It’s no surprise Forbes magazine named Los Angeles the creative capital of the world. And it only makes sense that arts and culture funding commands a large share of foundation dollars in Tinseltown, USA. But as the country’s second-largest city, Los Angeles faces a variety of societal problems that are common in many large urban centers, and a growing array of funders are tackling these challenges, focusing grant dollars on education, human services, health, veterans, and more. Nonprofits will find a range of foundation types, including large and professionalized institutions that are easily approached, and newer family foundations that are more difficult to access. 

FUNDERS

AHMANSON FOUNDATION

Ahmanson is a longtime Southern California-based funder. The foundation regularly awards grants for arts & culture, education, healthcare, homelessness, and human services in Los Angeles.

ANNENBERG FOUNDATION

Annenberg serves the five-county region of Greater Los Angeles with grants in these areas: arts, culture & humanities, education, animal welfare, civic & community, health, veterans, and environment.

ARCHSTONE FOUNDATION

This funder supports programs to keep seniors safe in their homes, prevent senior depression, support caregivers and train a qualified elder care workforce in California.

ATLAS FAMILY FOUNDATION

Atlas mainly gives in Los Angeles and Southern California, with a focus on early childhood programs.

AYRSHIRE FOUNDATION

The Ayrshire Foundation views philanthropy as investment in world betterment, spreading its wealth across a wide range of opportunities to support change. One of its listed geographic focus areas is the San Gabriel Valley.

BINDER FOUNDATION

The low-profile foundation funds education and youth, arts and culture, health and human services, and Jewish causes. Along with LA, a region of interest is Massachusetts. 

DAVID BOHNETT FOUNDATION

David Bohnett might be best known as a prominent arts and LGBT funder, but he’s also a local funder that regularly gives to a range of Los Angeles nonprofits through his foundation. 

OTIS BOOTH FOUNDATION

Past grants suggest arts, healthcare, and education are leading areas of interest, with a wide range of organizations receiving support. 

ALBERT AND ELAINE BORCHARD FOUNDATION

This funder supports youth development, health and medicine, education, the arts and the environment in Los Angeles County.

BROAD FOUNDATION 

Although the arts have always been a Broad passion, that shouldn't discourage non-arts organizations. The foundation also funds education, civic programs and science research. 

CALIFORNIA COMMUNITY FOUNDATION

The CCF is often the crucial link between nonprofits and the community. Funding covers healthcare, education, human services, the arts, civic engagement, immigrants and housing.

CALIFORNIA ENDOWMENT

The endowment is a major funder in terms of its grantmaking footprint and the assets it controls, and in Los Angeles—and throughout California—it's the largest funder of healthcare initiatives and organizations.

CALIFORNIA WELLNESS FOUNDATION

The California Wellness Foundation funds causes that benefit California residents, prioritizing Los Angeles. Interests are gaps in care, health education and employment, and safe neighborhoods.

CATHAY BANK FOUNDATION

The bank's philanthropic affiliate supports a variety of causes in the Greater L.A. area, with community, education and economic development as top priorities. 

CHARTWELL CHARITABLE FOUNDATION

The foundation of media mogul Jerry Perenchio and his wife Margaret. Gifts mainly go to the Los Angeles area for arts, education and health.

CRAIL-JOHNSON FOUNDATION

The foundation’s grantmaking funds improving the academic, emotional, and social well-being of disadvantaged youth in Los Angeles. It's very accessible to grantseekers. 

CARL AND ROBERTA DEUTSCH FOUNDATION

This funder is best known for its Halo Award, which is designed to encourage volunteerism in the Los Angeles area. The foundation has made other recent grants to local nonprofits working in the fields of poverty, homelessness and veteran support.

CARRIE ESTELLE DOHENY FOUNDATION

Focusing on education, health, medicine, religion and vulnerable populations, this foundation supports about 300 different organizations each year, and funding is almost exclusively limited to Los Angeles and the surrounding communities.

COLBURN FOUNDATION

Endowed in 1999 by the late Richard D. Colburn, the Colburn Foundation aims to support the classical music community in Southern California.

DORSEY & WHITNEY FOUNDATION

The Dorsey & Whitney Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Dorsey & Whitney, a U.S.-based corporate law firm. Its grants focus on cultural, civic, and educational nonprofits and provide legal services for people who cannot afford representation.

DURFEE FOUNDATION

This Los Angeles-centric funder is best known for helping local nonprofit leaders be creative and avoid burnout, and encouraging new leaders to emerge in the region. 

EDISON INTERNATIONAL

Through its Community Giving Program, Edison International, the electric power company, gives to causes including education, the environment, civic engagement, and emergency preparedness to 15 counties in southern and central California.

BEN B. AND JOYCE E. EISENBERG FOUNDATION

This funder supports Jewish organizations in Los Angeles and also education, health (with a cancer focus), human services (with a focus on the elderly), and the arts.

