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The Weingart Foundation Contributes More Than $8.9 Million to Organizations Building Power in Communities of Color

Investments bolster nonprofit infrastructure, strengthen social justice ecosystems, and drive systems changes in historically oppressed communities.

December 8, 2021 (Los Angeles, CA) — The Weingart Foundation, a private grantmaking foundation, awards 57 grants totaling more than $8.9 million in investments supporting the infrastructure, capacity, and impact of social justice organizations across Southern California. Using an initiative-taking approach with program managers actively engaging with nonprofits on the frontlines of social change, the Foundation’s second round of funding for Fiscal Year 2022 invests in a diverse group of organizations from those offering basic health and human services to those elevating the voices and power of historically marginalized neighborhoods.

“We are proud to be a resource and partner for organizations committed to racial and economic justice, and that are best positioned to serve families with an array of critical services from housing, healthcare, education, and more,” said Miguel A. Santana, President and CEO, the Weingart Foundation. “This collection of partners is using bold and intersectional strategies to build and wield power—from social services and advocacy to coalition building and narrative change. We are committed to supporting their efforts and to the transformational change that will be achieved through their resolve.”

In addition to these grants, the Weingart Foundation is providing Enterprise Community Partners (Enterprise), a national affordable housing intermediary, with a $1MM Project Related Investment (PRI) loan to support the organization’s Equitable Path Forward Initiative for BIPOC Developers creating affordable housing in communities of color. The Weingart capital will specifically support the development of affordable housing in the Foundation’s five-county region of Southern California.

“With Weingart’s significant investment, Enterprise will help address the glaring gap of culturally competent providers of affordable housing. Too often, insufficient or onerous financing restrictions exclude developers of color from pursuing opportunities to build good homes with affordable rents,” said Lori Chatman, President, Enterprise Community Loan Fund. “This investment will increase access to capital while expanding the capacity and helping to grow the pipelines of housing providers of color.”

The majority of the Weingart Foundation’s grants in this funding cycle (65%) provide nonprofits with unrestricted operating support allowing organizations the flexibility to invest in areas such as fund development, staff support, and infrastructure. Over half of the unrestricted grants support organizations in Los Angeles, including four first-time partners, filling critical gaps in services to unhoused residents outside of the Los Angeles Metro region. These new partners are all BIPOC-led organizations with leadership and solutions strongly shaped by people with lived experience.

The Weingart Foundation’s grantmaking approach relies on program managers that work closely with organizations to understand their strengths and uncover opportunities where the Foundation can add value, especially to advance racial equity. For example, some of the Weingart partnering organizations plan to augment their diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts by building organizational capacity in cross-racial solidarity work. Similarly, many partners will leverage their Weingart funds to further power building work in emerging social justice ecosystems such as those forming in Orange County and the Inland Empire.

This cycle of funding continues to advance the Foundation’s areas of special interest including supporting immigrant and refugee integration, housing justice, and youth organizing. Of note, the Foundation provided $300,000 to organizations supporting the resettlement of Afghan families to California after the US Military withdrawal of Afghanistan earlier this year. This support is especially urgent given the previous Administration’s reduction in federal support to refugee-serving agencies. With Weingart staff proactively identifying ways to uplift organizations advancing equity, nearly 25% of the organizations receiving unrestricted grants are first-time grantees and nearly three-quarters of all organizations receiving unrestricted grants are BIPOC led.

“The Weingart Board is pleased to approve this round of investments that builds on the long-lasting partnership we’ve formed with the region’s leading social justice organizations,” said Aileen Adams, Chair of the Board, The Weingart Foundation. “We are also proud to form new relationships with innovative partners that reflect Southern California’s rich diversity and that are leading bold and creative solutions to dismantle systemic racism and promote justice.”

ABOUT THE WEINGART FOUNDATION
The Weingart Foundation is a private, nonprofit grantmaking foundation that partners with communities across Southern California to advance racial, social, and economic justice for all. Our vision is a dynamic and effective social change sector that is creating equitable systems and structures needed to achieve justice. Founded in 1951, the Foundation has to date granted over $1 billion to organizations, strengthening their efforts in human services, health, education, and community power building. In addition, the Foundation builds networks and collaboratives with philanthropic, public sector, and community leaders to advance equity and justice together.

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