Southern California is home to an increasingly robust philanthropy scene. While much of the action is concentrated in Los Angeles, grantmaking by foundations in San Diego has been growing and funders also operate in Santa Barbara and other cities in the region. Nonprofits will find a range of foundation types in LA and Southern California, including large and professionalized institutions that are easily approached, and newer family foundations that are more difficult to access.
All the foundation profiles below are updated regularly. We also add new ones often as additional funders come on to the scene. Only paid subscribers can access these resources. (Subscribe here.)
This funder supports San Diego area nonprofits in the areas of K-12 education, STEM education, arts, music, and economic development. Letters of inquiry are accepted throughout the year.
Ahmanson is a longtime Southern California-based funder. The foundation regularly awards grants for arts & culture, education, healthcare, homelessness, and human services in Los Angeles.
Annenberg serves the five-county region of Greater Los Angeles with grants in these areas: arts, culture & humanities, education, animal welfare, civic & community, health, veterans, and environment.
The Apatow-Mann Family Foundation’s grantmaking invests in health and education, among other interests.
This funder supports programs to keep seniors safe in their homes, prevent senior depression, support caregivers and train a qualified elder care workforce in California.
Atlas mainly gives in Los Angeles and Southern California, with a focus on early childhood programs.
The Ayrshire Foundation views philanthropy as investment in world betterment, spreading its wealth across a wide range of opportunities to support change. One of its listed geographic focus areas is the San Gabriel Valley.
The Lynn & Les Bider Foundation’s grantmaking funds Jewish and arts organizations, among other interests.
The low-profile foundation funds education and youth, arts and culture, health and human services, and Jewish causes. Along with LA, a region of interest is Massachusetts.
David Bohnett might be best known as a prominent arts and LGBT funder, but he’s also a local funder that regularly gives to a range of Los Angeles nonprofits through his foundation.
Past grants suggest arts, healthcare, and education are leading areas of interest, with a wide range of organizations receiving support.
This funder supports youth development, health and medicine, education, the arts and the environment in Los Angeles County.
Although the arts have always been a Broad passion, that shouldn't discourage non-arts organizations. The foundation also funds education, civic programs and science research.
Ronald W. Burkle Foundation supports programs that “strengthen international understanding, foster worker’s rights, empower underserved communities, nurture the arts and architecture, engage children in learning and advance scientific research."
The CCF is often the crucial link between nonprofits and the community. Funding covers healthcare, education, human services, the arts, civic engagement, immigrants and housing.
The endowment is a major funder in terms of its grantmaking footprint and the assets it controls, and in Los Angeles—and throughout California—it's the largest funder of healthcare initiatives and organizations.
The California Wellness Foundation funds causes that benefit California residents, prioritizing Los Angeles. Interests are gaps in care, health education and employment, and safe neighborhoods.
The bank's philanthropic affiliate supports a variety of causes in the Greater L.A. area, with community, education and economic development as top priorities.
The foundation of media mogul Jerry Perenchio and his wife Margaret. Gifts mainly go to the Los Angeles area for arts, education and health.
The foundation’s grantmaking funds improving the academic, emotional, and social well-being of disadvantaged youth in Los Angeles. It's very accessible to grantseekers.
This funder is best known for its Halo Award, which is designed to encourage volunteerism in the Los Angeles area. The foundation has made other recent grants to local nonprofits working in the fields of poverty, homelessness and veteran support.
Focusing on education, health, medicine, religion and vulnerable populations, this foundation supports about 300 different organizations each year, and funding is almost exclusively limited to Los Angeles and the surrounding communities.
This funder supports the North County coastal communities of San Diego County, including Encinitas, Oceanside, Carlsbad, Del Mar, and Solana Beach. Mental health, women and girls, and music are topics of interest.
Endowed in 1999 by the late Richard D. Colburn, the Colburn Foundation aims to support the classical music community in Southern California.
This private family funder supports the San Diego area in the fields of human services, military, youth development, medical research, arts and culture, education, and animal welfare.
The Dorsey & Whitney Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Dorsey & Whitney, a U.S.-based corporate law firm. Its grants focus on cultural, civic, and educational nonprofits and provide legal services for people who cannot afford representation.
This Los Angeles-centric funder is best known for helping local nonprofit leaders be creative and avoid burnout, and encouraging new leaders to emerge in the region.
Through its Community Giving Program, Edison International, the electric power company, gives to causes including education, the environment, civic engagement, and emergency preparedness to 15 counties in southern and central California.
This funder supports Jewish organizations in Los Angeles and also education, health (with a cancer focus), human services (with a focus on the elderly), and the arts.
The Eisner Foundation has a strict funding focus on children and the elderly in Los Angeles County. Grants go to large, well-established organizations and also to small grassroots nonprofits.
Gives out grants mainly in Los Angeles to education, but not just in the traditional way one might expect. The foundation strongly supports youth philanthropy, as well education and the arts.
The Getty Trust's grantmaking arm, the Getty Foundation, is a major funder of organizations and individuals that advance understanding and preservation of the visual arts. Getty gives for research, conservation, and education & professional development.
