About Us

Founded in 1951 by Ben and Stella Weingart, the Weingart Foundation is a private, nonprofit grantmaking foundation supporting nonprofit organizations across six Southern California counties including Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, Santa Barbara, San Bernardino, and Ventura. Over the past 50 years, the Foundation has granted more than $950 million to support a variety of organizations addressing human service, health and educational needs. With assets over $750 million, the Foundation is proud to serve Southern California.

Mission

To build a better Southern California by supporting nonprofit organizations to more effectively serve the underserved.

Overarching Goal and Vision

The Weingart Foundation seeks to achieve inclusion and opportunity for all Southern Californians, especially for those who have historically been excluded due to their race, income level, gender, religion, immigration status, disability, age, sexual orientation, or zip code.

To achieve this goal, the Foundation’s grantmaking program and other support are designed to strengthen the capacity and effectiveness of nonprofit organizations, collaboratives, and coalitions working to meet essential needs, expand opportunity and eliminate structural barriers to equity by building the community power required to sustain long-term prosperity. Our vision is:

  • A robust network of nonprofits in Southern California working with individuals and communities facing the greatest barriers to opportunity, and

  • Meaningful policy and systems change that advance racial, social and economic equity.

Core Values

  • Treat people with dignity and respect.

  • Base all policy decisions on our commitment to advance racial, social and economic equity.

  • Address the needs of low-income and underserved people and communities, particularly those whose race, gender, immigration status, disability, age, sexual orientation, or zip code has prevented them from realizing the dignities and liberties all people deserve.

  • Maintain a Board of Directors and staff that reflect the Foundation’s commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion, and urge our grantees and partners to make this same commitment.

  • Respect and trust the work of our grantees.

  • Approach our work with humility and integrity.

  • Maintain responsive and flexible grantmaking.

  • Continuously listen, assess, learn and improve.

  • Communicate with transparency.

  • Maintain openness to innovation and risk taking.

  • Use leverage and collaboration for greater impact.

  • Exercise leadership on issues of importance to the Foundation and our grantees.

Grantmaking Practice

In order to achieve our mission and advance equity, the Foundation engages in a number of practices that help strengthen the capacity and effectiveness of the nonprofit sector.

  • We apply an equity framework to all of our decision-making, asking how the choices we make advance racial, social and economic equity.

  • The Foundation prioritizes multi-year Unrestricted Operating Support grants as our primary strategy for building organizational capacity and effectiveness.

  • We proactively engage in open conversations with applicants to determine the full cost of administering and delivering programs and services.

  • Whenever feasible, the Foundation looks for opportunities to leverage resources through collaboration with other private and public funders.

  • We strive to minimize burden on our applicants and grantees by limiting the changes we make to our guidelines and reporting requirements, and only asking for information that is necessary for our decision-making process.

  • We strive to publish clear and complete grant guidelines and to structure application and reporting requirements that are commensurate with the amount of funds to be granted.

  • We engage and listen to our grantees and applicants on a regular basis, using their feedback to continuously learn, refine and improve our grantmaking processes and practices.

  • We are committed to focusing our resources on activities that produce results.

  • We use our Learning and Assessment Framework to better understand and assess how our grantmaking and investments further the organizational effectiveness of our grantees as they work to advance racial, social and economic equity.