Weingart Foundation

OVERVIEW: The Weingart Foundation makes unrestricted grants to established nonprofits in the areas of Housing and Homelessness, Immigrants and Refugees, and Strengthening Nonprofit Effectiveness. It funds throughout Los Angeles but prefers South Los Angeles and Southeast Los Angeles.

IP TAKE: The Weingart Foundation no longer accepts unsolicited applications, so repeat grantseekers will want to find a new avenue of approach. Weingart's grantmaking strategy is to give a substantial — but not overwhelmingly large — grant to as many groups as it can each year. So while nonprofits should not rely on Weingart to be the primary funding source for an organization's program, grant seekers have a good chance at receiving some of the foundation's funding if they are in Los Angeles and can get on the foundation’s radar. But Weingart makes lots of small to midsize grants, so grant seekers should not expect major funding. It prefers to give grants in the form of unrestricted operating support.

PROFILE: The Weingart Foundation was created by Ben and Stella Weingart in 1951 after making their fortune in the real estate business. It seeks to “build a better Southern California by supporting nonprofit organizations to more effectively serve the underserved.” Unlike many wealthy philanthropists in the city, Ben Weingart began life in poverty as an orphan with an unmatched entrepreneurial spirit. Weingart was best known as the man who created the first planned city in Southern California: Lakewood. In an area once filled with sugar-beet and bean fields, Weingart built a post-World War II era city with 18,000 new homes, one of the region's first shopping malls, and community service centers. Not only did Weingart's creation transform Los Angeles into one of the country's most prominent urban centers, but it also served as a model for suburban planning around the United States. Weingart’s Funding Interests include Housing and Homelessness, Immigrants and Refugees, and what it calls Strengthening Nonprofit Effectiveness. It funds in the Southern California counties of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura, but prioritizes support for groups in South Los Angeles and Southeast Los Angeles.

Grants for Housing and Homelessness

Weingart works to partner with housing and homelessness groups and organizations that advance “the vision where every Southern Californian has a safe and affordable home.” Its grants in this area seek to support projects that benefit “BIPOC tenants and people experiencing homelessness, building community-based affordable and supportive housing, and providing critical services.” It also works to address systemic racism at the heart of the housing and homelessness crisis.

Grants for Immigrants and Refugees

The foundation’s immigrants and refugees interest area works to support organizations and projects “that work with these communities to protect and secure their own rights, as well as to build a region of full inclusion and belonging for all.” Its funding in this area seeks to support groups seeking to build “power and [provide] critical services (including safety net, legal, and language access services) in BIPOC immigrant communities.” It also works to mitigate the effects of harmful immigration policies and advocate for the inclusion of immigrants “regardless of status.”

Other Grantmaking Opportunities

In addition to its two special interest areas, Weingart also funds in the areas of health, education, and human services across Los Angeles. None of these are declared priority areas, however. In the health area, Weingart has funded everything from nursing homes to substance abuse programs and rehabilitation facilities. In education, the foundation supports all levels of schooling, from preschool to master's program providers. And in human services, violence prevention programs, homeless shelters, and youth training organizations see the most support. However, Weingart never funds programs for research, environmental advocacy, religious programs, consumer interest groups, or political activities.

Important Grant Details

Find a list of recent grants in the Grants Database. The foundation has about $797 million in assets, and it tends to release between 500-700 grants each year ranging from $200 to $1 million. Weingart gives unrestricted operating support wherever possible and prioritizes support for BIPOC-led grassroots organizations or “coalitions rooted in and committed to uplifting communities most impacted by systemic racism.” It makes grants in the Southern California counties of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura, but prioritizes support for groups in South Los Angeles and Southeast Los Angeles.

The foundation does not accept unsolicited proposals or requests for funding, and it accepts LOIs by invitation only. However, it does invite to the public to contact its program officers with questions, and to sign up for its newsletter for updates.


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