Safety Net for All

Grants & Impact Investing

Unrestricted Operating Support

Unrestricted Operating Support (U.O.S.) is the Foundation’s primary vehicle for supporting and building the long-term capacity and effectiveness of nonprofits, collaboratives and coalitions that are working to advance racial, social and economic equity. On an invite-only basis, the Foundation provides flexible, multi-year unrestricted support to nonprofits that demonstrate the interest and ability to strengthen their organizational effectiveness and capacity. Our focus is on organizations that build community power and/or provide critical services in impacted communities.

Funding Criteria:
We provide Unrestricted Operating Support to nonprofit organizations, collaboratives, and coalitions that:

  • Build community power or provide critical services in Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian American/Pacific Islander, Middle Eastern, North African and other communities of color most impacted by racial and socioeconomic inequity. These organizations work to meet essential needs, expand opportunity, and eliminate structural barriers to equity and justice;
    • Priority will be given to Black, Indigenous, and people of color-led grassroots organizations or coalitions rooted in and committed to uplifting communities most impacted by systemic racism;
  • Have substantial work or presence in at least one of the following five Southern California counties: Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura;
    • In addition to funding organizations throughout our five-county region, the Foundation has also identified South Los Angeles and Southeast Los Angeles as geographic Areas of Special Interest. In these Areas, we implement additional program strategies to build power and strengthen nonprofit infrastructure;
  • Demonstrate a commitment to racial equity, diversity, and inclusion in governance, staffing, organizational practices, and collaborative relationships;
  • Have clients, constituents, and individuals most impacted by the inequities being addressed in meaningful leadership and decision-making roles;
  • Effectively engage in partnerships, collaborations, coalitions, or networks to advance shared community goals, particularly around systems change and/or multi-racial/ethnic organizing and advocacy efforts, and to leverage resources and increase the impact of their work;
  • Articulate how a U.O.S. grant would impact organizational and programmatic capacity and effectiveness and demonstrate a commitment to strengthening key infrastructure areas, including but not limited to:
    • Board governance and engagement
    • Financial operations and management
    • Fund development
    • Staff and infrastructure
    • Diversity and inclusion
    • Organizational strategy and adaptability
    • Executive leadership

The size of an Unrestricted Operating Support grant will generally range between $50,000 and $200,000 over two years, depending on a number of factors and the specific needs and opportunities of each applicant.

Operating Reserves: On a case-by-case basis and after consultation with the applicant organization, the Foundation may recommend restricting a portion of a U.O.S. grant for the organization’s operating reserve. Operating reserve set-asides are typically recommended when an applicant is seeking to seed or build its reserve fund, and are usually conditional on the existence or creation of a board-approved organizational policy on the use and maintenance of the reserve. When appropriate, the Foundation will consider adding a condition on the reserve portion of the grant requiring a one-to-one match from the agency’s board or a one-to-one match from other private sources, in order to encourage board engagement or additional private support. For more information about operating reserves, please see this toolkit created by the Nonprofit Operating Reserves Initiative Workshop.

Invitation-Only Grantmaking Process
The Foundation currently uses an invitation-only process in order to reduce burden on applicants and expedite funds to organizations that are strongly aligned with our focus areas. While we do not accept unsolicited requests for funding, we welcome communication with nonprofits in order to inform and strengthen our strategies. Please feel free to contact one of our program officers with any questions, and to sign up for our newsletter for updates. To review a list of our recent grants and program related investments, please click here.