Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation: Los Angeles Grants

OVERVIEW: The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation has several grantmaking programs areas that are exclusive to the Greater Los Angeles area. College access & retention and arts & culture education are Los Angeles-specific, and the foundation regularly gives for local Jewish causes, diabetes prevention, and Alzheimer’s research too. The foundation awards around $8 million in grants each year.  

FUNDING AREAS: College access and success, healthcare, arts education, Jewish life and Israel, higher education. 

IP TAKE: Although Jewish causes in Israel take the bulk of the Gilbert Foundation’s grantmaking budget, support for Jewish programs in Los Angeles lags behind college access and healthcare. The most funding in Los Angeles takes place within the college readiness, diabetes prevention, and Alzheimer’s focus areas.

PROFILE: Arthur and Rosalinde Gilbert moved from England to Los Angeles in 1949 to become successful real estate entrepreneurs and subsequently, passionate philanthropists. The couple was originally committed to art collection and charitable support for both local causes and Jewish programs in Israel. Rosalinde passed away in 1995 and Arthur in 2001, at which time a substantial portion of their fortune was donated to the Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation to continue their humanitarian and charitable endeavors.

Today, the Gilbert Foundation supports the following programs and initiatives:

  • College access and retention in Greater Los Angeles
  • Education, economic development, and scientific research in Israel
  • Diabetes prevention and Alzheimer’s Disease research & caregiver support
  • Cultural organizations and arts education programs in Greater Los Angeles
  • Jewish organizations in Greater Los Angeles
  • Programs at UC Berkeley and UCLA that intersect with the foundation’s mission and objectives

Although an occasional exception is made, Gilbert grantmaking is almost entirely focused on Los Angeles County and Israel. The foundation prefers providing direct service program support above anything else and generally shies away from awarding general operating support to nonprofits. In 2013, the foundation awarded $7,376,029 in grants, and a majority of the funds ($2,184,266) went over to Israel. However, the foundation approved over a million dollars in grants for both college access and success programs and healthcare programs that year too. Overall annual grantmaking has hovered in the $6-9 million range since 2006.

Past college access and success grantees in the Los Angeles area include Cal-PAS, College Bound, College Bound, College Match, and South Central Scholars. Healthcare grants almost exclusively focus on Alzheimer’s disease and caregiving and diabetes prevention. In 2007, the foundation brought together a panel of experts to review the most pressing issues around Alzheimer’s and developed a legacy award to promote innovation through caregiving, creative expression, and multicultural communities. However, childhood diabetes, obesity prevention, and access to healthy foods are also topics of interest. Most of these grants have a Los Angeles focus, too.

Past arts education grants have gone to museums, dance groups, theater groups, music groups, and visual arts programs. As long as the program teaches art to kids and teenagers in the Greater Los Angeles area, it’s fair game for Gilbert. The key is to focus on cross-cultural collaborations and emphasize artistic applications to children’s personal and social lives. Gilbert’s local Jewish Life program is all about educating Jewish and non-Jewish Angelinos to reduce anti-Semitism. The foundation is also a big supporter of UCLA and UC Berkeley programs that align with the aforementioned ideals.

The Gilbert Foundation enlists the help of four academic chairs to assist with grantmaking decisions. Cheryl Harris is a professor at the UCLA School of Law, Barbara Leavey directs the UCLA Interdepartmental Clinical Pharmacology Program, Arieh Saposnik directs the UCLA Nazarian Center for Israel Studies, and Eric Talley is a leading authority on corporate law, and law and economics at UC Berkeley.

Check out the foundation's list of recent grants on its website.

The Gilbert foundation accepts letters of inquiry and grant proposals throughout the year, so there are no deadlines to mark on your calendar. To apply for a Gilbert grant, you’ll need to first submit a 1-2 page letter of inquiry, for which you’ll receive a notice of acknowledgment and further instructions in return. To get in touch with general inquiries, fill out the foundation’s online contact form with your message and contact information.

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