Grants for college access and retention and arts & culture education are Los Angeles-specific, and the foundation also regularly gives for local Jewish causes, diabetes prevention, and Alzheimer’s research.
This private family funder is focused on K-12 education in San Diego County, California. Funding interests are charter schools and career readiness.
This funder supports Los Angeles County nonprofits working for the developmental disabled, elderly, and abused and neglected youth. LOI deadlines happen twice a year.
The foundation's Los Angeles grantmaking includes support of Jewish causes, health, and youth outfits.
Although this foundation’s primary focus is on Catholic causes in the Los Angeles area, it also awards grants to education, health, and social service nonprofits throughout the region.
The Hauptman Family Foundation’s grantmaking supports education and policy organizations.
This social science funder typically funds well-established organizations and universities in Southern California, but smaller social science and local research organizations can definitely apply for grants, too.
This L.A. foundation has an international footprint and a domestic portfolio. Areas of giving include Catholic Sisters, children with HIV/AIDS, foster youth, homelessness, multiple sclerosis, safe water, and substance abuse prevention.
LARRY HIMMEL NEIGHBORHOOD FOUNDATION
This funder supports individuals and nonprofits in San Diego County, California in the areas of homelessness, neighborhoods, brain and spinal injuries, and youth.
This private family funder is exclusive to Santa Barbara County and is a big supporter of nonprofit longevity and sustainability. Funding interests are arts and culture, education, health and human services, children, youth and families, and civic and community
This prominent L.A. funder supports both Jewish and secular causes through grantmaking. Areas of support include education, human services, education, Jewish causes, arts & culture, and civic life.
Real estate mogul Karatz and his family fund education and youth, health, Jewish causes, arts and culture, and policy.
Karsh funds pre-selected organizations in higher education, human services and Jewish community programs.
The family's giving focuses on Los Angeles, where they support education, the arts, and other causes. Kayne strongly supports his alma mater, UCLA.
This is a well-known science research funder. For local fundraisers, though, Keck has a Southern California program prioritizing Los Angeles County organizations.
The John B. and Nelly Llanos Kilroy Foundation's grantmaking includes support for educational and youth organizations.
Financier John Kissick and family conduct their philanthropy through the Kissick Family Foundation, which supports education, youth, the arts, and health in Los Angeles.
The couple's philanthropy is focused on Los Angeles and its suburbs, particularly Pasadena and the Greater San Gabriel Valley. The Kohls have a strong interest in the arts.
This professional basketball team funder supports children and youth causes in the Los Angeles area. Unsolicited applications are accepted from local groups once per year.
This funder supports youth sports organizations for kids six to 17 years old in the eight southernmost counties of California. There are three grant cycles per year.
This pro soccer team funder is devoted to at-risk children and youth in Los Angeles. Funding interests are education, health, and soccer programs for youth.
The philanthropic vehicle of Wall Streeter Aaron Sosnick. Grantmaking includes support for arts and culture, education, and community projects.
Focusing on higher education, medical research, healthcare and human services, this is a foundation L.A. nonprofit fundraisers should know about.
The finance couple directs much of its grantmaking to education, health & human services, arts & culture, and Jewish causes in Los Angeles.
This funder supports social justice issues in Los Angeles, California. Funding interests are the local LGBTQ community and justice for all races, immigrants, the environment, and the economy.
The Chuck Lorre Family Foundation (CLFF) is dedicated to funding innovative and compassionate organizations in the areas of education, health and the arts. The foundation supports programs, services and opportunities for those struggling with less and striving for more.
This Major League Baseball team funder supports underserved youth in the Greater Los Angeles Area. Interests are education, literacy, sports, recreation, and health.
LA-focused giving from the film producer and his family go to causes in human services and health, education and youth, arts and culture, and others.
The real estate developer's foundation gives in eight regions where it operates. In SoCal, it's L.A., Inland Empire and San Gabriel Valley. Grants for youth, education, health, violence prevention and families.
The Marisla Foundation is best known for its major environmental grantmaking. However, the foundation also actively engages in human services grantmaking in Los Angeles and Orange counties, with a focus on helping women.
Mayor Eric Garcetti created this fund to support city civic projects. Funding priorities are job access and creation, neighborhood resiliency, disaster preparedness, public spaces, traffic, and government efficiency.
The philanthropic vehicle of Hollywood mogul J.J. Abrams and his PR executive wife Katie McGrath. Funds education, policy, human services, and more.
The philanthropic vehicle of Richard N. Merkin focuses on education, health and the arts.
Milken funds human services, healthcare, medical research and Jewish community organizations, with the majority of grants made in Los Angeles County.
The foundation of former music producer Jerry Moss and his wife, Ann, gives away a million or two annually, mainly to various Los Angeles-area outfits.
Murphy is a major L.A. funder of Roman Catholic churches and organizations in Greater Los Angeles, although they do make some grants nationally.
