Three Things to Know about Marisla’s Local Funding

The Laguna Beach-based Marisla Foundation was established in 1986 by oil heiress Anne Getty Earhart, the granddaughter of J. Paul Getty. With a quiet and consistent giving strategy, she’s become one of the most prominent donors in California and a public environmental figure on a global scale. 

Related The Oil Company Heiress Devoting Her Wealth To Oceans and the Environment

Although some local nonprofits write off this foundation as a strictly environmental funder, Marisla has a strong local human services funding program that should be noted as well. Here are three things that Los Angeles area nonprofits should know about Marisla Foundation funding.

Local Funding is All About Women

Southern California Women are the focus of all Marisla’s human services funding, specifically ones living in Los Angeles and Orange counties. The most common types of human services grantees are organizations that work within the fields of homelessness, substance abuse, domestic violence, and vocational training. Marisla has a broad objective of helping local women, whether it be through physical, mental, or financial means. The foundation has been known to award both program support and general operating support.

Environmental Funding is National and International, But Some Money Stays In California

Unlike Marisla’s human services funding, the foundation’s environmental funding has a broader programmatic and geographical focus. The environmental program focuses on conserving biological diversity and sustainable ecosystem management, with an emphasis on marine resources. Although less of a priority, Marisla also funds causes related to toxic chemicals that cause health issues.

Some of this money does stay in California. The foundation is a big supporter of the Resources Legacy Fund’s work to preserve the California’s ocean regions and to carry out the Marine Life Protection Act. It has also contributed nearly $900,000 to the Island Conservation, an organization that is carrying out species restorations and protection in California’s aquatic zones.

Applications are Accepted Four Times a Year

The Marisla Foundation accepts unsolicited grant applications with minimal fuss or hassle. The whole process is conducted online, and there aren’t a lot of hoops to jump through. There are only two professionals on staff, so Marisla likes to cut to the chase.

Grant applications are accepted November 15 through January 15, February 15 through April 15, May 15 through July 15, and August 15 through October 15. Board meetings are held in March, June, September, and December each year. Program-related questions can be directed to Marisla’s staff administrator, Glenda Menges at

Related: Read IP’s Profile of the Marisla Foundation’s Los Angeles Grants