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Foundation Initiatives

As a complement to our responsive grantmaking, the Weingart Foundation has identified the following initiatives designed to address important issues aligned with the Foundation’s mission and commitment to equity. Our initiatives are categorized as those that are focused on directly addressing inequity in communities, and those that are focused on building nonprofit organizational capacity. 

We have identified specific strategies in each of these initiative areas, and grant funding for these initiatives is largely by invitation only (with the exception of the Nonprofit Sustainability Initiative). At the same time, we are also open to other opportunities that address our initiative goals. Nonprofits with a project that they believe addresses one of our initiative areas are strongly encouraged to have a conversation with one of our program officers before submitting an application.


Initiatives Focused on Advancing Social and Economic Equity

Child Welfare

Goal: To improve the welfare and safety of children under the jurisdiction of the Los Angeles County.

Strategies: 1) Support for the creation of a Philanthropic Liaison position within the Los Angeles County, Office of Child Protection; 2) Support to increase the number of foster homes through better coordinated retention, recruitment and referral efforts; and 3) Support for nonprofit and funder collaboratives and projects designed to improve outcomes for youth in foster care and other County systems, including probation.

Projected Results:

  • Increased coordination between philanthropy and Los Angeles County entities engaged in child welfare resulting in the targeted investment of private funds to improve County systems involving children, including the foster care and probation systems;
  • An increase in the number of foster homes through better coordinated recruitment and referral efforts of new foster parents and improved retention of current foster homes;
  • Leveraging of Weingart Foundation dollars through participation in existing effective funder and nonprofit collaboratives.


Immigrant Integration

Goal: To provide funding to nonprofits engaged in a broad range of immigrant integration activities and organizational development efforts in support of equity and inclusion for Southern California’s diverse immigrant communities, including Latinos, Asian Pacific Islanders, AMEMSA groups (Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim, and South Asian), and those from Africa.

Strategies:

1. Maintain support of the Orange County Opportunity Fund, a pooled fund led by the Orange County Community Foundation supporting activities related to immigrant integration activities in Orange County.
2. Implement an Expanding Opportunity Fund - Immigrant Integration Initiative in the Inland Region to strengthen the capacity of small nonprofits engaged in immigrant rights and immigrant integration work in San Bernardino and Riverside counties. The application deadline for this invitation-only Request for Proposals was in May 2016, and grant decisions were announced at the end of July 2016.
3. Continued support to organizations engaged in a broad range of immigrant integration strategies, with a particular focus in underserved immigrant communities. Strategies and activities include: DACA enrollment; driver’s licenses; health care enrollment; workforce development and workplace rights; citizenship and naturalization; civic participation; literacy and English as a Second Language programs; detention and deportation support; and community organizing and advocacy efforts.
4. Continued support to organizations working with unaccompanied children and their families through a pooled fund administered by the California Community Foundation.
5. Monitoring and stewardship of the Foundation’s existing investment in a pooled fund supporting Administrative Relief and immigrant integration activities, specific to Los Angeles County.


Projected Results:

  • Increased support to diverse and underserved immigrant communities for a broad range of integration and rights services and activities, including: DACA enrollment; driver’s licenses; health care enrollment; workforce development and workplace rights; citizenship and naturalization; civic participation; literacy and English as a Second Language programs; detention and deportation support; and community organizing and advocacy efforts.
  • Key nonprofits working with low-income immigrant communities will be able to sustain themselves organizationally while responding to significant program demands.


Supportive Housing for the Homeless

Goal: To provide funding to efficiently and effectively support permanent supportive housing for homeless people in Los Angeles County.

Strategies:

1. Maintain support for one-time move-in costs needed to house chronically homeless patients of the Department of Health Services (DHS) in supportive housing in Los Angeles County.

2. Continue to support the Home for Good Funders Collaborative in Los Angeles to provide the folowing: comprehensive support services for homeless individuals placed in permanent housing; enhancements to the Coordinated Entry System; and capacity building for nonprofit housing developers.

3. Continue support to increase production of supportive housing in the City of Los Angeles through a PRI to the Corporation for Supportive Housing’s Supportive Housing Loan Fund.

This investment will enable the Corporation for Supportive Housing to expand its acquisition and predevelopment loan fund. There are coinciding efforts to build the capacity of nonprofit housing developers to increase their housing production and advocate for streamlining the City’s planning and permitting approval process to accelerate the production of these units.

Projected Results:

  • Annually, approximately 750 long-term homeless DHS patients will be placed in supportive housing with move-in assistance funding.
  • Approximately $24 million in public health savings over a one-year period.
  • A continuation through the Funders Collaborative of coordinated planning, service delivery, advocacy, and resource development for permanent supportive housing for the homeless.
  • A minimum of 3,000 homeless individuals will be permanently housed with supportive services in Los Angeles County.
  • Increase the production of permanent supportive housing for homeless individuals in the City of Los Angeles from 300 to 1,000 units each year over a ten-year period.
  • Provide capacity building support to up to 10 nonprofit housing developers.

Vulnerable and At-Risk Youth – PropelNext California Initiative

Goal: To help organizations serving Southern California’s most vulnerable and disadvantaged youth strengthen their program models and incorporate the use of data and evaluation for ongoing learning and improvement to attain better outcomes for the youth they serve.

