Laurel Foundation: Bay Area Grants

OVERVIEW: The Laurel Foundation's Bay Area grantmaking focuses on health, education, and other select causes. A key component for this funder is bankrolling Lyme disease research, a personal cause.

FUNDING AREAS: Health, Education and Youth, Environment & Animals

IP TAKE: The foundation keeps a low-profile and does not appear to accept unsolicited proposals. Networking will be key for getting on this funder's radar.

PROFILE: The Laurel Foundation was established in 1995, and is the philanthropic vehicle of Laure L. Woods, who's worked as a clinical researcher for Bay Area pharmaceutical companies such as like Matrix Pharmaceutical and Genelabs Technologies. Woods is on the board of the L.K. Whittier Foundation, a charity which focuses on Southern California.

Woods is also president of the board of directors of the Bay Area Lyme Foundation, and she herself suffers from late-stage Lyme disease. Woods via her foundation has directed millions to Bay Area Lyme Fund. One $5 million grant helped fund "scientific research related to Lyme disease, preparation of educational and outreach materials about Lyme disease and/or offset the costs of treatment for low-income people suffering from Lyme disease." Woods has also supported places like Lymelight Foundation, Breast Cancer Action, and Ravenswood Family Health Center.

This funder's Bay Area grantmaking also touches youth and education outfits. Grantees have included Boys and Girls Club of the Peninsula, Eastside College Preparatory School, Youth Alive, Youth Community Service, and California Family Foundation to support Beechwood School in Menlo Park.

Woods also earmarks funds for environment and animal organizations in the Bay Area and it's worth noting that she holds a bachelor's degree from UC Davis in animal science. Grantees have included Helen Woodward Animal Center, Environmental Volunteers, Marine Mammal Center, and Wildcare. Some of this work focuses in on environmental education. A grant to Victory Ranch, for instance, supported a horse education program. 

In a recent tax year, the foundation gave away $2.4 million. Most grants in that year were $50,000 or under, but a few exceeded that. Unfortunately for grantseekers, the foundation has a minimal web presence, making it tough to ascertain exactly what Woods looks for in her grantees.


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The Laurel Foundation does not provide a clear avenue for getting in touch but below is an address: 

Laurel Foundation
625 S. Fair Oaks Ave., Ste. 360
South Pasadena, CA 91030


Bay Area Lyme Foundation