Alan Fox and his wife Daveen recently came to our attention with their $20 million music give to the University of Arizona. Despite this big gift in Arizona, Fox's philanthropy mostly takes place in Los Angeles, where he lives and works. Fox is currently president of ACF Property Mangagement in Studio City. The couple's charitable outfit is called the Frieda C. Fox Family Foundation, named after Fox's mother.
In recent years, the foundation has given out around $230,000 annually, which isn't overwhelming. However, this is a very interesting funder with a couple of key interests in Los Angeles. Here are five things to know about the Frieda C. Fox Family Foundation:
1. Youth Philanthropy is This Funder's Bread and Butter
The founding mission of the Fox foundation is to "maximize the potential of children and youth in our communities." This hasn't only meant empowering youth during and after school, but also getting them engaged in the community through philanthropy. To that end, the foundation recently suspended all unsolicited propsosals to focus on youth philanthropy.
One current key initiative is Youth Philanthropy Connect, where the foundation "connects youth boards with their peers and colleagues, and provides educational programs and peer networks that advance youth involvement in philanthropy and develop the personal and professional skills of the next generation philanthropic leaders."
What's more, the Fox foundation itself leads by example, with a junior board of eight- to 18-year-olds who nominate low-level grant proposals. It's worth noting that when the Fox foundation was established, Fox's children became involved early on.
Finally, the foundation also appears keen on improving the resources and scholarship associated with youth philanthropy and has partnered with organizations such as the Foundation Center, the National Center for Family Philanthropy and 21/64. Youth Philanthropy Connect also hosts an annual conference in the Bay Area.
2. A Passion for the Arts Runs Deep
Fox's father is a renowned french horn player and teacher and his mother was a musician also. Fox also founded his own literary journal in Los Angeles called Rattle Poetry Journal. In recent years, arts education outfits such as Inner City Arts and Dramatic Results near Long Beach, and Venice Arts have seen modest sums.
Fox also sits on the board of Bright Prospect, a nonprofit in Pomona dedicated to helping at-risk youth with college preparation. In recent years, the organization has received around $10,000 annually. Other sums have gone to the all-girls private school, Marlborough School.
3. The Environment is Also An Interest
Former executive director of the foundation, Dana Marcus, is a founding member of Environmental Education Funders Collaborative in San Francisco. Marcus still leads the Fox foundation's other major initiative, Education By Nature, a collaborative helmed by the Children's Nature Institute in Los Angeles. The mission of the Children's Nature Institute is to "educate children, families and communities through interactive experiences with nature and to inspire respect, responsibility and a connection to the natural environment." In 2012, Children's Nature Institute received $45,000 towards this collaborative, and in 2013 received $100,000.
4. Fox Philanthropy is Refreshingly Transparent
We often talk about ways to improve transparency in philanthropy, and the Fox foundation stands as a model in this regard. Its website is refreshingly is up-to-date and helpful. Heck, even behind the scenes on its annual tax returns, grants approved by Fox's junior board of young philanthropists are broadcast and explained.
5. This Might Just Be The Beginning
Given the Fox family's long history with music, it's surprising that more of L.A.'s orchestras and symphonies—places like the L.A. Philharmonic—haven't seen funding. We're wondering if that will change. In any case, there seems to be plenty of money waiting in the wings, and this is a funder to keep an eye on.