California Wellness Foundation: Los Angeles Grants

OVERVIEW: The California Wellness Foundation only funds causes that benefit California residents, with priority given to Los Angeles-based organizations. Nearly any health-related proposal will be considered, and you can get the application process started with a basic letter of inquiry.

IP TAKE: This is a great foundation for small non-profit organizations, because even nonprofits with budgets of less than $200,000 are invited to apply for grants. However, don't exclusively focus your letter of inquiry on a specific program, because the California Wellness Foundation typically sticks to general operating support.

PROFILE: The California Wellness Foundation's grantmaking mission is pretty simple — to improve the health and wellness of the people in California through the promotion of healthy living, education, and disease prevention. The foundation typically awards $8 million to $10 million in grants to L.A. County organizations. Grants typically range from $100,000 to $200,000. 

These are the foundation's four grantmaking portfolios: 

  • Bridging the Gaps in Access and Quality Care
  • Promoting Healthy and Safe Neighborhoods
  • Expanding Education and Employment Pathways
  • Opportunity Fund

At the end of a recent year, the foundation reported over $941 million in assets and more than $33 million in total giving.

      The foundation has been on the scene since 1992, and it has awarded over 8,265 grants worth more than $950 million since that time. It was created as a result of Health Net changing its status from nonprofit to for-profit. 

      The California Wellness Foundation funds a number of priority health issues, ranging from diversity in the health-care industry to mental health to violence prevention. Needless to say, its scope is pretty broad. The foundation is also pretty open minded in its funding, as it is currently supporting Homeboy Industries' free laser tattoo removal services for former gang members. The foundation recently awarded the California Peace prize to a former juvenile delinquent who now provides kids with healthy alternatives to violence and crime. Clearly, this foundation believes in second chances and is willing to give you one if you prove you're worth taking a chance on.

      The foundation also awards health and wellness grants out of its Special Projects program. This program focuses on helping low-income and underserved individuals understand and navigate the health-care system, strengthening the "safety net providers of healthcare," and tackling health-care policy issues.

      Check out the foundation's How to Apply section to create an online account and start a new LOI.

      Historically, the grant program areas have been pretty self-explanatory and similar to what you'd see at other area foundations. Almost all grants have been awarded for general operating support, rather than specific program support in the past.

      To get in touch, you can reach out to the staff via phone at 818-702-1900 or via online form.

      PEOPLE:

      • Judy Belk, President and CEO
      • Fatima Angeles, Vice President of Programs 
      • Crystal D. Crawford, Program Director
      • Jeffrey Seungkyu Kim, Program Director
      • Earl Lui, Program Director
      • Julio Marcial, Program Director
      • Padmini Parthasarathy, Program Director

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