Girard Foundation

OVERVIEW: This private family funder supports K-12 education in San Diego County, California. Primary funding interests include charter schools and career readiness.

IP TAKE: This funder prefers to meet with grant seekers to discuss the local education improvement proposal before receiving forms and letters. Charter schools tend to do well with Girard.

PROFILE: The Girard Foundation, established in 1986, is a private family foundation based in La Jolla, California. It seeks to “foster innovation and systemic change in K-12 education, with the goal of improving student outcomes in San Diego County.” It only supports education in San Diego County, California.

It supports programs and projects with new methods to prepare students, improve the ways that schools operate, produce data that leads to change, and that use transferable and scalable concepts. Funds go to program development, capacity-building support, startup costs, professional forums, research, and informing the public. However, the foundation rarely provides general operating support, and it does not fund capital campaigns.

Girard makes grants to nonprofits, charter school organizations, school districts, and universities. Past grantees include the California Charter Schools Association, Parent Institute for Quality Education, Promises2Kids, the San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum, Oceanside High School, and Voice of San Diego. View additional grant recipients by year on the funder's website.

Over the years, the foundation has served as an initiator or collaborative partner on major projects involving educational leadership, school finance, charter schools, and college and career preparedness.

To apply for a Girard grant, the first step is for grant seekers to contact the foundation to discuss their proposals. If deemed a good fit, the staff will schedule a meeting for further discussion, provide instruction on submitting a formal proposal, and set up a site visit. There is no standard format used for grant proposals, but the basic information grant seekers will need to include is posted on their website.

Direct general questions to or (858) 551-0881. The address is 2223 Avenida de la Playa, Suite 203, La Jolla, California 92037.


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