Weingart Foundation: Los Angeles Grants

OVERVIEW: The Weingart Foundation makes grants to established nonprofits in the areas of health, human services, and education. Because of Weingart's dedication to the Los Angeles area, grants are limited to six counties in Southern California: Los Angeles, Orange, Santa Barbara, Riverside, San Bernadino, and Ventura. 

IP TAKE: The Weingart Foundation is straightforward about its grantmaking process, making it one of the easiest foundations to submit a grant application to in Los Angeles. But Weingart makes lots of small to midsize grants, so grant seekers should not expect major funding.

PROFILE: The Weingart Foundation was created by Ben and Stella Weingart in 1951 after making their fortune in the real estate business. It seeks to “build a better Southern California by supporting nonprofit organizations to more effectively serve the underserved.” Unlike many wealthy philanthropists in the city, Ben Weingart began life in poverty as an orphan with an unmatched entrepreneurial spirit. Weingart was best known as the man who created the first planned city in Southern California: Lakewood. In an area once filled with sugar-beet and bean fields, Weingart built a post-World War II era city with 18,000 new homes, one of the region's first shopping malls, and community service centers. Not only did Weingart's creation transform Los Angeles into one of the country's most prominent urban centers, but it also served as a model for suburban planning around the United States. Weingart makes grants to support Health, human services, and education.

Because of Weingart's dedication to the Los Angeles area, grants are limited to seven counties in Southern California: Los Angeles, Orange, Santa Barbara, Riverside, San Bernadino, and Ventura. San Diego County used to be on this list to make seven, but no longer receives funding.

In the health area, Weingart has funded everything from nursing homes to substance abuse programs and rehabilitation facilities. In education, the foundation supports all levels of schooling, from preschool to master's program providers. And in human services, violence prevention programs, homeless shelters, and youth training organizations see the most grant dollars rolling in. However, Weingart never funds programs for research, environmental advocacy, religious programs, consumer interest groups, or political activities.

Find a list of recent grants in the Grants Database. The foundation has about $799 million in assets, and it tends to release between 500-700 grants each year ranging from $200 to $1 million.

Weingart's grantmaking strategy is to give a substantial — but not overwhelmingly large — grant to as many causes as it can each year. So while nonprofits should not rely on Weingart to be the primary funding source for an organization's program, grant seekers have a good chance at receiving some of the foundation's funding if they are in Los Angeles.

The foundation accepts requests for unrestricted operating support as part of its support for equity. Requesting a grant over $25,000 is a two-step process. Grant seekers can also request a grant from the Expanding Opportunity Fund, which used to be known as the Small Grants Program. This is for requests under $25,000 and for organizations with annual operating budgets under $1 million. 

Complete letters of inquiry online, and direct questions about the application process to Grants Administrator Priscilla Savage at 213-688-6311.

PEOPLE:

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

LINKS: