It’s been a little while since we caught up with the William H. Hannon Foundation, a funder that keeps giving close to Los Angeles. This is where its founder lived and worked, and the foundation headquarters is in Santa Monica. In the past, this foundation has been a huge supporter of Catholic causes in the region. But there’s always been a social service side to this Catholic giving, and a belief among the board members that Catholic education and social services are valuable to everyone, regardless of religious beliefs.
Catholic schools and youth were hot topics for funding this summer at the Hannon Foundation. The foundation awarded a $78,936 grant to St. Bernard High School, for example, to pay for renovations to the school’s foyer and to add a new trophy case. This project came with naming rights for the foyer, which is part of a 14-acre campus for the college-prep Catholic high school. While building renovation projects like this are somewhat rare among grantmaking foundations, it’s actually a pretty common type of support for the Hannon Foundation. The late founder was a developer and builder in the neighborhood where this school is located, so construction funds are right up the foundation’s alley.
“St. Bernard is in the heart of the beautiful Playa del Rey community, where my late uncle’s passion for real estate development is still visible today. Our Foundation has supported the school for many years and we are proud to honor my uncle’s legacy with this latest gift,” said Kathleen Hannon Aikenhead, president of the William H. Hannon Foundation.
Earlier this year, the foundation provided another renovation-style grant to Marycrest Manor in Culver City. This is a 57-bed skilled nursing facility that is using the $20,000 grant to replace 14-year-old carpeting that has become unsafe and unclean. A $12,000 grant also funds enhancement of an urban garden at the Dolores Mission School in Boyle Heights. The money is going toward a drought-friendly irrigation system, weatherproofing, and other upgrades. This school is in a food desert and surrounded by several housing projects.
Aside from brick-and-mortar improvements, the Hannon Foundation is also interested in getting Catholic school students involved in the Los Angeles community. Hannon gave $10,000 to the Los Angeles program of the Jesuit Volunteer Corps to support 16 volunteers who will provide over 30,400 hours of service to 15 L.A. charities. The volunteers work in the fields of addiction recovery, low-income elders, homelessness, runaway teens, HIV/AIDS, housing development, and other causes.
“Our foundation’s board of directors is a huge believer in the JVC mission. Jesuit Volunteers make an incredible difference in the lives of people in need in Los Angeles, and we’re so pleased that many of the Jesuit Volunteers help in schools and agencies the foundation also supports,” said Aikenhead.
But what we’ve gathered from this review of recent Hannon grants is that support for renovations and repairs is stronger than ever. Come to this funder for your equipment and construction needs in the Los Angeles area. While Hannon may be best known for big grants for libraries and science labs, it places a high priority on small projects that make a significant difference in the lives of local people. However, the competition will be tough if you don’t have some type of Catholic affiliation.
Grant requests must be submitted in writing by November 1 for the December board meeting, by February 1 for the March meeting, by May 1 for the June meeting, or by August 1 for the September meeting. Learn more about the application procedures here.