Where is the PIMCO Foundation Channeling Economic Grant Money Right Now?

The Newport Beach, California-based PIMCO Foundation recently made headlines for its commitment of $1.4 million in new grants for 56 organizations that serve at-risk populations. PIMCO is an enormous mutual fund co-founded by Bill Gross, which you may remember from our coverage regarding his Giving Pledge spat with Carl Ichan on Twitter. Gross has been outspoken about wealthy types like himself needing to “spend more time helping others, as opposed to necessarily writing checks.” 

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Gross left PIMCO last year (and is now suing the company), but his philanthropic legacy there lives on. The PIMCO Foundation was established in 2001 as both a giving program and a volunteer program with a few distinct priorities and regional focuses. This new $1.4 million commitment brings the foundation’s total 2015 giving up to $3.6 million. So let’s take a closer look at the new round of PIMCO Foundation grants and where the foundation staff is currently focusing its energy. 

Orange County, California and New York City Metro

These are the two geographic areas exclusively in focus for PIMCO’s “Engage” grantmaking category. The "Empower" and "Invest" categories have a broader focus and extend beyond these two regions. Current California grantees are based in Santa Ana, Orange, Huntington Beach, Buena Park, Garden Grove, and other Orange County towns. New York organizations are based in the city, as well as Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Long Island.

Nonprofits in these two regions are also welcome to submit event sponsorship requests to the foundation, and these requests may range from $250 to $20,000.  The PIMCO Foundation does not generally support global organizations, and all applicants must be based in the U.S. to be eligible for the main grants program.

Workforce Development

PIMCO’s workforce development program is targeted at youth between the ages of 16 and 25, as well as military veterans. New workforce development grantees include New York-based America Needs You and Costa Mesa-based Working Wardrobes.

Financial Literacy

Under the umbrella of the ”Empower” grantmaking category, the PIMCO Foundation awards grants to organizations that are focused on financial literacy. These grants often cross over into the realm of college readiness support as well. Recent “Empower” grantees include the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship Los Angeles and Blue Engine, which is based in Brooklyn.

Douglas Hodge, Chief Executive Officer of PIMCO and President of the PIMCO Foundation, shared the following statement in a press release.

At PIMCO, we believe in supporting the more vulnerable segments within our local communities, and directing financial assistance and volunteers to assist others in need around the world. Since inception, the PIMCO Foundation has awarded nearly $22 million to our nonprofit partners that are focused on solving some of the world's most pressing issues. And this year is no different, as we continue to invest in organizations that are engaging in our local and global communities and empowering others to better their lives.

Fortunately for grantseekers, the PIMCO Foundation does accept unsolicited concept proposals once a year from nonprofits that work within its funding priorities. Other current funding areas not mentioned above include food insecurity, college readiness, homelessness, housing instability, and microenterprise and microfinance in developing countries.

At the start of the new calendar year, check for an RPF to be posted on the PIMCO website. Funds are released at the end of the current calendar year, and grants typically range from $25,000 to $50,000. This is a good funder to approach for core program operating support, program expansion, and costs for personnel and equipment. Questions about the grants programs should be directed to Amber Skalsky at amber.skalsky@pimco.com