OVERVIEW: The California Wellness Foundation funds causes that only benefit California residents prioritizing Los Angeles-based organizations. It funds health education, bridge health gaps, and promote healthy neighborhoods.
IP TAKE: This funder invites organizations with budgets of less than $200,000 to apply for grants. However, applicants should not exclusively focus LOIs on a specific program because the California Wellness Foundation typically provides general operating support.
PROFILE: The California Wellness Foundation is a private, independent foundation that was established in 1992. The foundation seeks “to protect and improve the health and wellness of the people of California by increasing access to health care, quality education, good jobs, healthy environments and safe neighborhoods.” It was formed when the California Department of Corporations converted Health Net to a for-profit organization, and the foundation’s assets increased dramatically when Health Net’s parent company merged with QualMed.
The foundation maintains four grantmaking portfolios: Bridging the Gaps in Access and Quality Care, Promoting Healthy and Safe Neighborhoods, Expanding Education and Employment Pathways, and the Opportunity Fund. Access gap grants advance health care reform, strengthen health safety nets, oral health, and seek to increase diversity in health professions. Safe neighborhood grants support violence prevention, parks, access to healthy food, and clean air and water. In contrast, education and employment grants fund high school and college completion and financial security. Finally, the Opportunity Fund at CWF supports public policy efforts related to health and strengthening the nonprofit sector through capacity building grants.
Grants typically range from $120,000 to $200,000, typically awarding $8 million to $10 million in grants to L.A. County organizations. However, the foundation makes grants throughout the state of California. Past grantees include the BUILD Program, the California Calls Education Fund, Cause Communications, and Just Lovin’ Music Studios.
The foundation accepts LOIs throughout the year with no deadlines. Applicants can expect a foundation response within approximately three months. The foundation does not prioritize past or current grantees, so there are some good opportunities here for new groups. Almost all grants have been awarded for general operating support, rather than specific program support in the past. To get in touch, grant seekers can reach out to the staff via phone at 818-702-1900 or via online form.
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