OVERVIEW: The James Irvine Foundation supports career training, post-secondary success, fair work, immigrant rights, voter and civic engagement, leadership, arts engagement, linked learning, and social services in California.
FUNDING AREAS: Career training, post-secondary success, fair work, immigrant rights, voter and civic engagement, leadership, arts engagement, linked learning, social services
IP TAKE: At the local level, this funder is most interested in creating opportunities for low-wage workers right now.
PROFILE: Established in 1937, the James Irvine Foundation is the foundation of James Irvine, who was a California agricultural pioneer. After James Irvine inherited a ranch in Southern California in 1886, he cultivated crops, such as grains, vegetables, and citrus, with a keen business sense. He made his ranch profitable by reinvesting earnings in the enterprise. As a dedicated California resident, Irvine wanted all of his funds to stay within the state borders, and they do to this day. Grantmaking interests include career training, post-secondary success, fair work, immigrant rights, voter and civic engagement, leadership, arts engagement, linked learning, and social services.
The James Irvine Foundation was built upon four grantmaking principles: focus on place, invest in organizations, build leadership, and engage beyond grants. The funder is mostly concerned with the needs of low-wage workers in California and providing them fair work and better careers. It also looks for emerging leaders in the Bay Area to support. An overarching goal is to expand economic and political opportunity for working adults who are struggling with poverty.
A majority of foundation grants have been between $25,000 and $250,000. However, grants have ranged as widely as from $500 to $4.5 million recently. The funder tends to make approximately 600 grants per year. Learn more about local grantmaking by browsing the funder’s online grants database. Grantmaking is largely focused on the San Joaquin Valley and Riverside and San Bernardino in California.
The Irvine Foundation is not accepting unsolicited inquiries for any of its current initiatives or programs. The funder shifted its strategy in 2016 to focus on developing its new funding areas and fulfilling existing multi-year commitments. Direct general questions to the staff at 415-777-0869 or via online form.
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