Despite the beginnings of a difficult and volatile time in the financial markets, the Foundation maintained a relatively high level of new grant approvals in FY2008. The Foundation approved 396 grants that totaled approximately $42 million. A list of Foundation grants can be found by clicking here.
I encourage you to take time to review the information in our website. Our website is an important source of information for grant guidelines and new program initiatives. For example, we have recently added information about the Foundation’s various special grant initiatives. I am also pleased to announce an important change in our Board of Directors. During 2008, our Board elected two new members, Miriam Muscarolas, Senior Managing Director, Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors, L.P. and Bill Allen, President & CEO, Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation. They both add expertise and commitment to an already strong, diverse, and engaged Board.
Unfortunately, nonprofit organizations are facing difficult times in the face of an unprecedented financial crisis. At a time of diminished public and private resources, the demand for nonprofit services that provide people with the basic necessities of life – food, shelter, health care, and clothing - has never been greater.
As a result, the Foundation will soon announce a realignment of our grantmaking strategies designed to meet the needs of nonprofit organizations providing essential services to distressed individuals and communities in Southern California. And despite the declining value of our assets, the Foundation will attempt to maintain its grant budget in the current year. During FY2009, the Foundation will also expand its Small Grant Program, resulting in an increase in funding levels and capacity building support for grass roots organizations working in poor, underserved communities.
I want to thank the members of our Board and staff for their commitment and hard work. On behalf of the entire Weingart Foundation, I also want to commend the excellent work of our grantees, whose collective efforts result in a better Southern California.
Steven L. Soboroff