David Bohnett Foundation: Los Angeles Grants

OVERVIEW: Through his Foundation, David Bohnett has made well over $50 million in grants to LBGT, arts, gun violence, animal rights, and social justice issues. The David Bohnett Fund for Los Angeles supports local organizations improving the civic and cultural lives of Los Angeles residents.

IP TAKE: Los Angeles nonprofits should definitely look into the David Bohnett Fund for Los Angeles. Although many of his foundation’s programs have a national focus, this one is all about LA. Unfortunately, the foundation doesn’t accept unsolicited grant requests for this giving area, but you can reach out to Program Officer Paul Moore for more information about eligibility.

PROFILE: David Bohnett Foundation was established in 1999 by David Bohnett. It seeks to improve “society through social activism.” Bohnett might be best known as a prominent art and LBGT funder, but he is also a local funder that regularly supports Los Angeles nonprofits through his foundation. Bohnett made his money from selling GeoCities to Yahoo in the late '90s. Bohnett puts his tech-savvy nature to work for the people of Southern California, specifically through the Fund for Los Angeles.

The foundation prioritizes grants for LGBT issues. Bohnett once worked a gay crisis hotline to counsel students about coming out and has made over $17 million in grants to LGBT groups since establishing his foundation. After launching a CyberCenter program at the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center in 1998, the foundation invested over $3 million to help the LGBT community stay connected with the world. Bohnett’s LBGT grantmaking has historically had a national focus, although Bohnett supports LA's gay community, too.  

On the local scene, Bohnett’s arts grantmaking has made headlines, thanks to a $20 million pledge to the LA Philharmonic and a collective $8.8 million in grants to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. He stepped outside of social justice funding for the LA Philharmonic several years ago to help the organization broaden programming, awareness, and diversity for underserved communities.

In a recent year, the foundation reported over $3.8 million in total giving. Through the David Bohnett Foundation, Bohnett has made grants totaling well over $50 million to LBGT, arts, gun violence, animal rights, and social justice issues. Like Bohnett’s LGBT funding, his gun violence and voting funding has maintained a national focus. However, a few Los Angeles organizations typically make the annual grants list, including UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs and the Los Angeles Police Foundation. The foundation also supports animal language research, the funding of service animals, and stopping rare animal trade. Recent local animal grants have been awarded to PAWS/LA and SPCA-Los Angeles.

Fund for Los Angeles grants provide support to local organizations that improve the civic and cultural lives of LA residents. Unfortunately, the foundation does not accept unsolicited grant requests for this area, but grant seekers can reach out to Program Officer Paul Moore at paul@bohnett.com for more information about eligibility.

Past local grantees include Ciclavia Inc., the West Hollywood Community Housing Corporation, the Los Angeles River Revitalization Corporation, KRCW Foundation, Heart of Los Angeles, Pentacle Dance Works, and AIDS Project Los Angeles. View a full list of Fund for Los Angeles grants on the foundation website.

The Bohnett Foundation is run by a small staff of four, led by Executive Director Michael Flemming. Reach individual staff members at 310-276-0001. David Bohnett can be reached at david.bohnett@yahoo.com.

The David Bohnett Foundation no longer accepts unsolicited grant applications or requests for funding. 

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