Marisla Foundation: Los Angeles Grants

OVERVIEW: This Foundation is best known for its major environmental grantmaking, which focuses on marine resources conservation in select regions of North America, Chile, and the western Pacific. However, the foundation also actively engages in human services grantmaking in the California counties of Los Angeles and Orange. 

IP TAKE: While it is best known as an environmental funder, this foundation has a strong and specialized human services program that seeks to meet the physical, mental, and financial needs of southern California women. Marisla prioritizes women-focused homelessness, substance abuse, domestic violence and vocational training programs in Los Angeles and Orange counties.

PROFILE: Established in 1986, the Marisla Foundation was founded by Anne Getty Earhart, the granddaughter of oilman J. Paul Getty. The private foundation makes grants in two program areas: Environment and Human Services. In addition to the environmental and human services grantmaking programs, Marisla reserves a special interest category to provide support for new and compelling funding opportunities that the Board of Directors come across.

The environmental program supports conserving biological diversity and sustainable ecosystem management, with an emphasis on marine resources. North America, the western Pacific, and Chile are the geographical areas of focus for these grants. The foundation also does some grantmaking for health threats caused by toxic chemicals.

Marisla’s human services funding has a local geographical focus, in Los Angeles and Orange counties. It seeks to support women’s physical, mental, and financial health. Marisla typically makes these grants to local organizations working in the fields of domestic violence, homelessness, substance abuse, and vocational training. The foundation also regularly contributes millions of dollars to the Orange County Community Foundation for the Marisla Fund.

The foundation accepts unsolicited grant applications; however, it only has the capacity to fund a small number of requests out of the hundreds of proposals it receives each year. Special interests funding is available by invitation only.

It accepts grant applications November 15 through January 15, February 15 through April 15, May 15 through July 15, and August 15 through October 15. It holds board meetings in March, June, September, and December each year. As a general rule, Marisla does not fund individuals or political causes. Grant applicants should expect to hear back from the Marisla staff within two to three months after submitting an application.

The entire application process is conducted online. Electronic proposals are handled by Marisla’s administrator, Foundation Source at (800) 839-5316, or However, program-related questions can be directed to Marisla’s own staff administrator, Glenda Menges at


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