Small Grant Program
Weingart Foundation is known for supporting nonprofit organizations addressing a wide range of needs in Southern California. Our grantees include small community-based organizations focused on a single neighborhood as well as large institutions serving the entire region.
Definition and Purpose
The primary purpose of the Small Grant Program is to increase access to funding and strengthen the capacity of small, community based, and developing organizations. Therefore, priority is given to organizations with operating budgets under $1 million. The program also supports small capital projects for organizations of any size.
The program is a good opportunity for organizations to introduce themselves to the Foundation, and allows us to expand the availability of our resources to nonprofits and geographical areas we might not otherwise reach. We believe that these grants provide important support for much needed services to diverse communities throughout Southern California.
General Grant Focus
The Weingart Foundation considers applications from organizations working in the areas of health, human services and education. Highest priority is given to organizations or programs that provide greater access for people who are economically disadvantaged and underserved. Typically, the Small Grant Program supports requests for agencies or for programs where at least 70% of those served are low income. Of particular interest to the Foundation are applications that specifically address the needs of low-income children and youth, older adults, and people affected by disabilities and homelessness.
In the area of arts and culture, the Foundation specifically funds arts education for low income and underserved populations with particular interest in programs serving low-income children and youth, older adults, and people affected by disabilities and homelessness. Arts education programs should engage individuals over a period of time in a comprehensive and in-depth series of interactions, usually aligned with core state standards and curriculum. In general, we do not fund one-time or limited events or programs such as attending a performance or visiting a museum.
Generally, requests from organizations with less than three years operating history in the Southern California region will not be considered at this time.
Geographic Area of Grant Focus
Weingart Foundation supports organizations providing services in the following six Southern California counties: Los Angeles; Orange; Riverside; San Bernardino; Santa Barbara; and Ventura.
San Diego County Small Grant Program
Our San Diego Small Grant Program is now managed by the Jewish Community Foundation of San Diego (JCF) in a new re-granting relationship designed to maintain our commitment to the county while grounding the program in a foundation with local expertise, knowledge and extensive grantmaking history.
The new JCF-Weingart Grant Program continues our commitment to providing responsive, unrestricted, countywide funding to organizations serving low-income and underserved individuals and communities. Grant guidelines, policies, and the financial commitment from Weingart Foundation will remain unchanged. Janine Mason will also remain as program officer, working as a consultant with the Jewish Community Foundation.
In its pilot year of FY 2014, the program will hold a grant cycle with an application deadline in January 2014. JCF will also hold community outreach events on November 4, 2013 for nonprofits interested in learning more about the program and how to apply.
Interested applicants should apply directly through JCF. For information about the JCF-Weingart Grant Program, including information about the community outreach events, please see the JCF website. If you have additional questions, please contact Janine Mason, consulting program officer with JCF, at (858) 279-2740 or at Janine@jcfsandiego.org.
An organization that is certified as tax exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code and is not a private foundation as defined in section 509(a) of that Code is eligible for consideration. The Foundation does not fund Section 509(a)(3) Type III non-functionally integrated supporting organizations.
- Audited financial statements for the most recently completed fiscal year are required of all organizations in existence for more than five years and with operating income of $500,000 or more.
- Organizations with annual income under $500,000 or agencies founded within the last five years must submit an independent review of their financial statements, completed by a CPA.
- Small Grant applicants that cannot meet the financial documentation requirements may be eligible for an exemption on a case by case basis upon review of the full application. Organizations do not need to specifically request this exemption, and can choose to submit an application with unaudited or internal financial statements with the understanding that if a grant were approved it would be as an exception to policy.
Board Governance. The role and function of each applicant’s governing board is an important element of our review process. Please click here for more information on Weingart Foundation’s perspective on nonprofit board best practices and our assessment of board governance.
Types of Support
The Small Grant Program primarily provides support in the form of General Operating Support and Capacity Building grants, given our goal to support the development of organizations. We also provide Program Development and Capital grants.
