OVERVIEW: Although the W. M. Keck Foundation prioritizes research, it has a separate program specifically designed for Southern California. Since the foundation is based in Los Angeles, almost all non-medical and non-research grants support education, civic and community services, health care, and arts and cultural enrichment organizations in Los Angeles Country.
IP TAKE: Grant seekers should make contact with the staff before submitting a Phase I application. Keck asks to see a concept paper and discuss ideas before moving forward in an official way.
PROFILE: Established in 1954, the Keck Foundation was created by William Myron Keck, founder of the Superior Oil Company, and seeks to “provide far-reaching benefits for humanity.” It is likely best known for its investments in medical and science and engineering research. For instance, the Keck Observatory in Hawaii hosts the largest telescope in the world, and headlines about new discoveries and magnificent pictures are common. Although many of these initiatives take place on the national level, the foundation also features a vibrant portfolio in Southern California.
Check out the Overview of Grant Programs section to get to know this funder, and find instructions for application due dates on the foundation's home page.
In fact, Keck is one of the leading investors in SoCal nonprofits. The foundation’s Southern California Program supports organizations that provide early childhood and K-12 education, civic and community services, health care, and arts and cultural enrichment grants. Keck places special emphasis on projects that support children and youth from low-income families, special needs populations, and safety-net services.
Grants are awarded twice each year, in June and December, so it is important for fundraisers to stay on top of the calendar to meet the deadlines. The foundation has a two-step application process. Proposed projects for the Southern California Program should be innovative, have the potential to create long-lasting impacts, and demonstrate a successful chain of leadership. The foundation does not consider grants from individuals and does not make grants outside of the United States. It also does not consider proposals for clinical or translational research, capital projects, conferences, fundraising campaigns, or even general operating support.
On a final note, grant seekers should monitor Keck’s Of Current Interest section on its home page. This is where to find updated program information and important changes to things like grant submission dates for Phase I and Phase II applications. Direct general questions about the Southern California grant program to SoCal@wmkeck.org or 213-680-3833.
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