EISNER FOUNDATION

The Eisner Foundation has a strict funding focus on children and the elderly in Los Angeles County. Grants go to large, well-established organizations and also to small grassroots nonprofits.

FRIEDA C. FOX FAMILY FOUNDATION

Gives out grants mainly in Los Angeles to education, but not just in the traditional way one might expect. The foundation strongly supports youth philanthropy, as well education and the arts. 

GETTY TRUST

The Getty Trust's grantmaking arm, the Getty Foundation, is a major funder of organizations and individuals that advance understanding and preservation of the visual arts. Getty gives for research, conservation, and education & professional development.

ROSALINDE AND ARTHUR GILBERT FOUNDATION

Grants for college access and retention and arts & culture education are Los Angeles-specific, and the foundation also regularly gives for local Jewish causes, diabetes prevention, and Alzheimer’s research.  

JOHN GOGIAN FAMILY FOUNDATION

This funder supports Los Angeles County nonprofits working for the developmental disabled, elderly, and abused and neglected youth. LOI deadlines happen twice a year.

STEVEN GORDON FAMILY FOUNDATION

The foundation's Los Angeles grantmaking includes support of Jewish causes, health, and youth outfits.

WILLIAM H. HANNON FOUNDATION

Although this foundation’s primary focus is on Catholic causes in the Los Angeles area, it also awards grants to education, health, and social service nonprofits throughout the region. 

JOHN RANDOLPH HAYNES AND DORA HAYNES FOUNDATION

This social science funder typically funds well-established organizations and universities in Southern California, but smaller social science and local research organizations can definitely apply for grants, too.

CONRAD HILTON FOUNDATION

This L.A. foundation has an international footprint and a domestic porfolio. Areas of giving include Catholic Sisters, children with HIV/AIDS, foster youth, homelessness, multiple sclerosis, safe water, and substance abuse prevention.

JEWISH COMMUNITY FOUNDATION OF LOS ANGELES

This prominent L.A. funder supports both Jewish and secular causes through grantmaking. Areas of support include education, human services, education, Jewish causes, arts & culture, and civic life.

BRUCE KARATZ FAMILY FOUNDATION

Real estate mogul Karatz and his family fund education and youth, health, Jewish causes, arts and culture, and policy.

KARSH FAMILY FOUNDATION

Karsh makes grants to pre-selected organizations in higher education, human services and Jewish community programs.

KAYNE FOUNDATION

The family's giving focuses on Los Angeles, where they support education, the arts, and other causes. Kayne strongly supports his alma mater, UCLA.

W.M. KECK FOUNDATION

This is a well-known science research funder. For local fundraisers, though, Keck has a Southern California program prioritizing Los Angeles County organizations.

JERRY AND TERRI KOHL FOUNDATION

The couple's philanthropy is focused on Los Angeles and its suburbs, particularly Pasadena and the Greater San Gabriel Valley. The Kohls have a strong interest in the arts.

LA84 FOUNDATION

This funder supports youth sports organizations for kids six to 17 years old in the eight southernmost counties of California. There are three grant cycles per year.

LA VIDA FELIZ FOUNDATION

The philanthropic vehicle of Wall Streeter Aaron Sosnick. Grantmaking includes support for arts and culture, education, and community projects. 

THOMAS & DOROTHY LEAVEY FOUNDATION

Focusing on higher education, medical research, healthcare and human services, this is a foundation L.A. nonprofit fundraisers should know about.

LAUREN B. LEICHTMAN AND ARTHUR E. LEVINE FAMILY FOUNDATION

The finance couple directs much of its grantmaking to education, health & human services, arts & culture, and Jewish causes in Los Angeles.

GARY MAGNESS FAMILY FOUNDATION

LA-focused giving from the film producer and his family go to causes in human services and health, education and youth, arts and culture, and others.

MAJESTIC REALTY FOUNDATION

The real estate developer's foundation gives in eight regions where it operates. In SoCal, it's L.A., Inland Empire and San Gabriel Valley. Grants for youth, education, health, violence prevention and families.

MARISLA FOUNDATION

The Marisla Foundation is best known for its major environmental grantmaking. However, the foundation also actively engages in human services grantmaking in Los Angeles and Orange counties, with a focus on helping women. 

MAYOR'S FUND FOR LOS ANGELES

Mayor Eric Garcetti created this fund to support city civic projects. Funding priorities are job access and creation, neighborhood resiliency, disaster preparedness, public spaces, traffic, and government efficiency.

KATIE MCGRATH & J.J. ABRAMS FAMILY FOUNDATION

The philanthropic vehicle of Hollywood mogul J.J. Abrams and his PR executive wife Katie McGrath. Funds education, policy, human services, and more.

MERKIN FAMILY FOUNDATION

The philanthropic vehicle of Richard N. Merkin focuses on education, health and the arts. 

