The Weingart Foundation is a private grantmaking foundation advancing racial, social and economic justice in Southern California. Founded in 1951 by Ben and Stella Weingart, the Foundation has provided over $1 billion in grants and loans to thousands of organizations across the region. By strengthening organizations focused on providing critical services and building power in communities of color, the Weingart Foundation is demonstrating what is possible when we invest and trust in our partners.
The Weingart Foundation partners with communities across Southern California to advance racial, social, and economic justice for all.
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 dynamic and effective social change sector in Southern California that is creating equitable systems and structures needed to achieve justice.
Courage: The work of equity and justice often involves pushing against the status quo, taking risks, and holding ourselves and others with privilege accountable in pursuit of collective goals. We strive to show courage, drawing inspiration from the courage that communities continue to show in the face of great challenges.
Dignity: Every person matters and deserves a sustainable standard of living. The measure of our society is how we treat those among us who face oppression, inequity, or lack of opportunity.
Innovation and Curiosity: We commit ourselves to becoming more effective by staying open to new ideas and risk and by learning from each other, from our peers, and from our partners.
Partnership: We strive to break down the power imbalance between nonprofits and funders, and the silos within the social change sector. Our goal is to be an engaged and supportive partner to organizations, leveraging our resources and reach to help them achieve their own goals and amplify the power of their communities.
Racial justice: Rather than addressing the symptoms of structural inequities, we seek to confront our nation’s deep history of racism and to help imagine something beyond it. We commit to using our influence, position, and resources to eliminate racist policies and practice to achieve justice, inclusion, and opportunity for all people.
Respect: The people served by our work deserve our respect. We honor their dedication to improving their own lives and the lives of others in their communities, and we trust them as experts on their own experiences.
Trust: Our partners know what they need, and they know what their communities need. We trust them to identify the best pathways to impact and to be responsible stewards of the resources we provide.
In order to achieve our mission to advance justice, 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 justice.
- 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.
- We look for opportunities to leverage resources through collaboration with other private and public funders.
- We strive to minimize burden and maximize flexibility for organizations.
- We strive to structure application and reporting requirements that are commensurate with the amount of funds to be granted.
- We engage and listen to nonprofit organizations on a regular basis, using their feedback to continuously learn, refine and improve our funding 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.