Grant Guidelines

Below please find Weingart Foundation’s Grant Guidelines. We suggest you first read the Foundation’s FY 2015 Program Plan before reviewing the Grant Guidelines. This will provide you with a greater context and understanding of our current strategic grantmaking priorities.

General Grant Focus
Weingart Foundation provides grants and other support designed to improve the capacity and sustainability of nonprofit organizations delivering effective services in the areas of health, human services, and education for people and communities in need. The Foundation gives highest priority to activities that provide greater access to people who are economically disadvantaged and underserved. The Foundation also funds activities that benefit the general community and improve the quality of life for all individuals in Southern California.

Geographic Area of Grant Focus
Priority is given to organizations providing services in the following six Southern California Counties: Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, Santa Barbara, and Ventura.

Applicant Eligibility
An organization that is certified as tax exempt under Section 501(c) (3) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code and is not a private foundation as defined in section 509(a) of that Code is eligible for consideration. The Foundation does not fund Section 509(a) (3) Type III non-functionally integrated supporting organizations.

Financial Documentation.

  • 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 agencies founded within the last five years must submit an independent review of their financial statements, completed by a Certified Public Accountant.
  • Applicants to the Small Grant Program who cannot meet the financial documentation requirements may be eligible for a one-time exemption on a case-by-case basis upon review of the full application.

Board Governance. The role and function of each applicant’s governing board is an important element of our review process. Please click here for more information on Weingart Foundation’s perspective on nonprofit board best practices and our assessment of board governance.

Types of Support
Weingart Foundation offers the following types of grants:

Core Support. Core support is unrestricted funding that enables an organization to carry out its mission by strengthening organizational capacity and sustainability. It can be used to underwrite administrative infrastructure and/or to maintain core programs and essential staff. Most core support grants are awarded over a two-year period.

Priority for core support will be given to organizations that:

  • Are established, well-managed, and financially viable organizations that operate effective programs that serve the needs of poor and underserved communities;
  • Have developed specific and realistic short and long-term strategies for addressing identified organizational needs;
  • Can demonstrate how a core support grant could have a measurable impact on their organizational and programmatic capacity and sustainability;
  • Provide the opportunity to build upon prior Weingart Foundation grants/investments to the organization.

Capital. For specific projects with capital expenditures. Funding is available to support land, facility, equipment purchases, renovations, or new construction.

For large capital campaigns, an application will generally only be invited for projects that are in the final phase of fundraising and are construction-ready.

Capacity Building. Funding is available for new or enhanced activities aimed at strengthening an organization’s programmatic and/or administrative capacity. Projects must evidence a credible plan for sustaining costs.

Program. In general, funding for new program development and the expansion of existing programs will be limited to programs of clearly demonstrated effectiveness that have a viable fundraising and sustainability plan. On a very selective basis, the Foundation will consider community impact programs and projects that offer the potential to produce significant benefit to individuals and communities in Southern California.

Small Grant Program. The primary purpose of the Small Grant Program (SGP) (any request of $25,000 or less) is to increase access to funding and strengthen the capacity of small, community based, and developing organizations, with priority given to organizations with operating budgets of $1 million or less. The SGP also supports small capital projects for organizations of any size. The program provides a good opportunity for smaller or newer organizations to introduce themselves to the Foundation, and allows us to expand the availability of our resources to nonprofits and geographical areas we might not otherwise reach. We believe that these grants provide important support for much needed services to diverse communities throughout Southern California. For more information on the SGP, please click here.

Program-Related Investments (PRIs). Based on individual circumstances and as an alternative to a grant, the Foundation will consider a limited number of program-related investments (below-market loans) to select organizations for the capital needed to maintain or expand facilities and/or services to underserved individuals and communities. Organizations interested in a potential PRI should contact Angela Carr, Grants Management Associate, at

Grant Duration
Weingart Foundation grants are awarded for the period of time necessary to complete the proposed outcomes, with most grants ranging between one and two years. Generally, grantees must wait one year from the end of their grant period before being able to re-apply for a new Foundation grant.

Core support grants are generally made for a two-year period. Core support grantees may receive up to two consecutive core support 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.

Funding Amounts
While requests are reviewed on a case-by-case basis, applicants should note that as a general practice, the Foundation does not fund the total cost of a capital, program, or capacity building budget. Requests should be proportional to the amount of the specific capital, program, or capacity building budget, and in the case of core support, the size of the agency’s operating budget.

Applicants should request a grant amount that is consistent with a thoughtful and sustainable fundraising strategy. The information below is intended to provide general guidance. Based on individual circumstances, the Foundation’s board of directors will use flexibility and apply judgment to each request on a case-by-case basis.

Core Support. Applicants seeking core support are advised that total grant amounts awarded over a two-year period will generally not exceed 10% of an agency’s annual operating budget. Generally, grants will not exceed $200,000.

General guidelines for non-core support requests of $100,000 or more are as follows:

Capital Support. For new construction and major renovation projects, grant amounts will generally not exceed 10% of a total capital budget, and in the case of very large projects, the percentage is likely to be considerably less.

Capacity Building. For capacity building, grant amounts will generally not exceed 20% of the total project budget.

Program Support. For program support, grant amounts will generally not exceed 20% of the total project budget.

The funding guidelines for non-core support requests noted above do not typically apply to project requests of less than $100,000 or requests through the Small Grant Program. Nonetheless, it should be noted that the Foundation would generally not fund an entire project budget. Applicants are strongly urged to apply for an amount that does not exceed 50% of the total project budget and to seek other sources of support.

Grant Limitations
Grants are not made:

  • To organizations that discriminate against certain groups or individuals in the delivery of programs and services on the basis of race, religion, national origin, gender, age, sexual orientation or disability;
  • For propagandizing, influencing legislation and/or elections; for political candidates, political campaigns; for litigation;
  • For social or political issues outside the United States;
  • To individuals;
  • For conferences, workshops, temporary exhibits, travel, surveys, films or publishing activities;
  • For endowment funds;
  • For deficits or debt reduction;
  • For fundraising dinners or events;
  • For research.

Grants generally are not approved for:

  • National organizations that do not have local chapters operating in the Foundation’s geographic area of grant focus;
  • For the collection of funds for redistribution or regranting to other nonprofit groups or to federated appeals;
  • Religious programs, consumer interest or environmental advocacy;
  • Feasibility studies.