Ballmer Group

OVERVIEW: This funder supports anti-poverty efforts to boost economic mobility for children and families in Washington State, as well as Los Angeles County, California. Unsolicited applications are not accepted.

FUNDING AREAS: Economic mobility for children and families, poverty

IP TAKE: Keep an eye on this quickly growing foundation if you work in Washington. It's hiring new staff in its Bellevue, Washington, office and grantmaking is ramping up.

PROFILE: The Ballmer Group is ramping up its grantmaking in the Pacific Northwest. Thus far, it’s been on a mission against poverty in the U.S. Steve Ballmer, who was CEO of Microsoft from 2000 to 2014 and currently owns the Los Angeles Clippers, established the foundation with his wife, Connie Snyder. It focuses on children, youth, and families in Los Angeles County, California, and in the state of Washington.

The Ballmer Group has been known as a collaborative funder, joining other foundations with shared missions in broad efforts, including Blue Meridian, a youth-focused grantmaking collective that involves the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation, the Duke Endowment, and the George Kaiser Family Foundation. The Ballmer Group was a part of the StriveTogether Cradle to Career Network, alongside the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and others.

In general, Ballmer Group employs a multipronged approach to grantmaking, supporting social, physical, and economic interventions. Much of its support is in the form of long-term general operating funding for local groups and larger catalytic investments on a regional and national scale. Ballmer recognizes that the capacity of many nonprofits is limited by overly restrictive funding. There’s also a big push to support digital technology infrastructure in the public and social sectors. Neighborhood transformation is another key issue for the Ballmer couple, and they like to use data-driven methods to fight poverty in select neighborhoods.

Unfortunately for grantseekers, unsolicited applications are not accepted at Ballmer Group. However, its focus is concentrated throughout Washington and in Los Angeles County, as well.

The Ballmer Foundation is evolving quickly. We expect to see big changes in the near future, and will update this profile as information becomes available.

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