David Geffen Foundation: Grants for Music

OVERVIEW: The David Geffen Foundation supports small and large music organizations across the United States.

IP TAKE: This funder maintains a low public profile, does not operate a website, and does not employ a formal staff.

PROFILE: Founded by music executive and film producer David Geffen in 1986, the David Geffen Foundation focuses its grantmaking on people affected by HIV/AIDS, civil liberties, the arts, Jewish causes, and health care.

Although music is not a named grantmaking priority for the foundation, David Geffen has garnered attention for personal philanthropy in arts. For example, Geffen made a $150 million pledge for a new building at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and $100 million gift to the Lincoln Center of Performing Arts. The foundation’s grantmaking reflects much of its founder’s interests.

According to its latest tax filings, the Geffen Foundation supports a number of music organizations across the country. For example, the Young Musicians Foundation, the American Friends of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Music Center are all past grantees.

Grant amounts can range anywhere from $1,000 to $15 million. Most awards, however, fall in the $5,000 to $50,000 range. While Geffen supports music organizations across the country, those based in California tend to receive the largest number of grants each year. 

The Geffen Foundation does not accept unsolicited grant applications or requests for funding.


  • David Geffen, Trustee

  • Richard Sherman, Trustee

  • J. Dallas Dishman, Executive Director


The David Geffen Foundation

12011 San Vincente Blvd. Suite 606

Los Angeles, California 90049

(310) 581-5900