Crail-Johnson Foundation: Los Angeles Area Grants

IP OVERVIEW: The Crail-Johnson Foundation keeps most of its philanthropy within a narrow geographic range, e.g., the Los Angeles Metropolitan Area. Emphasis areas are education, human services, and health, and this has funded many causes for disadvantaged youth in Los Angeles.

IP TAKE: If you work for the betterment of youth and are located in LA, Crail-Johnson is a potential ally. 

PROFILE: A California grantmaker that’s been operating in Los Angeless for over two decades, the Crail-Johnson Foundation exists for children in need. Its grantees include all kinds of nonprofits and programs, with two commonalities running throughout: They (with a few outlier exceptions) all work in the Los Angeles metropolitan area, and they all work to improve the lives of low-income, neglected, abused, or otherwise disadvantaged youth throughout the city.

The geography factor clearly shrinks the pool of potential grantees quite a bit. But if you do meet this one criterion, then you’re already a strong contender for a grant, in that Crail-Johnson is very inclusive in terms of the kinds of programs that it will fund. Children’s well-being, pure and simple, is this foundation’s mission. And it covers every base: academic success, physical health, emotional health, and family and social life. After-school programs and summer camps get funding, along with food-distribution programs, substance-abuse counseling, and health clinics, just to name a few. Most of its grants total between $10,000 and $20,000, and the foundation website includes a super helpful list of recent grants that will give you a sense of what they fund. 

A great thing about this foundation is that you can apply to without a prior invitation. Its process is open to all grantseekers who share its child-centered, LA-focused mission. So don’t hesitate to initiate contact by sending a letter of inquiry.

Be mindful of the deadlines, though. Crail-Johnson divvies up its grantees into three categories, and each one has a different date by which the LOI is due. They are as follows:

Education. These grants go out to schools and to nonprofits working to improve educational outcomes for disadvantaged students. Crail-Johnson funds efforts at every level from pre-kindergarten to 12th grade. Early-childhood programs; K-12 literacy initiatives, arts programs, career counseling; and college prep are a few of its many areas of particular interest. LOIs for education grants are due between September 1 and September 30.

For example, the Assistance League of Long Beach got a $10,000 education grant for its Operation School Bell program, which buys school supplies and school uniforms (if the schools require them) for low-income children. Another nonprofit, EdBoost, received $5,000 in education funding to support its one-on-one tutoring services.

Health. The foundation funds comprehensive health services and all kinds of specialized efforts to improve young people’s health, educate them on healthy living, and ensure that they can access quality care. Pregnancy and STD prevention, prenatal care, health counseling, and substance-abuse prevention and treatment are among its action items. If you want one of these grants, Crail-Johnson must get your LOI between April 15 and May 15.

Crail-Johnson’s health grantees include South Bay Family Health Care, which won $20,000 to run a Healthy Kids Express mobile clinic. There’s also the Harbor Community Clinic, which garnered $15,000 for its pediatric facility.

Human Services. This category covers a broader array of efforts to help young people in need. Programs to address domestic violence and child abuse get funding under it. So does outreach to homeless youth and youth in crisis. Food distribution programs and food banks, mentoring programs, summer camps, and family-counseling programs can also apply for this category of grants. Whatever your project may be, though, the due dates are December 15 to January 15.

The foundation gave a $25,000 Human Services grant to Peace 4Kids, a provider of support services to foster youth and at-risk youth. This particular grant was for its work helping 18-24-year-old clients to transition out of the foster system and into stable adult lives. Another grant of $10,000 went out to Helpline Youth Counseling, Inc., for its family-counseling services.


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