. These programs and groups must have a record of results and, in some measurable way, contribute to the advancement of the Community, Arts, Recreation, Education, or Sports.

Community: In this area, The Save Mart Companies C.A.R.E.S. Foundation will look to programs and groups that foster civic involvement and improvement. Some examples are: neighborhood clean up campaigns; community beautification projects; cultural events that celebrate a community’s diversity and common heritage; providing food, clothing, and shelter to those in need.

Arts: Here, The Save Mart Companies C.A.R.E.S. Foundation will support programs and groups that foster an appreciation for all forms of art or that encourage the creation and presentation of art in all of its variety. Examples of what The Save Mart Companies C.A.R.E.S. Foundation seeks are: exhibitions of local, regional, or national art; classes in the arts for disadvantaged youth; development of local arts initiatives; organizations that provide scholarships to outstanding young artists to further their education.

Recreation: The recreational focus of The Save Mart Companies C.A.R.E.S. Foundation is turned toward groups and programs that promote recreational opportunities other than sports. For example, support might be given to: dance classes; chess clubs; hunting and fishing associations; gardening clubs.

Education: The Save Mart Companies C.A.R.E.S. Foundation ranks education as its most important area of interest and takes a broad view of its meaning. Examples of groups and programs that could be benefited by The Save Mart Companies C.A.R.E.S. Foundation are: remedial reading programs; drug and alcohol awareness programs; after school programs; adult literacy classes; retraining programs; nutritional and other health classes; lecture series; mentoring; organizations that provide scholarships to outstanding scholars to further their education.

Sports: The Save Mart Companies C.A.R.E.S. Foundation views sports as an integral part of a healthy life. The Save Mart Companies C.A.R.E.S. Foundation will therefore look to support groups and programs such as: youth team sports; adult team sports; school team sports; organizations that provide scholarships to outstanding young athletes to further their education.

Regrettably, The Save Mart Companies C.A.R.E.S. Foundation does not support:

  • Individuals, except to the extent groups or programs that it supports do so;
  • Fundraisers, that is, The Save Mart Companies C.A.R.E.S. Foundation will give to a group or program directly but not to a fundraising activity that might support such a group or program;
  • Any for profit groups, professional associations, or similar groups; and
  • Any group or program that receives the majority of it’s funding from federal, state, or local government or related agencies.

In evaluating the groups or programs to which it will contribute, The Save Mart Companies C.A.R.E.S. Foundation will review, among other things, the breadth of the audience served; the likely impact in the community; the importance of the need to be addressed in the community; and the community reputation, service history, and financial stability of the group or program seeking funds.

No one of these or other factors will necessarily be weighted more heavily then another. Instead each group or program will be measured against all groups and programs seeking funding at the time. For example, a program serving a small segment of the community but that addresses a very important community need, and thus has the potential for a strong impact, would be favored over a group serving a wider clientele but that fills a less important community need.

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To apply for funding with The Save Mart Companies C.A.R.E.S. Foundation, please follow these steps:

  • Make certain your group or program and its request fit within The Save Mart Companies C.A.R.E.S. Foundation guidelines.
  • Download an application from here and submit a request on the letterhead of your organization. In your letter, explain in detail for what you seek funding and the amount you seek. You can also fill it out electronically here
  • Submit your request on the letterhead of your organization. In your letter, explain in detail for what you seek funding and the amount you seek.
  • With your letter, provide evidence of your non-profit and 501 (c)(3) status. Additionally, give a brief history of your organization and how it has served the community. Include a list of your directors and officers with your submission and a copy of a current balance sheet, most recent income statement, and your current operating income statement. Finally, include a list of all current sources of funding and the percentage of your operating budget provided by each source
  • Designate an individual in your organization as the liaison to The Save Mart Companies C.A.R.E.S. Foundation and state the address and daytime telephone number of that person.

Send your completed request to:
The Save Mart Companies C.A.R.E.S. Foundation, 
Attention: Chief Financial Officer, 
Post Office Box 4278, 
Modesto, California 95352-4278.

Please plan ahead and be patient. Understand that The Save Mart Companies C.A.R.E.S. Foundation will probably receive many requests for funding. The Save Mart Companies C.A.R.E.S. Foundation Board will review all requests as quickly as possible, but it will take some time. And please recognize The Save Mart Companies C.A.R.E.S. Foundation has a limited amount of funds for distribution, some of which are restricted as to where they may be donated, and, consequently, cannot fill all requests it receives as much as it might wish to do so.