The foundation's Los Angeles giving is focused on supporting educational causes, as well as policy, the arts, and more. The Nazarians are strong backers of Jewish causes.
The Nolan Family Foundation’s grantmaking funds educational and social services organizations.
Norris supports Southern California nonprofits in areas of community, culture, youth, education/science, and medical. Takes unsolicited applications but competition is tough.
California funding is largely centered in the Los Angeles area. Funding is for affordable housing, community revitalization, education, financial literacy, community health, human services, and the arts.
This funder supports San Diego County organizations in the areas of community, arts and culture, education, medical, and social causes. Grant applications are accepted at various times of the year, online and via mail.
Parsons values transparency. Letters of inquiry for Parsons grants in health, higher education, civic engagement and social impact are accepted throughout the year.
This funder supports children’s health causes in the Greater Pasadena area and selected parts of Los Angeles County. Early childhood development, community and family strengthening, obesity, and access to care are key interests.
This private family funder is focused on the San Diego area, especially the City Heights region of 16 inner city neighborhoods. Price funds work in education, youth, health, housing, human services, and environment.
This funder supports the Los Angeles community in the areas of education, environment, medicine, community, and foster youth. Unsolicited proposals are not accepted.
This community grantmaker supports Coastal North County San Diego. Interests include workforce development, youth, human trafficking, and the needs of vulnerable seniors.
RANCHO SANTA FE WOMEN'S FUND
This is a women’s giving circle focused on Northern San Diego County and the needs of women and families here. Local grants are awarded annually.
Resnick keeps its portfolio pretty tight, working with a fixed group of organizations. There isn't a lot of information about grantmaking available.
The philanthropic vehicle of Antony Ressler and his wife, actress Jami Gertz, mainly supports education, arts, health, and Jewish causes.
The Rose Hills Foundation was established from the sale of the largest cemetery in North America. Mainly funds programs related to higher education, the natural sciences, and engineering.
The Rosenthal Family Foundation’s grantmaking includes support of educational and arts institutions.
The Ryzman Foundation mostly supports Jewish causes (education, religious, and community) in Los Angeles. It also supports health groups.
The philanthropic vehicle of entertainment executive Haim Saban and his wife Cheryl. The foundation's geographic focus is almost exclusively on Los Angeles and Israel.
This funder supports San Diego, California-area nonprofits in age-friendly communities, civic engagement, climate, arts, outdoors, science and technology, and families and community. Most competitive grants are awarded through their regional affiliates.
This women’s foundation supports San Diego-area nonprofits in health and human services, civil society, economic development and employment, environment, arts and culture, and education. Grants are awarded once per year.
This community funder supports nonprofits in Santa Barbara County, California, in many areas, including youth, organizational capacity, education, blood research and education, landscapes, ecosystems, agriculture and food systems, and community caregiving.
The Sassoon Family Foundation’s Los Angeles grantmaking invests in select Jewish institutions.
This funder's main focus is on K-12 education for young people in the Los Angeles area.
This corporate funder supports education, workforce development, environment, active military, veterans, emergency preparedness, safety, economic and business development efforts in Southern California.
The foundation of Patrick Soon-Shiong, L.A.'s wealthiest citizen, gives heavily to hospitals in southern California, but some funds go to other causes, too.
This funder has two primary grantmaking goals: K-8 Catholic education and alcoholism and substance abuse treatment. Both programs have a Los Angeles focus.
The Smith trust funds programs in four areas: foster youth, elders, veterans, and people with disabilities. It focuses on 14 states in the western U.S., including California, as well as British Columbia, Canada.
This funder focuses all grantmaking on youth in Los Angeles County. More specifically, it funds education enrichment, mentoring, youth leadership and early learning/literacy causes.
The Taproot Foundation provides substantial in-kind professional consulting services to nonprofit organizations in several major cities, including Los Angeles.
The billionaire tech entrepreneur and his wife do most of their grantmaking in the Los Angeles area, where the family lives and works. Education and the arts are priorities.
UniHealth is a major healthcare funder in Southern California. It has two funds—a general support fund for qualifying organizations and a hospitals fund. Grants are approved three times per year.
As the philanthropic vehicle of SpongeBob SquarePants creator Stephen Hillenburg and his wife Karen, the United Plankton Charitable Trust invests in the arts, education, and more.
Grants are made in four major domestic areas: education, arts and culture, service, and health. There are also global initiatives and a focus on volunteerism.
Weingart provides funding focused in three main areas, including health, human services and education, and they fund mostly in Southern California, though giving occasionally throughout the state.
Funding areas include health, human services, education and youth, arts and culture, Jewish causes, and the Los Angeles community.
This foundation of a wealthy couple focuses funds education, literacy, healthcare, art, culture, animal welfare and the needs of the worldwide Jewish community.
This is a women’s giving fund that is affiliated with the Santa Barbara Foundation but that researches and awards its own annual grants. Grants are largely focused on the needs of women and children in the Santa Barbara area of California.
Wunderkinder Foundation’s Los Angeles grantmaking invests in the arts, health, and social welfare organizations.