Kenneth T. and Eileen L Norris Foundation

OVERVIEW: This funder supports Southern California nonprofits in the areas of community, culture, youth, education/science, and medical. Online applications are accepted in each category.

FUNDING AREAS: Community, culture, youth, education/science, medical

IP TAKE: Los Angeles groups have a good shot with this funder, but should know they are competing with the entire region for grants. But funding areas are broad, and even capital support requests are considered.

PROFILE: The Kenneth T. and Eileen L Norris Foundation is based in Long Beach, California, and makes Southern California giving a top priority. In fact, organizations or projects must be based in the Southern California area to be eligible for all grants. Many of these grants are awarded in Los Angeles.

Kenneth T. Norris founded Norris Stamping & Manufacturing Company, which manufactured steel products. He and his wife, Eileen, established the foundation, and their son Kenneth T. Norris Jr. helped run it, along with his wife, Harlyne. Kenneth Jr. was known as the primary benefactor of the USC/Kenneth T. Norris Jr. Comprehensive Cancer Center and Hospital before he passed away in 1996. Harlyne passed away in 2016 and is remembered for her support for USC and local contributions to health and the arts. The Harlyne J. Norris Pavilion at Palos Verdes Performing Arts and a cancer research center at USC are named after her.

Harlyne’s daughter, Lisa Hansen, serves as chair of the board of trustees today. The foundation also has an executive director and a grants manager on staff.

Current funding areas are community, culture, youth, education/science, and medical.  Community and cultural grants are open to applications December 1 through January 31, youth grants from February 15 to March 31, and education/science and medical grants from May 1 to June 30.

These are the types of organizations that the Norris Foundation supports in each category:

  • Community: food banks, homeless shelters, animal rescue, family services
  • Cultural: theaters, symphonies, orchestras, museums, art centers, performance art, art outreach
  • Youth: clubs, camps, foster care, child care programs, after school programs, summer programs
  • Education/Science: colleges, high schools, libraries, aquariums, zoos, science/technology, learning programs
  • Medical: hospitals, clinics, dental care, burn centers, research

The foundation prefers to continue supporting organizations it has worked with in the past. This means very few new grantees are added to the roster each year. However, unsolicited proposals are accepted.

Grant applications are accepted via online form only, and each funding category has its own form. The Norris Foundation funds specific projects, capital improvements, and general operating support. According to the foundation website, grant applicants are placed in budgets based on what their organization does as a whole, not by a particular project or program.

In a recent year, the funder had around $189 million in assets and exceed $8 million in total giving. Current financial information can be viewed here. General questions can be directed to the staff at (562) 435-8444 or via email at


  • Search for staff contact info and bios in PeopleFinder (paid subscribers only.)