OVERVIEW: The Bergman Family Foundation's grantmaking funds educational, religious, and global humanitarian causes. The Foundation’s global giving appears to focus on African poverty and economic development.
IP TAKE: The foundation keeps a low public profile, which limits information available on its grantmaking priorities and activities. A recent tax filing indicted that the foundation accepts applications, but does not detail application guidelines.
PROFILE: The Bergman Family Foundation was established in 1996. It was founded by Laguna Beach investor and financier James Bergman and his wife Judy. Bergman is a founder and general partner of DSV Partners III and IV and their predecessors, which provided capital and management assistance to emerging companies primarily in high technology associated with electronics, communications, biotechnology and healthcare. The foundation is not transparent, which obscures information regarding priority areas; however, tax filings suggest the Bergman Family Foundation supports education, religious, and global humanitarian causes. The foundation’s global giving appears to focus on African poverty and economic development, while considering organizations with a Christian component.
The Bergmans established two fellowships at UCLA in social work to promote the implementation of new ideas to help women and children in the inner city and the developing world. The Bergman couple is on the board of Opportunity International, which works to end global poverty by creating and sustaining jobs. Bergman has also worked with Opportunity Bank in Malawi (OIBM), Opportunity International Saving and Loans Limited (in Ghana), Christian Enterprise Trust in Zambia, and Opportunity International WEDCO in Kenya, suggesting a particular interest in Western and Eastern Africa. He's also spoken at the African Leadership Academy, which fosters young leaders.
Grants range from $1,000 to $150,000. Grantees have included Opportunity International; Edify, whose mission is "to improve and to expand sustainable Christ-centered education globally; International Justice Mission; Women of Vision; and Kingdom Investors, whose mission is to "[p]rovide a safe and accountable opportunity for businesses and individuals to invest a portion of their God-given resources into humanitarian projects in the U.S. and around the world."
While the Bergman Family Foundation keeps a low profile, a recent tax filing indicates that the foundation accepts unsolicited applications. The foundation does not detail required application materials or submission deadlines.
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James R. Bergman, Bergman Family Foundation
1217 Emerald Bay
Laguna Beach, CA 92651