OVERVIEW: Although the Santa Fe-based Levinson Foundation has a national and global reach, many of its environmental social justice, and Jewish culture grantees are based in the Southwest, including parts of New Mexico, Arizona and Texas.
FUNDING AREAS: Environment, social justice, Jewish culture, Israel
IP TAKE: Environmental causes are the basis of Levinson Foundation grantmaking, so this is a great funder for green groups to know about.
PROFILE: Established in 1955, the Max and Anna Levinson Foundation is a private family foundation based in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Max Levinson’s early roots are in Philadelphia, where he was a successful businessman. The couple established a private Jewish family foundation in their names to carry out grantmaking. Grantmaking areas of interest are Environment, social justice, Jewish culture, and Israel.
The Levinson Foundation is among the top giving foundations in the state of New Mexico. Levinson’s support for environmental causes is largely focused on protecting ecosystems, biological diversity, alternative energy, alternative agriculture, and climate change. This funder supports new practical alternative solutions to common problems, rather than sticking by the status quo. In the past, the foundation has also been known to consider funding activities related to public education, organizational building and development, and advocacy efforts. The foundation has a social grantmaking portfolio that includes causes like human rights, immigration reform, drug policy, alternative media, youth leadership development, and social justice. There’s also a significant Jewish interest aspect to Levinson’s grantmaking, and such grantmaking is centered on Jewish culture, community, and Yiddish language.
Most Levinson grants, though, are between $10,000 and $20,000, and go to organizations with annual operating budgets of less than $1 million. The foundation’s past grantees dating back to 1986 are listed on the funder’s website homepage. The foundation has been known to give out over 100 grants per year. The foundation often awards grants in New Mexico, Arizona, and Texas. Elsewhere in the country, grantmaking occasionally flows where Levinson family members live and work, such as San Diego and other parts of California. Grantees in New Mexico include the New Energy Economy for a New Mexico Climate & Energy Campaign and the NM Wilderness Alliance for wildlands protection at the Middle Fork Gila River and the Gila Wilderness. Other recent grantees in the Southwest include Arizona Rivers to protect the San Pedro River, the Winslow, Arizona-based Dine Citizens Against Ruining our Environment, the Kykotsmovi, Arizona-based Black Mesa Trust, and the El Paso, Texas-based Tierra Nativa.
Although the Levinson Foundation accepts full grant proposals by invitation only, nonprofits can submit a letter of inquiry at any time. Direct general questions to the foundation staff at 505-995-8802 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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