Winnick Family Foundation: Los Angeles Grants

OVERVIEW: The Winnick Family Foundation was founded by Los Angeles-based couple Gary and Karen Winnick. The Foundation focuses giving in the program areas of education, literacy, health care, art, culture, animal welfare and the needs of the worldwide Jewish community. 

FUNDING AREAS: Education & Literacy, Health, Arts & Culture, Animals, Jewish Causes 

IP TAKE: The Foundation encourages project-specific programs but also selectively supports capital campaigns and unrestricted gifts to grantee organizations. Winnick does not accept phone call or e-mail grant applications – only snail mail requests that clearly define the project’s mission, management team, and funding sources. 

PROFILE: In 1983, Gary and Karen Winnick founded the Winnick Family Foundation. Gary Winnick is currently chairman and CEO of Winnick & Company, an investment firm based in Los Angeles. The foundation has a preference for projects in New York and Los Angeles, as well as those that have an international component. 

The foundation's Los Angeles grantmaking involves several different areas. In education, last decade, the foundation gave a naming grant to create the Winnick Winners Mentoring Program for the Los Angeles Unified School District. Other grantees have included The Center for Early Education, The UCLA Foundation, L.A.’s Best Afterschool Program, and the Wonder of Reading. Children's book author Karen helps drive the family's interest in literacy and the family has also supported Los Angeles Central Library. 

The Winnick Family Foundation earmarks funds for health in Los Angeles, too. A big winner here has been Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, which has received millions, and is home to the Winnick Family Clinical & Translational Research Center

Supporting arts and culture in Los Angeles is also imporant to thte Winnicks. Grantees have included LACMA, Music Center, LA Opera, Fowler Museum at UCLA, Aquarium of the Pacific, Center Theatre Group, and Skirball Cultural Center. Skirball has been especially well funded, and is home to Winnick Hall.

The foundation also gives steadily to animal outfits in Los Angeles. Karen has a particular interest in animal welfare and is a member of the board of commissioners for the Los Angeles Zoo. Grantees have included Spay Neuter Project of Los Angeles, Stray Cat Alliance, Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association, and the Lange Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to saving impounded companion animals. 

The Winnicks are passionate about supporting the Jewish community, and this extends to their Los Angeles philanthropy as well. Los Angeles Jewish Home, Hillel at UCLA, Jewish Vocational Service, and the Simon Wiesenthal Center have been amongst Winnick's grantees.

The foundation does not produce an annual report or grants list. Instead, tax returns are the best way to get a handle of what Winnick has been funding from year to year. As well, the foundation does not accept phone call or e-mail grant applications. It only accepts written requests that clearly define the project’s mission, management team, and funding sources. 


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