Strategies: Maintain support of the California PropelNext capacity building Initiative, a three year funder collaborative that aims to improve the outcomes of at-risk youth. The collaborative consists of the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the Sobrato Family Foundation and the Weingart Foundation. The Initiative is working with a cohort of 15 California youth-serving nonprofit organizations (six in Weingart’s service area) to develop the mastery to use and apply data for ongoing learning and improvement. This initiative is currently in its second year of operation.

The California PropelNext Initiative integrates the following five strategies: unrestricted, grants, group learning sessions, individualized coaching, performance management, and the building of a peer network.

Projected Results:
Upon completion of the PropelNext program:
  • Grantees will have enhanced their program models, implemented strong performance management systems, and developed organizational cultures that practice ongoing learning and evaluation.
  • Grantees will be able to set strategic priorities informed by data and improved decision-making, and use evidence to increase support for their work.
  • Life prospects of the youth by grantees will be improved by the development of even smarter and stronger organizations.

For more information about PropelNext, please visit www.propelnext.org


Initiatives Focused on Strengthening Organizational Capacity

Full Cost Recovery for Nonprofit Organizations

Goal: To strengthen nonprofit capacity and organizational effectiveness by advocating for full cost funding from philanthropy and government. “Full costs” include day-to-day operating expenses (both program and overhead expenses) plus a range of balance sheet costs for short-term and long-term needs.

Strategies:

1. Continue to build the skills of nonprofit organizations to better understand, calculate and advocate for full cost recovery from both private and public funders.

Through Unrestricted Operating Support funding provided by the Weingart Foundation and other funders, the California Association of Nonprofits will continue to bring together nonprofits across the State through convenings, in-person trainings, and webinars, build out an online toolkit with resources on how to account for overhead, manage indirect cost rates, and be effective advocates on the issue of overhead and full cost recovery.

2. Combine education, advocacy, and skills-building to encourage private foundations to support the full costs of project grants through their policies and practices.

A primary activity related to the above two strategies is our Nonprofit Finance Fund-California Community Foundation-Weingart Foundation Pilot, which brings together program officers from the Weingart Foundation and California Community Foundation with 12 grantees to learn how to calculate full cost funding and how to engage in an honest conversation in order to advocate and support full cost funding. The goal of this project is to provide funders and nonprofit organizations with guidance and resources on how to incorporate full cost discussions and funding into funder/grantee relationships.

3. In collaboration with other funders, grant support to Southern California Grantmakers to manage a project to ensure that the OMB Uniform Guidance is fully and properly implemented at the statewide level.

4. In conjunction with the California Association of Nonprofits, the Weingart Foundation will continue to advise the County of Los Angeles and the City of Los Angeles on the implementation of the Office of Management and Budget Uniform Guidance is fully and properly implemented at the statewide level.

Projected Results:

• Achieve full and proper implementation of the new OMB rules at the State level and at the City and County levels in Los Angeles.

• Increase the number of private funders implementing changes to their policies and practice in support of full cost funding.

• Strengthen the capacity and effectiveness of nonprofit organizations by increasing support for the full costs of their work.

• Build the skills of individual foundation staff to implement policies and practices in support of full cost funding.

• Build the skills and capacity of the nonprofit sector in calculating and advocating for full cost recovery.

• Establish the groundwork for larger change and reform around nonprofit government contracting.

• Be a leader and example for other states nationwide on the issue of supporting full costs by both public and private funders.


Nonprofit Sustainability Initiative

Goal: Strengthen organizational effectiveness and efficiency by supporting nonprofits interested in exploring and implementing formal and long-term strategic partnerships.

Strategies: The Nonprofit Sustainability Initiative (NSI) is a funder collaborative of 12 foundations that was launched in 2012 and supports the cost of consultant-led facilitation of strategic restructuring negotiations between two or more organizations. Funding is also available for one-time implementation and integration costs after the completion of negotiations. To date, the NSI has supported 94 nonprofits engaged in 36 partnership negotiations resulting in nine completed collaborations and five mergers, with 15 negotiations still in process. The Weingart Foundation is managing funder for NSI, along with the California Community Foundation and The Ralph M. Parsons Foundation.

Projected Results:

• Support at least 25 more restructuring negotiations involving at least 50 nonprofits and at least 10 more integration requests from nonprofit partnerships completing agreements through the NSI process.

• Hold annual convenings of NSI participants and semi-annual funder briefings to share real-time learnings, evaluation results and best practices.

• Bring together at least 12 Los Angeles-based consultants to share best practices and lessons learned.

Funding Application Process:

NSI funding is currently available for organizations ready to move into structured discussions aimed at developing a strategic partnership (e.g. administrative consolidation, program consolidation, mergers). This is a competitive application process and not all requests for funding will be awarded. Proposals will be reviewed based on the following criteria:

  • Demonstrated commitment to entering into strategic restructuring negotiations with an identified partner(s);
  • Impact of a strategic restructuring on the clients and communities served by the partner organizations;
  • Well-designed consulting contract with clearly articulated costs, goals, timeline and benchmarks; and
  • Signed board resolutions from each organization.

To apply for funding through the NSI, and for more information, please visit the California Community Foundation website.

 


The Foundation will develop specific evaluation strategies to assess our work and impact in each of these targeted areas, and will share key updates and learnings with the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors as we move forward.