McCarthy Family Foundation

OVERVIEW: The McCarthy Family Foundation supports child abuse prevention, K-12 science education, HIV/AIDS research, and assistance to homeless people in San Diego County, California.

FUNDING AREAS: Child abuse prevention, K-12 science education, HIV/AIDS research, assistance to homeless people

IP TAKE: MMF is all about collaborative work with other local foundations, but it still accepts online inquiries for a couple of its grantmaking programs.

PROFILE: Established in 1988, the McCarthy Family Foundation (MFF) is a small private foundation based in San Diego, California. As a California public benefit corporation, most of the officers and directors are members of the McCarthy family. Two generations of family members serve at MFF, and Rachel McCarthy Henneforth is the foundation president. MFF was originally funded with $1 million and have grown to over $12 million since then. Grantmaking supports child abuse prevention, K-12 science education, HIV/AIDS research, and assistance to homeless people.

Child abuse-related grants broadly support prevention programs and services for victims, while K-12 support STEM education and introduction to science careers. The foundation is a member of the San Diego HIV Funding Collaborative and advises nonprofits to contact the collaborative directly for grant requests related to HIV/AIDS research. MMF is also a member of Funders Together to End Homelessness and directs grantseekers to contact this collaborative directly for requests related to basic needs services for the homeless and to boost this population’s independence and self-esteem.

Grants range between $500 and $250,000, but most range from $5,000 to $15,000. Learn more about this funder’s past giving in its published financial summary and grantmaking history. MMF only accepts proposals for programs offered in San Diego County. A majority of grants are for one-year periods, although the foundation considers multi-year support too.

MMF accepts online letters of inquiry that are submitted at any time of the year. Proposals received by January 15 will be considered for February 15 deadline, and ones received by July 15 are considered for the August 15 deadline. Applying for a MMF grant is a two-step process because then the funder invites selected organizations to then complete full applications. This foundation has a part-time staff member, but the directors serve the foundation for grant evaluation and administration without compensation. Direct general questions to the foundation at 858-485-0129 or  


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