David Geffen Foundation: Grants for Theater

OVERVIEW: The David Geffen Foundation supports large and small theater organizations across the country.

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 the foundation does not single out theater as a grantmaking priority, the foundation has generously supported the arts. David Geffen himself is a strong supporter of the arts, having made a $150 million pledge for a new building at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and a $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 theater organizations across the country. For example, the American Theatre Wing and Calabasas High School Theater Boosters are past grantees.

Grant amounts can range anywhere from $1,000 to $15 million. Most awards, however, range between $5,000 to $50,000. The foundation does not award a large number of theater-related grants each year. While Geffen supports theater 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