John Gogian Family Foundation: Los Angeles Grants

OVERVIEW: This funder supports Los Angeles County nonprofits working for the developmentally disabled, elderly, and abused and neglected youth. LOI deadlines happen twice a year, and grants are between $5,000 and $20,000.

IP TAKE: Grant seekers should pitch a proposal for general operating support for either abused youth or youth developmental disabilities. Causes for the elderly have not received as much support as the other interest areas, lately. 

PROFILE: The John Gogian Family Foundation is a private funder focused on Los Angeles County. It seeks to support “community-based organizations that enhance the quality of people’s lives in Los Angeles County.” It was established in 1982 by Gogian, who was a local entrepreneur and businessman. The foundation’s size doubled when he sold his business, Pacific Cold Storage, in 1994. Gogian was philanthropically interested in immigration and mental and physical disabilities because of his family’s involvement with these issues.

Today, the foundation supports organizations that support the developmentally disabled, elderly, and abused and neglected youth in Los Angeles County. It has reported net assets of over $9 million and has distributed over $1.5 million annually in recent years.

JGFF provides core operating support for recurring grantees, as well as core programming support and capital expenditures for all grantees. Programs can be new, expanding, or sustaining, and capital support is often for improvement, equipment, and vehicles. Most JGFF grants are between $5,000 and $20,000 each, and first-time grants are often $15,000. It only considers organizations with annual revenues between $1 million and $8 million.

Across all three interest areas, organizations must be physically located in Los Angeles County and provide services to adults and/or children in Los Angeles County to get JGFF’s support. Interested parties can view a list of recent grant awards on the foundation website.

To apply for a Gogian grant, nonprofits must submit a letter of inquiry, followed by a full application if invited to apply. LOIs must be sent via U.S. Mail or commercial carrier, as it does not accept electronic submissions. There are two annual grantmaking cycles, and grant seekers can expect to receive notification of their LOI outcome within 45 days of submission. On average, the board reviews about 30 grant requests each year. LOI deadlines fall in March and September, and full application deadlines fall in January and June. A nonprofit can receive an annual grant from JGFF for up to three consecutive years before the one-year waiting period applies.

In addition to traditional grantmaking, the JGFF also has a scholarship program that typically makes grants of $20,000 and four-year scholarships to students in selected Los Angeles County schools. In one year, the foundation awarded three scholarships totaling $52,000. There is also a small community grants program, in which the founder and directors can recommend modest grants for community activities where they live or for organizations with which they are affiliated.

General inquiries can be directed to the executive director, Lindsey Stammerjohn, or grants administrator, Anne-Marie Schaaf at 310-325-0954 or jgff@gogianfoundation.org.

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