The California Endowment: Los Angeles Grants

OVERVIEW: The California Endowment was established through a health insurance company merger. It focuses giving on neighborhoods, health prevention, schools, and youth throughout California.

FUNDING AREAS: Health equity, health access, health prevention, neighborhoods, schools, youth, juvenile justice

IP TAKE: This foundation welcomes innovative approaches that shake things up. It prioritizes health equity and juvenile justice.

PROFILE: Established in 1996, the California Endowment was created through the Blue Cross Blue Shield of California and WellPoint Health Networks. It is based in Los Angeles and remains a private, statewide foundation that focuses on encouraging good health and the provision of and access to quality health care for all Californians. The endowment has more than $3.6 billion in assets. Grantmaking yearly totals have been over $182 million in recent years. Funding priorities include access to affordable healthcare for underserved individuals and improvements in the health status of Californians.

The California Endowment awards grants broadly through its Building Healthy Communities strategy, which aims to take some of the unhealthiest communities in California and transform them into healthy and vibrant areas. The endowment currently addresses Boyle Heights, Central Santa Ana, Central/SE/SW Fresno, City Heights, Del Norte County and adjacent tribal lands, East Oakland, East Salinas, Eastern Coachella Valley, Long Beach, Sacramento, South Kern, South Los Angeles, East/SW Merced, and Richmond.

Grants often exceed the million-dollar mark, but many others are in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. The California Endowment restricts its grantmaking to California, prioritizing Southern California. It funds both well-established organizations and grassroots groups. Past grantees  include the USC's Health Journalism and Fellowships Program, the Charles R. Drew University of Medicine, and the American Heart Association. This foundation awards single-year grants, multi-year grants, direct charitable activity contracts, and program-related investments in the form of loans. Types of funding offered include grants for programs and projects, as well as general operating support grants.

The California Endowment does not accept unsolicited letters of intent or proposals. Grants are by invitation only. The funder has an online application process for invited grantees. It also has a matching grant program to encourage employees and directors to contribute to charities they care about and receive matching funds from the foundation. Grantseekers may sign up for emailed news alerts from the foundation and direct any general inquiries to the staff at 800-449-4149.

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