California Wellness Foundation: Grants for the Bay Area and Los Angeles

OVERVIEW: The California Wellness Foundation funds grants in a variety of health-related fields and limits its giving to the state of California. 

FUNDING AREAS: Health care, healthy and safe neighborhoods, education and employment, health policy and strengthening the sector

IP TAKE: CWF awards almost all its annual funds to California health organizations, but nonprofits still encounter a lot of competition.

PROFILE: Established in 1992, the California Wellness Foundation is a health-focused foundation with office locations in Los Angeles and Oakland. It was created when HealthNet converted from a nonprofit to a for-profit corporation. A merger with parent company QualMed helped to boost the foundation's assets a few years later. Today, the foundation aims to “protect and improve the health and wellness of the people of California by increasing access to health care, quality education, good jobs, healthy environments, and safe neighborhoods.”

Health care grants are focused on the Affordable Care Act, safety net clinics, oral health, and diversity in health professions. Neighborhood grants are focused on fostering healthy environments and violence prevention. Education and employment grants increase opportunities for youth and promote asset-building opportunities. Finally, foundation grants go towards advancing policy and strengthening the nonprofit sector. Approximately 50 percent of the grants this funder makes is for core general operating support.

Foundation grants often range from $100,000 to $500,000. View examples of funded grants on the foundation’s website. San Francisco is a large focus area for CWF, but Los Angeles and rural California towns also compete for health project grant funds.

This foundation accepts unsolicited letters of inquiry via online portal. LOI submission follows a required eligibility quiz. The foundation will respond via email to applicants to advise that a LOI is under review. Direct grant inquiries to the grants management team by phone at 818-702-1900 and general questions to the Oakland-based staff at 415-908-3000.

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