Ayrshire Foundation: Los Angeles Grants

OVERVIEW: The Ayrshire Foundation supports youth, the elderly and disabled, science and the environment, healthcare, and community culture. It prioritizes Southern California and the San Gabriel Valley.

IP TAKE: The San Gabriel Valley, and by extension Los Angeles, is a primary geographic arena of giving for the Ayrshire Foundation across all of its focus areas. The foundation also seeks synergy between its focus areas.

PROFILE: Based in Pasadena, California, the Ayrshire Foundation was founded in 1998 by James N. Gamble, the great grandson of the founder of Procter & Gamble, in order to broaden the scope of their already-established personal philanthropy. It seeks to make grants “not so much charity as investment: investment in the possibility of change and a better world.” The foundation split into two separate foundations in July 2015. Southern California directors Tracy and Richard Hirrel kept the Ayrshire name while Northern California directors Terry and Peter Boyer formed the Caldera Foundation. Foundation grantmaking is broad in scope and concentrated on five topics of interest: youth opportunities, science and the environment, healthcare, services for the elderly and disabled, and community culture.

Ayrshire typically provides program support rather than ongoing general operating support. It does consider matching grants and multi-year requests. Ayrshire also views itself as “effective seeders,” so it is important to consider this in regards to the scale of a grant request.

Ayrshire grants tend to range from $25,000 to $100,000, The foundation prioritizes making grants to established groups in the San Gabriel Valley; it also broadly funds organizations in Southern California and Petoskey/Harbor Springs, Michigan, among others. These areas all represent where James Gamble and his family maintain community ties. The foundation uses the word "preference" to describe its commitment to these three areas, suggestive of some flexibility beyond this geographic scope. In practice, support of anything outside of these locations is very minimal and is best reflected in programs that might be broader in scope (regional or national) but are still headquartered or linked to one of these three geographic areas. Past grantees include the Hillsides main campus, Jericho Road Pasadena, Huntington Memorial Hospital, Pasadena Education Foundation, Pasadena City College, and Hollenbeck Palms in Los Angeles.

The Ayrshire foundation accepts online grant applications and unsolicited requests for funding. The funder meets twice per year to review applications submitted by March 15 for the May/June meeting and by September 15 for the October meeting. The foundation responds to approved applicants with a formal request for proposal. Contact the staff with general questions at info@ayrshirefoundation.org or 626-683-8367.

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