Lehrer Family Foundation: Grants for Southern California

OVERVIEW: The Lehrer Family Foundation primarily funds grantmaking related to the arts and culture, Jewish causes, and other community organizations in Santa Barbara.

IP TAKE: The foundation keeps a low public profile, which limits information available on its grantmaking priorities and activities. 

PROFILE: Established in 1996, the Lehrer Family Foundation was founded by Seymour and Shirley Lehrer. The couple launched tool and die making business with $400 dollars and later founded a metal goods manufacturing company. The Lehrers later shifted gears and have run an industrial property business. The foundation lacks transparency and does not maintain a website, which makes it difficult to locate further information on its priority areas and grantmaking strategies. Tax filings suggest the Lehrer Family Foundation primarily funds grantmaking related to the arts and culture, Jewish causes, and other community organizations in Santa Barbara.

Seymour is on the board of the Music Academy of the West, a conservatory in Santa Barbara which the family steadily supports. The couple donated $3 million in support of ongoing programmatic and facility upgrades at the institution. The couple’s daughter Karen, a Lehrer Foundation board member, is a painter. Seymour and Karen are also on the advisory council of New Beginnings Counseling Center. Karen is also an MFT.

Grants range from $125 to $75,000. In a recent fiscal year, the foundation gave away around $320,000. Past grantees include Santa Barbara Symphony, Santa Barbara Zoological Gardens, Santa Barbara Hillel, Jewish Federation of Santa Barbara, Cancer Center of Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara Foundation, and Sansum Diabetes Research Institute.

The Lehrer Family Foundation keeps a low profile and does not accept unsolicited proposals.

PEOPLE:

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CONTACT:

The Lehrer Family Foundation
3151 Cahuenga Blvd West, Suite 201
Los Angeles, CA 90068