Grants & Impact Investing
What We Do
We support nonprofit organizations, collaboratives, and coalitions that engage in power building and organizing for systemic change and/or provide critical services in communities most impacted by racial and socioeconomic inequities.. These funding strategies are outlined below. While we fund a broad range of organizations throughout our service area, we have also identified several Areas of Special Interest. Our geographically-based areas of special interest include the historically underserved communities of South Los Angeles and Southeast Los Angeles. Our issue-based areas of special interest include Housing and Homelessness, Immigrant/Refugee Rights and Integration, and Strengthening Nonprofit Effectiveness.
In alignment with our focus on racial equity and building power for transformative change, we lead initiatives in youth organizing and movement leadership development. We also frequently work in partnership with others to realize greater impact.
Our commitment to equity requires that all of our policies and practices align with our focus on advancing racial and socioeconomic justice. We increasingly make mission related investments, and we exclude investments in areas like firearms, tobacco, private prisons, and activity that harms the environment.
Our equity commitment also encompasses our own policies and practices. In F.Y. 2023, we will engage in a facilitated process to interrogate and deepen our internal organizational alignment with our stated goals to advance racial equity and inclusion and to build power in communities most impacted by injustice. We will also look at the origins of the Foundation’s endowment in the context of Southern California’s history of racial exclusion, asking the question of what an honest accounting of our history means for us today. This internal work will inform the Foundation’s planning and approach in F.Y. 2024 and beyond.
Unrestricted Operating Support
Reflecting the trust and respect we have for our nonprofit partners, multi-year Unrestricted Operating Support (U.O.S.) makes up the overwhelming majority of our grantmaking and remains our primary grant strategy to strengthen the organizational infrastructure and long-term effectiveness of nonprofits and collaboratives advancing racial, social, and economic justice. Our U.O.S. funding is designed to strengthen the capacity and effectiveness of nonprofit organizations, collaboratives, and coalitions advancing equity and justice. This includes nonprofits building community power and/or providing critical services in Black, indigenous, and all communities of color most impacted by racial and socioeconomic injustice. Our U.O.S. partners work in collaboration with others to achieve a larger vision, and they are also committed to equity, diversity and inclusion in their internal organizational practices. For more information, click here.
Strategic Opportunity Fund & Program Related Investments
We maintain flexibility to respond to emerging and unexpected opportunities and challenges through our Strategic Opportunity Fund (S.O.F.). Grants made through the S.O.F. will support specific programs or purposes with the overarching goal of advancing racial and socio-economic justice in existing priorities areas. The S.O.F. will continue to prioritize collaborative efforts and collective action for systemic change and power building, and particularly those projects emerging from the Committee for Greater L.A. and Bold Vision, as well as the Foundation’s other areas of Special Interest. On a more limited basis, we may consider collaborative efforts that address urgent safety net needs.
We also administer a revolving Program Related Investment (P.R.I.) Fund that provides below-market, flexible financing in alignment with our focus on advancing racial, social, and economic justice. The goals of the P.R.I. Fund are to: 1) Increase access to vital services for communities facing the greatest need and pursuing systemic solutions to inequity; 2) Improve access to quality education, health care, employment, food, and immigration services; 3) Eliminate systemic barriers to capital for BIPOC- and women-owned/led small businesses and nonprofit organizations; and 4) Direct more capital to under-resourced communities in the Foundation’s targeted regions. P.R.I.s will be considered for working capital, bridge loans, acquisition, and predevelopment financing, as well as equity. The Foundation will also selectively consider loan guarantees.
We make grants and loans throughout the year. In order to expedite funding to organizations and efforts aligned with our priorities as well as minimize burden on applicants, we no longer accept unsolicited requests and instead use an invitation-only process. For questions, please contact a member of our program staff.
Youth Organizing Capacity Building Initiative
John W. Mack Movement Building Fellows Program
Named after the late civil rights leader and former Weingart Foundation Board Member, the John W. Mack Movement Building Fellows program is designed to strengthen the regional network of next-generation social justice and racial equity leaders in Southern California. The Foundation launched the second cohort of the Fellows program in the spring of 2021, welcoming 14 emerging leaders to engage in transformative leadership development training, peer learning and coaching over an 18-month period. For more information on the John W. Mack Movement Building Fellows program, click here.
Areas of Special Interest
The Weingart Foundation supports nonprofit organizations working on a range of issues that advance racial and socioeconomic justice across our five-county service area including Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Ventura counties. The Foundation has also identified several Areas of Special Interest. In these Areas, we strategically apply all our tools (grants, P.R.I.s, leadership, and communications) to implement proactive and collaborative strategies to build towards racial and socioeconomic justice.
Our geographically based Areas of Special Interest are the historically under-resourced communities of South Los Angeles and Southeast Los Angeles. Our issue-based Areas of Special Interest are: Housing Justice, Immigrant/Refugee Rights and Integration, and Strengthening Nonprofit Effectiveness. This year, the Foundation will also conduct a comprehensive review of our strategy and programming in the Geographic Areas of Special Interest to help inform our future strategies and approach. For more information on our Areas of Special Interest, click here.
Leadership in the Sector
The Weingart Foundation continues to use our voice, influence, and resources to build a shared vision of equity that advances racial and socioeconomic justice for all Southern Californians. Through initiatives like the Committee for Greater L.A. and Bold Vision, the Foundation strengthens networks of private and public sector organizations and activists who are serious about systemic change. Additionally, we lead efforts to ensure nonprofits are equitably funded so that they have the unrestricted resources needed to strengthen their capacities and make long-lasting change. For more information about how use our leadership to advance justice, click here.