The PIMCO Foundation: New York City Grants

OVERVIEW: The PIMCO Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the investment management firm, gives with a mission “to empower people globally to reach their full potential.” Support of a wide range of New York City nonprofits is at the forefront of this giving, and is a stated geogrphaic focus.

IP TAKE: Though The PIMCO Foundation goes global with its mission statement, some of its giving categories are limited to New York City and Orange County, Calif. Even when it does broaden the geographic playing field, New York City-based organizations often come out on top.

PROFILE: The PIMCO Foundation is the philanthropic offshoot of PIMCO (Pacific Investment Management Company), an investment management firm that is itself a subsidiary of Allianz. On one level, that’s neither here nor there, because the foundation supports many causes completely unrelated to the company’s for-profit work. But once you get into the grant application itself, you’ll see how the parent company relates: the pre-emptive financial reporting for this grant application is as rigorous as these things come (more on that below).

For now, here’s the throughline: the mission of The PIMCO Foundation is “to empower people globally to reach their full potential.” On the surface, that sounds fairly generic, though a lovely sentiment. But key in on the words “empower” and “potential." Those are the touchstones regardless of what type of program you operate and are seeking to fund.

The PIMCO Foundation gives in a lot of different ways in New York City. In fact, it could easily be argued that New York City is the major focus of this foundation's giving, despite the global statement of its mission.

That's because when it comes to "Critical Community Needs" (one of three giving areas for the foundation) funds are limited to Orange County, Calif., and the New York Metro Area only. In its other two giving areas—called "Education" and "Gender Equality and Economic Development"—the foundation states "there are no geographic restrictions," but recent giving histories clearly show an emphasis on New York City and its environs.

There are a lot of arenas in which your New York City-based program can garner a grant from The PIMCO Foundation. They include early childhood education and college access (under its Education umbrella, with amounts ranging $25,000 - $100,000); gender equality work and economic empowerment for women (under its Gender Equality and Economic Development umbrella, with amounts ranging $25,000 - $100,000); and issues of housing, homelessness, food security, and workforce development (under its Critical Community Needs umbrella, with amounts ranging $5,000 - $25,000).

Past New York City-based grantees include The Doe Fund, Harlem Children's Zone, Henry Street Settlement, Hot Bread Kitchen, Legal Outreach, Opportunities for a Better Tomorrow, Per Scholas, QSAC and Services for the UnderServed, among many others.

For the record, the foundation also provides Event Sponsorships, a healthy employee matching gifts program, and an active infrastructure for employee volunteers—all of which also have some degree of New York Metro area emphasis.

Now, getting back to that for-profit side of PIMCO: its grant applications are rigorous, and that rigor notably relates to the management of your organization’s money. The foundation requires extensive discussion of your organization’s financials, and it goes far beyond the baseline requirement of being a 501(c)(3). There’s analysis of your program-to-administration overall operating budget ratios, your cash-on-hand vs. current liabilities ratios, and a hard look at how diversified your income is (private donors, foundation grants, government support, service contracts, and more).

The good news is that The PIMCO Foundation’s applications are open ones. Requests for Education or Gender Equity and Economic Empowerment funding are due at the end of May. Requests for Critical Community Needs are due in early August. Current deadlines can be found on the Giving Programs page.

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