Name of Foundation: The Weingart Foundation
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Contact Information: [email protected]
Phone: (213) 688-7799
Coverage Area: Southern California, specifically Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.
Subject Area: Strengthening nonprofit organizations with proven efficacy delivering health, human services and education for communities and people in need; nonprofit advocacy and support of economically disadvantaged or underserved communities.
Special initiatives around child welfare, full cost recovery for nonprofit organizations, immigrant integration, supportive housing, vulnerable and at-risk youth – PropelNext California initiative, nonprofit sustainability initiative. See “Major Program Categories” below for more details.
Assets: $779,431,371 (2015)
Last Year Total Giving: $35,474,073 (2015)
In a Nutshell: Ben Weingart might be best known for his work as a leader in creating the City of Lakewood, Southern California’s first planned city, in the 1950s. However, his name continues to be prominent in the region and in the country thanks to the philanthropic endeavors of the Weingart Foundation, founded by the developer and his wife Stella in 1951.
Its mission today is to “build a better Southern California by supporting nonprofit organizations to more effectively serve the underserved,” a statement which guides its grantmaking toward nonprofit organizations serving economically disadvantaged individuals and communities, in the areas of health, human services and education. The effort to effectively serve these populations sees the foundation focused on supporting highly effective nonprofit organizations and their ability to do the work in question.
In 2015, it released a report on its most recent special project, the Nonprofit Sustainability Initiative, a joint venture between the Weingart Foundation, California Community Foundation and the Ralph M. Parsons Foundation.
Because of initiatives like this one, the foundation is at the forefront of a national conversation in philanthropy around overhead and supporting full costs of nonprofit grantees, transparency, and creating an effective model of learning and assessment for both nonprofits and foundations. Its learning and assessment framework is a key part of the foundation’s grantmaking process.
To reinforce the foundation’s efforts around transparency, its website is an important resource, and serves as a hub for all of the organization’s financial materials, learning metrics, and plans for the future.
As far as types of grants the Weingart Foundation offers, it “prioritizes multi-year unrestricted operating support grants as our primary strategy for building capacity and supports full cost funding for program grants.” It also will award capital grants, small grants, and program-related investments. Although as of this publication, Weingart is not accepting applications for capital grants and small grants.
To leverage dollars for greater impact, Weingart participates in several partnerships including but not limited to the Annenberg Foundation’s Alchemy Program for leaders of nonprofit organizations; California Community Foundation’s Building a Lifetime of Options and Opportunity for Men, for young Black males living in South L.A. who are or have been involved with L.A. County probation; and United Way’s Home for Good to end chronic and veterans’ homelessness.
Major Program Categories:
The Weingart Foundation’s focus is supporting nonprofit organizations with strong leadership in the areas of advocacy, policy and programs for economically disadvantaged and underserved individuals and communities. Within these categories, there is a particular focus on organizations that deliver high-quality health and human services and education.
Click here to see a full list of grants the Weingart Foundation awarded in 2016, in the areas of human services, health, education, arts education, and public & society benefit.
The foundation also sponsors and participates in partnerships around child welfare, full-cost recovery for nonprofit organizations, immigrant integration, supportive housing, vulnerable and at-risk youth, the PropelNext California initiative, and the nonprofit sustainability initiative. Grant applications for each of these initiatives are by invitation only, with the exception of the nonprofit sustainability initiative.
How to Apply:
The foundation has two different processes, depending on the size of grant in question. If you plan to apply for a “regular grant,” of $25,000 or more, it is necessary to submit a letter of inquiry through the website after which you will be contacted about the application process should the foundation be interested in moving forward.
According to the foundation’s website, successful applicants are able to demonstrate a commitment to the following:
- A clear mission and vision;
- A qualified, engaged and supportive board of directors;
- Strong leadership and management;
- A well trained and supported staff;
- Program and services that are responsive to the culture and linguistic needs of its clients/constituents;
- A board of directors and staff that reflect the diversity of people and key interests of the communities served by the organization;
- A process to solicit and utilize client/constituent feedback;
- A strategy to accomplish their mission, operate programs that produce positive outcomes, and learn from results;
- The ability to identify and adapt to internal and external changes;
- A funding model that can support core programs and services;
- An appropriate level of cash reserves to sustain the organization.
It also offers a “small grant program,” for organizations applying for less than $25,000. As of April 2016, the foundation’s small grants program is on temporary hold while new small grants guidelines are created for 2017. Updates are expected to be announced in July of 2016.
Click here for details to help prepare for the application process.
Recent News and Grantmaking: