Please note: Weingart Foundation is currently not accepting new Unrestricted Operating Support applications or letters of inquiry until early July 2017 with the announcement and publication of our FY 2018 Program Plan. To learn more, click here.
How do we apply for a grant?
A letter of inquiry (LOI) must first be submitted by the requesting organization if you are applying for a Weingart Foundation grant of over $25,000. If it is determined from the LOI that the request meets the Foundation’s guidelines and priorities, the organization will be provided with the instructions and forms required to prepare and submit a formal application.
Nonprofits interesting in submitting a letter of inquiry for Capital funding should first contact Angela Carr, grants management associate, to discuss their request.
Please note that there is no LOI for the Expanding Opportunity Fund (all requests of $25,000 or less). Click here for information on how to apply to our Expanding Opportunity Fund (formerly the Small Grant Program).
Does Weingart Foundation have deadlines for submitting letters of inquiry or applications?
For requests over $25,000, the Foundation accepts and reviews letters of inquiry (LOIs) throughout the year without deadlines. The Expanding Opportunity Fund (requests $25,000 and under) has a one-step application process (no LOI) and also accepts and reviews applications throughout the year without deadlines. Click here to learn more about our Expanding Opportunity Fund.
How much time does it take for a review?
For requests over $25,000, if an application is invited, you have up to three months to submit the completed form and supplemental materials. Completed applications are assigned to a program officer for review in the order they are received. Due to high demand for our funding, it generally takes up to six months to review an application from the day that it is received to notification of the Board’s decision. Occasionally, final action will be deferred. Each applicant is notified promptly as soon as a decision has been made. Organizations applying to our Expanding Opportunity Fund will receive notification of a decision on their application within four months after submitting an application.
What is your decision-making process for grant requests?
Our Board of Directors meets five times a year to make decisions regarding requests. Applicants should feel free to contact Foundation staff for information on the status of your request. However, communication with members of our Board of Directors is discouraged.
What if I have trouble using the online letter of inquiry?
Please contact Priscilla Savage, Grants Administrator, at (213) 688-6311 for assistance.
We have been invited to submit a full application. May we substitute a full narrative proposal for the Weingart Foundation’s application form?
The Foundation requires that all applicants use the Weingart Foundation’s application form to ensure that organizations provide all of the information needed for a full review.
TYPES OF SUPPORT AND CRITERIA
What does the Weingart Foundation’s commitment to equity mean for its grantmaking?
The Foundation remains committed to responsive grantmaking and will continue to providing multiyear Unrestricted Operating Support grants as our primary grantmaking strategy. Our full commitment to advancing equity means that we will focus all of our resources on organizations serving those low-income people and communities facing the greatest barriers to opportunity. The FY 2017 Program Plan outlines our initial approach in detail. However, this is really the start of a long-term process. Our strategies will evolve over time as we engage in dialogue with grantees and communities.
What are the Weingart Foundation’s funding priorities?
Weingart Foundation priorities are described in the Grant Guidelines.
What are the geographic areas in which the Weingart Foundation funds?
We fund nonprofit organizations providing programs and services in six Southern California counties: Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino, Riverside, Santa Barbara, and Ventura. In addition, based on our commitment to equity, we have also identified three Los Angeles communities as areas for focused investment: Southeast LA County, the Watts and Willowbrook area, and the South Los Angeles Transit Empowerment Zone. The Foundation’s goal is to identify opportunities to strengthen the capacity and availability of nonprofit resources in these areas. For more information, click here.
What are the Weingart Foundation’s grant limitations?
The Weingart Foundation’s limitations are listed in the Grant Guidelines.
We have several needs. Would you help us choose one or may we include all of them in our request?
The Weingart Foundation prioritizes Unrestricted Operating Support. We also provide Capital support. An organization should choose one type of support based on priorities and needs. In the Expanding Opportunity Fund (requests $25,000 and under), only Unrestricted Operating Support is available.
What can I use Unrestricted Operating Support funds for?
Unrestricted Operating Support is unrestricted funding that enables an organization to carry out its mission by strengthening organizational capacity and effectiveness. It can be used, for example, to underwrite administrative infrastructure, implement a strategic plan, build or strengthen organizational capacity, and/or to maintain core programs and essential staff.
Are we able to apply for funding for one of your initiatives?
Foundation initiatives are designed as a complement to our responsive grantmaking, and address important issues aligned with the Weingart Foundation’s mission and commitment to equity. We have identified specific strategies in each of these initiative areas, and grant funding for Initiatives is largely by invitation only (with the exception of the Nonprofit Sustainability Initiative). At the same time, we are also open to other opportunities that address our initiative goals. Nonprofits with a project that they believe addresses one of our Initiative areas are strongly encouraged to have a conversation with one of our program officers before submitting an application. To learn more about our initiatives, click here.
I am a current grantee with an active grant. Can I now apply for another grant?
The Weingart Foundation’s policy allows an agency to have only one active grant at a time (an active grant is one in which the final report has not yet been submitted and grant funds have not been fully expended). Due to the overwhelming demand for grant dollars, generally, grantees must wait one year from the end of their grant period before re-applying for a new Foundation grant. However, Unrestricted Operating Support grantees may receive up to two consecutive Unrestricted Operating Support grants and Expanding Opportunity Fund grantees may receive up to two consecutive EOF grants before the one-year wait rule is applied. Please note that the Foundation generally does not approve grants to organizations on a continuing annual basis.
I have an active grant with the Weingart Foundation, but I am experiencing significant challenges with my project and do not believe I will be able to achieve my original goals. What can I do?
Please contact your program officer as soon as possible to discuss the situation. The Foundation recognizes that even some of the best executed plans experience challenges along the way and we are committed to supporting our grantees.
Does the Weingart Foundation provide “emergency” grants through an expedited process?
We do not have an expedited grant review process to assist organizations facing an “emergency” situation. Please also note that Unrestricted Operating Support is not intended as emergency funding. Agencies seeking Unrestricted Operating Support should apply and follow our regular grant process and timeline, which begins with the submission of a letter of inquiry (LOI). Agencies seeking an EOF grant (up to $25,000) may apply through the Expanding Opportunity Fund, though applicants should first review the program guidelines to determine eligibility. Although the Expanding Opportunity Fund application process is streamlined, it is not an “emergency” grant program.
Is the Weingart Foundation still funding new program development or expansion requests?
At this time, the Foundation is continuing to prioritize Unrestricted Operating Support grants.
Our organization is an arts and culture agency and we note that the arts are not listed among Weingart Foundation’s program areas. Are we eligible to apply?
In the area of arts and culture, the Foundation specifically funds nonprofit organizations whose core mission and programs focus on providing comprehensive arts education for people and communities who are low income and under-resourced. Programs should engage individuals over a period of time in a sequential series of interactions leading to a growth in knowledge, skill, level of appreciation, etc., and in the case of youth programs, should typically be aligned with core state standards. In general, we do not fund organizations that provide mainly one-time events such as attending a performance or visiting a museum, or short term programs consisting of a few interactions. Organizations where only one or two programs align with Foundation guidelines will generally not be competitive for funding.
What is the maximum grant amount that Weingart Foundation funds? What is the range?
We have not established maximum dollar amounts. Please see our Grant Guidelines for further guidance on funding amounts.
Must we submit an audited financial statement with our application?
Audited financial statements for the most recently completed fiscal year are required of all applicants in existence for more than five years and with operating income of $500,000 or more. Organizations with annual income under $500,000 or new organizations (founded within the last five years) may instead submit an independent review of their financial statements, completed by a CPA. Please do not submit an application without all of the required attachments, as it will not be processed. Case-by-case exemptions to these financial statement requirements are available for applicants to the Expanding Opportunity Fund (see below for more information).
EXPANDING OPPORTUNITY FUND (formerly the Small Grant Program)
What does the Foundation’s commitment to equity mean for the Expanding Opportunity Fund?
Effective FY 2017, the Small Grant Program was renamed the Expanding Opportunity Fund (EOF). As part of the Foundation’s desire to increase impact in specific areas related advancing to social and economic equity, the EOF employs an issue-based approach. Nonprofits that focus their work in one or more of the following issue areas are eligible to apply for an EOF grant: Reentry, Immigrant Integration, Education, Vulnerable and Disadvantaged Youth, and Basic Needs. For more information, click here.
How do we apply for a grant through the Expanding Opportunity Fund?
There is no letter of inquiry required for the Expanding Opportunity Fund. After reviewing the Foundation’s guidelines, if an organization deems that its mission and programs align with the Foundation’s priorities and interests, then an online application should be submitted. Click here to learn more about our Expanding Opportunity Fund.
Does the Weingart Foundation have deadlines for submitting applications to the Expanding Opportunity Fund?
There are no submission deadlines for the program, which accepts and reviews applications on an ongoing basis throughout the year. Organizations should apply at the time that is most appropriate for them. You can expect to hear back with a decision regarding your application in four months or less.
Does the Foundation support nonprofits with small operating budgets?
The Weingart Foundation has historically supported smaller, developing nonprofits through the Expanding Opportunity Fund (formerly the Small Grant Program). Priority in the Expanding Opportunity Fund is given to organizations with budgets under $1 million. For agencies applying through a nonprofit fundraising arm or foundation, it is the operating budget of the primary organization (versus the fundraising entity) that we will consider when determining fit with our priority budget size. Click here to learn more about our Expanding Opportunity Fund.
Does the Expanding Opportunity Fund fund international, national, or statewide organizations operating in Southern California?
The Expanding Opportunity Fund prioritizes local community-based organizations with operating budgets under $1 million. We do consider funding international, national, or statewide agencies under the following circumstances: 1) the organization has an established local presence (i.e. local office and/or staff, local advisory board, local funding, etc.); 2) the organization has a positive track record of operating programs in Southern California for at least one year; and 3) the organization’s local budget is no larger than $1 million in size and the local office is responsible for raising its own budget.
How do I determine the appropriate amount to request if I’m applying to the Expanding Opportunity Fund?
The fund awards a maximum of $25,000. Within this limit, it is up to organizations to decide the appropriate request amount based on your organizational budget and funding plan. However, please note that given the high demand for our funding, grant awards may be less than the requested amount and typically do not exceed 10% of an organizations operating budget.
Must we submit an audited financial statement with our EOF grant application?
Audited financial statements for the most recently completed fiscal year are required of all organizations in existence for more than five years and with operating income of $500,000 or more. Organizations with annual income under $500,000 or new organizations (founded within the last five years) may instead submit an independent review of their financial statements, completed by a CPA. Expanding Opportunity Fund grant applicants that cannot meet the financial documentation requirements may be eligible for an exemption on a case by case basis upon review of the full application. While organizations do not need to specifically request this exemption, the application should include unaudited or internal financial statements (balance sheet and income/expense statement) with the understanding that if a grant were approved, it would be as an exception to policy.
Does the Foundation support start-up organizations?
At this time, the Weingart Foundation does not fund start-up organizations. Applicants generally must have been operating for at least three years and have established their core infrastructure, funding model and programs.
Does the Foundation support fiscally sponsored organizations?
Applicants that are fiscally sponsored are eligible for funding. The EOF grant application will ask you for information and attachments regarding both your organization as well as your fiscal sponsor.
What if I have trouble with the Expanding Opportunity Fund online application?
Please contact Angela Carr, Grants Management Associate, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (213) 688-6314 for assistance.
What are the reporting requirements for the Expanding Opportunity Fund?
Organizations awarded an Expanding Opportunity Fund grant are expected to submit one final report at the end of the grant period. The final report should be submitted online. No interim report is required. More information is available on the Grantee Forms section of the website.
My organization is a current grantee. When may I re-apply for another grant? What do I need to do?
Generally, an organization is eligible to re-apply for an EOF grant once its current grant is officially closed. A grant is considered closed when 1) the grant period has ended, 2) all Foundation funds have been spent, 3) all grant goals have been met, and 4) the organization has submitted a final report and the report has been reviewed and approved by Foundation staff. Organizations will be notified by email once their grant is closed. EOF grantees are able to apply for a renewal grant through an expedited process for a second consecutive year of funding. For more information on renewal grants, see below. An organization that has received two consecutive EOF grants must wait 12 months before re-applying. “Consecutive” is defined as when the organization re-applied within 12 months of the close of their previous grant.
We have a grant request that appears to fit within Weingart Foundation guidelines. Should we set up a meeting with Foundation staff to present our ideas?
Generally, for all requests over $25,000, the best first step is to submit a letter of inquiry (LOI). Due to the high volume of requests we receive, we are unable to meet with organizations before they submit an LOI. We are also unable to review draft LOIs or applications. If you have a question related to our process or guidelines, please feel free to call or email us, and we would be happy to answer your question. If, however, you have reviewed our guidelines and feel comfortable applying without contacting us, please feel free to do so. We review each LOI and application on the strength of its fit with our Grant Guidelines, and there is no special advantage for agencies that have called first.
For requests $25,000 and under (Expanding Opportunity Fund grants), prospective applicants should feel free to call or email our staff with any questions. If your organization feels comfortable applying without contacting us, please feel free to submit an online Expanding Opportunity Fund grant application directly (there is no LOI in the Expanding Opportunity Fund).
Do you conduct site visits to all organizations that have submitted a formal application?
Organizations requesting over $25,000 typically receive a site visit as part of our application review process. The program officer will determine the most effective method(s) by which to gather additional information and will contact you to schedule time to review all of your information once a completed application has been received. Site visits are typically not conducted for Expanding Opportunity Fund applicants given the high application volume and shorter review timeline.
I am a past Weingart Foundation grantee and I am interested in applying for a grant again. Will I be assigned to the same program officer that reviewed my previous application?
Although we often assign program officers to organizations that they have reviewed in the past, there is no guarantee that you will have the same program officer.
How do we learn more about the Weingart Foundation’s past grants?
May we contact Foundation Directors about our proposed project?
Communication with members of our Board of Directors is discouraged.
How do we check on the status of our request?
Contact Priscilla Savage, Grants Administrator, at email@example.com or (213) 688-6311 to determine the status of your request. However, please allow one month after submission before calling to inquire about a letter of inquiry, and six weeks after submission before inquiring about a Regular Grant application.
What are the reporting requirements for the Regular Grant Program (all grants over $25,000)?
For Unrestricted Operating Support grantees awarded after June 1, 2015 (excepting Expanding Opportunity Fund grantees), we ask that executive directors complete a Grantee Survey at the end of the grant term and engage in a close-out phone conversation with their Foundation program officer in lieu of a final report.