Argyros Foundation

OVERVIEW:  The Argyros Foundation funds grantmaking related to education, youth, health, human services, and the arts. Orange County, California serves as an important region of giving.

IP TAKE: The foundation keeps a low public profile, which limits information available on its grantmaking priorities and activities. A recent tax filing indicted that the foundation does accept applications, though grants are typically paid for special projects and situations.

PROFILE: The Argyros Foundation was established in 1979. Its founders are real estate billionaire George Argyros and his wife Julia. George Argyros founded property firm Arnel & Affiliates in 1968, which now owns 5,500 apartments in Orange County and nearly 2 million square feet of commercial real estate in Southern California. The foundation lacks transparency and does not maintain a website, which makes it difficult to locate further information on its priority areas and grantmaking strategies. Tax filings suggest the Argyros Foundation supports grantmaking related to  education, youth, health, human services, and the arts. 

The Argyros family has directed millions toward Chapman University, home to the Argyros School of Business and Economics and the Argyros Forum Student Union. Argyros, an alumnus, served as chair of the board for 25 years and his daughter Lisa, who also graduated from the university, is on the board. The Argyros Family Foundation also recently gave a $7.5 million gift to USC, creating the Julia and George Argyros Plaza. The couple are Trojan parents and grandparents. The family have also given millions to Children's Hospital of Orange County, City of Hope, Eisenhower Medical Center, and Hoag Hospital. The couple also gave $5 million to UC Irvine’s Gavin Herbert Eye Institute, establishing the Julia & George Argyros Ambulatory Surgery Center.  They also pledged $13.5 million to Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa, California. The family has also been strongly supportive of the Boy Scouts and Girl Scots and recently gave a $2.5 million gift to create the Argyros Girl Scout Leadership Center, serving Orange County’s hub for Girl Scout STEM programs. 

Grants range from $250 to $1.01 million. In a recent fiscal year, the foundation gave away around $11.4 million. Grantees have included Alzheimer's Association Orange County Chapter; Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Orange County;  Los Angeles Ballet; Richard Nixon Foundation; Harbor Day School; and Orange County High School of the Arts Foundation.

While the Argyros Foundation keeps a low profile, a recent tax filing indicates that the foundation does accept unsolicited applications. The foundation requires the identity and historical background of requesting organization, and statement as to the intended use of the contribution, as well as the organization's Federal Identification Number, and IRS determination letter. Grants are typically paid for special projects and situations. 


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Wendy Hales
949 South Coast Drive, Suite 600
Costa Mesa, CA 92626