A Boost for Elderly Services in LA

The Weingart Foundation might have a broad impact in terms of the grant dollars they invest in Los Angeles-based nonprofits. (Hint: It’s a lot.) But as far as the foundation's grantmaking goals, they’re fairly focused. In fact, Weingart makes grants in just three focused issue areas: health, human services, and education. (See Weingart Foundation: Los Angeles Grants).

As one of the largest private foundation’s in the region — they gave $33 million to nonprofits in the region — their influence on the nonprofit climate in Southern California is great, as well.

One area that the foundation has placed more focus in recent years is services for senior citizens, and according to the Foundation Center, Weingart is one of the top 50 funders of services for the elderly in the country.

In April, Weingart continued this trend by providing $150,000 to Senior Concerns, a nonprofit based in Thousand Oaks that provides services for seniors with dementia. Not only was the grant an example of Weingart's focus on elderly services; more broadly, it was indicative of many of the foundation’s grantmakingdecisions.

For instance, the Senior Concerns grant was unrestricted funding for their core programs. Of all Weingart grants, core support is one of the top forms of giving, as the foundation provides unrestricted funding for an "organization to carry out its mission." Core support grants are given to organizations that are established, can measure impact, have developed strategies, and need financial support to carry out their mission.

In terms of core support grants, Weingart has also updated their grantmaking strategy. "In consideration of the slow pace of the economic recovery, public funding concerns, and the current needs of the nonprofit sector, priority will continue to be given to core support funding requests in support of the goal of strengthening organizational capacity and sustainability," the foundation’s Grant Plan says. (Read Weingart president and CEO, Fred Ali's IP profile).

The Senior Concerns grant will also benefit economically disadvantaged senior citizens. And for seniors affected by dementia, especially from low-income families, providing something like the organization's adult day program isn't always feasible.

Weingart vice president of grant operations Belen Vargas told the Ventura County Star that the foundation places priority on programs that help low-income young people, elderly adults, the disabled, as well as the homeless population. (Read Belen Vargas' IP profile).