General Operating Support - Unrestricted funding that enables an organization to carry out its mission. It can be used to underwrite administrative infrastructure and/or to maintain core programs and essential staff.
Capacity Building – For specific activities or projects aimed at strengthening an organization’s programmatic or administrative capacity. Organizations must demonstrate a strong plan for sustaining new costs. Some examples of allowable capacity building activities include: organizational assessment, an agency’s first audit, strategic and board planning, executive coaching and consulting and staff participation in professional development.
Program Development - Support for program development, expansion or enhancement. Organizations must demonstrate a strong plan for program sustainability.
Capital/Equipment Projects - For small projects that involve one-time capital or equipment expenditures. Where permits are involved, funding will generally only be provided when all necessary permits have been secured. For capital requests to support the purchase of vehicles, click here for information regarding our Clean Vehicle Policy.
Generally, requests for start-up support will not be considered at this time.
Funding Amounts and Grant Duration
Maximum grant award is $25,000 for a 12-month period. However, it should be noted that average grant awards range between $10,000 and $15,000. In addition, the Foundation will not generally fund an entire project budget.
Please note: applicants for Program Development, Capacity Building or Capital support should apply for amounts that will generally not exceed 50% of the total project budget and should have already secured funding for a substantial portion (typically at least 50%) of the project budget before applying to the Foundation.
Generally, after a second consecutive small grant, agencies must wait one year after the close of that grant to re-apply.
General operating support grantees are eligible to apply for a second consecutive year of GOS funding through an abbreviated application and renewal process. For those grantees that are eligible, you will receive an email from the Foundation upon the close of your current grant with detailed instructions on how to apply for a GOS renewal. There is no guarantee of renewed funding.
Grants are not made:
- To organizations that discriminate against certain groups or individuals in the delivery of programs and services on the basis of race, religion, national origin, gender, age, sexual orientation or disability.
- For propagandizing, influencing legislation and/or elections, promoting voter registration; for political candidates, political campaigns; for litigation.
- For social or political issues outside the United States of America.
- To individuals.
- For conferences, workshops, temporary exhibits, travel, surveys, films or publishing activities.
- For endowment funds.
- For deficits or debt reduction.
- For fundraising dinners or events.
- For research.
Grants generally are not approved for:
- National organizations that do not have local chapters operating in the geographic area of grant focus.
- For the collection of funds for redistribution or regranting to other nonprofit groups or to federated appeals.
- Religious programs, consumer interest or environmental advocacy.
- Feasibility studies.
There is no letter of inquiry for the Small Grant Program. After reviewing the guidelines, if the Foundation’s funding priorities and interests appear to be compatible with the needs of the organization seeking support, the organization is encouraged to utilize the online application and submit it for consideration. There are no longer submission deadlines for the Small Grant Program, and the Foundation now accepts and reviews applications on an ongoing basis throughout the year. The review process typically takes four months or less. Applying for a Small Grant is a more streamlined process than the application process for the Regular Grant Program. In order to expedite the review process, site visits are generally not conducted. If your request for funding is not approved, we encourage you to call us for information regarding our decision. Due to the high volume of requests, applicants that have been declined are generally eligible to re-apply for a Small Grant no sooner than one year after their previous application.
Follow the link below to the online instructions page to begin the online application process. Please review the application instructions thoroughly before beginning the application process.
|Small Grant Program online instructions and application process click here.|
If you have additional questions related to the Small Grant Program, please review our FAQs or contact one of our Small Grant Program Team members: Vy Nguyen, Program Director, firstname.lastname@example.org, (213) 688-6319; Eric Medina, Program Associate, email@example.com, (213) 688-6316; Patricia Rivera, Program Associate, firstname.lastname@example.org, (213) 688-6305.
For more information on the Foundation’s past grants, we suggest that you review the listing of recent grants and our most recent Annual Report available on our website.
Small Grant Online Application Instructions only - PDF