OVERVIEW: Although the W. M. Keck Foundation dedicates most of its grantmaking budget to 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 are awarded to education, civic and community services, health care, and arts and cultural enrichment organizations in Los Angeles Country.
IP TAKE: The Keck Foundation wants you to make contact with the staff before you even start a Phase I application. Don’t get ahead of yourself by drafting your proposal right away. Keck would like to see a concept paper and discuss your ideas with you before moving forward in an official way.
PROFILE: The Keck Foundation 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. Instructions for applications due dates can be found 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. A special emphasis is placed on projects that focus on 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’s important for fundraisers to stay on top of the calendar to meet the deadlines. The foundation has a two-step application process, and it seems to be more than happy to help you out along the way. The application process overview will likely answer any questions you might have. Your proposed project for the Southern California Program should be innovative, have the potential to create long-lasting impacts, , and demonstrate a successful chain of leadership. No grants are made outside of the United States, and the foundation also doesn’t consider proposals for individuals, clinical or translational research, capital projects, conferences, fundraising campaigns, or even general operating support.
On a final note, grantseekers should keep a close watch on Keck’s Of Current Interest section on its home page. This is where you’ll find updated program information and important changes to things like grant submission dates for Phase I and Phase II applications. General questions about the Southern California grant program can be directed to SoCal@wmkeck.org or 213-680-3833.
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