Three Things SoCal Nonprofits Should Know About the Haynes Foundation

The Los Angeles-based John Randolph Haynes and Dora Hayne Foundation found its grantmaking niche in scholarly work for public policy and social science research. But unlike many Southern California foundations, Haynes doesn’t offer funding programs for the average health, education, or arts nonprofit. Since this foundation takes a unique approach to giving away $3 million each year, here are a few things you should keep in mind.

Only Five California Counties Are Eligible for Grants

John and Dora were Pennsylvania natives, but their hearts always belonged to Los Angeles. John developed his public policy reform career here and was active in local politics. His wife, Dora, emerged as one of Los Angeles’ most prominent suffragists in the early 1900s. Haynes Foundation grants are only awarded to nonprofits and universities that operate in and serve Los Angeles, San Bernadino, Ventura, Riverside, and Orange counties (Read The Haynes Foundation: Los Angeles Grants).

Social Sciences Grantmaking is Broad, Yet Focused

The Haynes Foundation has funded hundreds of urban studies in the areas of education, transportation, local government, elections, public safety, demographics, public personal services, and natural resources over the years. Clearly, the foundation defines “social sciences” pretty broadly. By funding studies in a wide range of program areas, the Haynes Foundation uncovers the causes of social problems in Los Angeles and recommends ways to address them.

In 2013, Haynes awarded six grants in Archival/Public Information, one grant in Education, one grant in Demographics, one grant in Local Government, one grant in Natural Resources, two grants in Public Safety, and one grant in Transportation. Although Haynes has awarded grants in Business and Economics, Elections, and Public Personal Services in the past, funding has been light in those areas recently.

Most Haynes Grants Go Towards Research   

Pretty much every year, the University of Southern California and the University of California, Los Angeles, emerge as the big grant winners. The bulk of Haynes’ social sciences grants go toward research, so the large, local universities are an obvious choice. Haynes likes to see programs that deepen the public understanding of the history of Los Angeles, and the foundation offers faculty and doctoral dissertation fellowships as well. But the backbone of this foundation’s giving strategy has always been research. Many Los Angeles foundations don’t consider research grant-worthy at all, so this is a great foundation for institutions of higher education and libraries to keep in mind.