The Specialty Family Foundation has been referred to as the “new kid on the block” when it comes to Los Angeles philanthropy. But that doesn’t mean that this family funder isn’t making waves on the local giving scene. As the name suggests, this is a foundation with a highly specialized focus and a definite geographic preference. Here are a few things that nonprofits should know about the Specialty Family Foundation.
K-8 Catholic Education is Top Priority
Awhile back, the Specialty Family Foundation in Los Angeles funded a nationwide study of best practices in Catholic schools. It discovered that sustainable schools have access to expert professional marketing and fund-raising, which increase enrollment, community awareness, and financial support—and reliably save schools.
When Jim and Joan Peters established the Specialty Family Foundation in 2008, their main intention was to support Catholic schools in Los Angeles and low-income communities. The foundation created the Catholic School Consortium, which is a program that benefits 21 inner-city schools in Los Angeles and created “Director of Marketing and Development” positions at each school.
Joe Womac is Specialty’s Executive Director and has drawn heavily from his Catholic faith throughout his career. He previously headed the Fulcrum Foundation, a Seattle-based Catholic education funder, and worked as a Catholic high school teacher.
But the Foundation Does Have Other Interests
As a secondary goal, Specialty supports nonprofits that help Los Angeles residents overcome alcohol and substance abuse problems, especially ones that benefit women and children. In recent years, the foundation has expressed an interest in also exploring programs that address homelessness and food security.
The foundation recently made headlines for its $25,000 grant to support Homeboy Industries, an organization that helps former gang members and previously incarcerated individuals learn job skills and become productive community members.
Application Procedures are Unknown
The foundation’s website leaves a lot to be desired for grantseekers, but with a little digging, these are the most important points we've been able to uncover so far. The foundation does not publicize its grant application procedures or specify whether unsolicited inquiries are welcome. To get in touch, your best bet is to inquire directly by phone at 310-899-9700 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Related - Specialty Foundation: Los Angeles Grants