MILKEN FAMILY FOUNDATION

Milken funds human services, healthcare, medical research and Jewish community organizations, with the majority of grants made in Los Angeles County. 

MOSS FOUNDATION

The foundation of former music producer Jerry Moss and his wife, Ann, gives away a million or two annually, mainly to various Los Angeles-area outfits.  

DAN MURPHY FOUNDATION

Murphy is a major L.A. funder of Roman Catholic churches and organizations in Greater Los Angeles, although they do make some grants nationally.

Y&S NAZARIAN FAMILY FOUNDATION

The foundation's Los Angeles giving is focused on supporting educational causes, as well as policy, the arts, and more. The Nazarians are strong backers of Jewish causes.

KENNETH T. AND EILEEN L. NORRIS FOUNDATION

Norris supports Southern California nonprofits in areas of community, culture, youth, education/science, and medical. Takes unsolicited applications but competition is tough.

OPUS COMMUNITY FOUNDTAION

California funding is largely centered in the Los Angeles area. Funding is for affordable housing, community revitalization, education, financial literacy, community health, human services, and the arts.

RALPH M. PARSONS FOUNDATION 

Parsons values transparency. Letters of inquiry for Parsons grants in health, higher education, civic engagement and social impact are accepted throughout the year.

PASADENA CHILD HEALTH FOUNDATION

This funder supports children’s health causes in the Greater Pasadena area and selected parts of Los Angeles County. Early childhood development, community and family strengthening, obesity, and access to care are key interests.

ANTHONY PRITZKER FAMILY FOUNDATION

This funder supports the Los Angeles community in the areas of education, environment, medicine, community, and foster youth. Unsolicited proposals are not accepted.

RESNICK FOUNDATION

Resnick keeps its portfolio pretty tight, working with a fixed group of organizations. There isn't a lot of information about grantmaking available.

RESSLER/GERTZ FOUNDATION

The philanthropic vehicle of Antony Ressler and his wife, actress Jami Gertz, mainly supports education, arts, health, and Jewish causes.

ROSE HILLS FOUNDATION

The Rose Hills Foundation was established from the sale of the largest cemetery in North America. Mainly funds programs related to higher education, the natural sciences, and engineering.

RYZMAN FOUNDATION

The Ryzman Foundation mostly supports Jewish causes (education, religious, and community) in Los Angeles. It also supports health groups.

SABAN FAMILY FOUNDATION

The philanthropic vehicle of entertainment executive Haim Saban and his wife Cheryl. The foundation's geographic focus is almost exclusively on Los Angeles and Israel. 

JOHN H. & CYNTHIA LEE SMET FOUNDATION

This funder's main focus is on K-12 education for young people in the Los Angeles area. 

SOCALGAS

This corporate funder supports education, workforce development, environment, active military, veterans, emergency preparedness, safety, economic and business development efforts in Southern California. 

CHAN SOON-SHIONG FAMILY FOUNDATION 

The foundation of Patrick Soon-Shiong, L.A.'s wealthiest citizen, gives heavily to hospitals in southern California, but some funds go to other causes, too.

SPECIALITY FAMILY FOUNDATION

This funder has two primary grantmaking goals: K-8 Catholic education and alcoholism and substance abuse treatment. Both programs have a Los Angeles focus.

THE MAY AND STANLEY SMITH CHARITABLE TRUST

The Smith trust funds programs in four areas: foster youth, elders, veterans, and people with disabilities. It focuses on 14 states in the western U.S., including California, as well as British Columbia, Canada. 

DWIGHT STUART YOUTH FUND

This funder focuses all grantmaking on youth in Los Angeles County. More specifically, it funds education enrichment, mentoring, youth leadership and early learning/literacy causes.

TAPROOT FOUNDATION

The Taproot Foundation provides substantial in-kind professional consulting services to nonprofit organizations in several major cities, including Los Angeles.

JOHN AND MARY TU FOUNDATION

The billionaire tech entrepreneur and his wife do most of their grantmaking in the Los Angeles area, where the family lives and works. Education and the arts are priorities. 

UNIHEALTH FOUNDATION

UniHealth is a major healthcare funder in Southern California. It has two funds—a general support fund for qualifying organizations and a hospitals fund. Grants are approved three times per year. 

WASSERMAN FOUNDATION

Grants are made in four major domestic areas: education, arts and culture, service, and health. There are also global initiatives and a focus on volunteerism.

WEINGART FOUNDATION

Weingart provides funding focused in three main areas, including health, human services and education, and they fund mostly in Southern California, though giving occasionally throughout the state.

MARGO AND IRWIN WINKLER CHARITABLE FOUNDATION

Funding areas include health, human services, education and youth, arts and culture, Jewish causes, and the Los Angeles community.

WINNICK FAMILY FOUNDATION

This foundation of a wealthy couple focuses funds education, literacy, healthcare, art, culture, animal welfare and the needs of the worldwide Jewish community.