Does The Ahmanson Foundation grant money to commercial businesses?
No. The Foundation does not fund for-profit organizations or businesses.
Do you give grants to individuals?
No. Grant applicants must be organizations with 501(c)(3) status.
Do you give grants to organizations outside of Los Angeles County?
The Foundation directs its philanthropy to Los Angeles County. Rarely are exceptions made.
We are located just outside of Los Angeles County, but are serving residents from Los Angeles. May we still apply?
Our highest priority is organizations based in and serving Los Angeles County. If your organization serves significant numbers of Los Angeles residents, send a Letter of Inquiry describing the situation and rationale for support.
We are a new organization and don't yet have 501(c)(3) status. May we apply?
No, only organizations with 501(c)(3) status are eligible to apply.
We are a new organization with an “advance ruling” of public charity status from the IRS. May we apply?
Yes, agencies with an “advance ruling" of public charity status from the IRS are eligible to apply.
We are a school within a school district. Does the request need to come from the Superintendent?
The superintendent must be involved and supportive of the request for funding. Who actually initiates the request will depend upon the particular circumstances of the funding need.
What are your funding priorities?
Our priorities are listed under Guidelines and Limitations.
Do you fund capital campaigns?
Yes. Grants are made both for specific programs and for capital expenditures such as equipment purchases, construction or renovation. We do not fund the cost of running a capital campaign. We recommend that you review the sections under Guidelines and Limitations for additional funding information.
Do you fund general operating expenses?
The Foundation's priorities are for capital expenses. However, there are occasions when program expenses are considered.
Will The Ahmanson Foundation consider loans?
Loans and program-related investments are considered, but rarely.
Do you fund scholarships?
We provide scholarship support only to nonprofit institutions; individuals are not eligible.
Does the Foundation award multi-year funding?
Only rarely. A particular need for multi-year support must be compelling.
Are there areas in which you don't make grants?
Yes. See the section on Limitations.
How do we apply for a grant?
You may apply for an Ahmanson Foundation grant by following the process outlined under the section How to Apply.
Can you send me an application?
There are no 'application' forms to use in applying for a grant. The Foundation accepts letters of inquiry or full proposals, directed to the Foundation's Managing Director. See the sections on How to Apply, Letter of Inquiry and Grant Requests.
Do you require a letter of inquiry before submitting a proposal?
We prefer a Letter of Inquiry as all requests undergo Preliminary Screening.
Do you have deadlines for submitting inquiry letters or proposals?
There are no deadlines. The Foundation accepts grant proposals throughout the year.
How often are proposals considered?
The Foundation considers proposals, either at quarterly Board meetings or weekly executive committee meetings.
May we apply for a grant or send a letter of inquiry via e-mail or fax?
No. We ask that you send your request through postal services. A request letter must be on agency letterhead and signed by the executive director, president or appropriate Board representative.
We have several needs. Would you help us choose one or may we include all of them in our request?
We ask that you apply for funding for one project at a time. We suggest that you apply for the project that best fits our guidelines and is of highest priority for your agency. This will assist you in making a case for funding the project.
Can we meet with someone to discuss a possible proposal? Can a program officer come and visit our agency or may we come and do a presentation about our program?
We recommend that you initially submit a Letter of Inquiry describing the project for which you are seeking funds. If you have questions about the letter of inquiry, please call the Foundation for clarification. Meetings with the staff at the Foundation prior to submission of a letter are generally discouraged. If the Foundation accepts a proposal for review, a program officer will contact you to decide if additional information or a meeting or site visit is required.
Do you conduct site visits for all grant requests?
Contact with applicant agencies is a high priority. The program officers will determine the most appropriate methods by which to gather the information they need for a review and will arrange site visits accordingly.
Can you help us write the grant proposal?
We encourage applicants to follow our guidelines in preparing a proposal and to call if you have a question. You might consider the resources of the Center for Nonprofit Management in Los Angeles (www.cnmsocal.org) or The Foundation Center in New York (www.fdncenter.org).
How long or how many pages do you expect in a proposal?
Requests differ in complexity, size, time frame, cost, etc. and will likely differ in how they need to be presented (see Grant Requests). We ask that you design your proposal to fully capture your organization and its current need, but to do so as concisely as possible.
How many copies of our proposal do you need?
We need one single copy of your proposal, required documents and optional attachments.
What kinds of supporting documentation will we be asked to submit with our proposal?
There is a variety of information we need in order to review a grant request. See section on Grant Requests for a listing of required materials.
Some of the requirements for a proposal as described in the section on Grant Requests are not relevant to our request. What do we do?
You only need to submit materials that apply to your organization and funding request. If additional information is needed, a program officer will let you know.
Must we submit an audited financial statement with our application?
Yes. Please submit audited financial statements, with all attachments and reports, for the two most recent years. If the organization is not subject to an audit requirement or has not yet received the most recent year's independent auditors' report, submit a compilation or year-end financial statements with budgeted and actual revenues and expenses.
What should we tell you about other funding sources?
There are two types of information we need about funding sources:
First, the major sources of your organization's revenue including government agencies, individuals (in the aggregate), foundations and corporations, fundraising events, program fees, earned income, etc. Provide the name or description of each source and the amount contributed.
Second, all sources of funding for the project for which you are seeking our support. Provide the name or description of each source, the amount requested or contributed, and whether the funds are pending or committed.
Do not identify individual donors by name; rather, provide the total amount contributed by all individual donors.
Should we send letters of support with our letter of inquiry or grant proposal?
While they are not necessary, some letters of support do in fact strengthen a request.
May I hand-deliver a request?
Please send your letter of inquiry or proposal via postal services. Due to limited staffing, we are not able to accommodate visits to the Foundation's offices unless arranged by a program officer or the managing director.
Should we wait to hear from you before applying to others?
No. The Foundation rarely provides sole support for a project. It is generally in your best interest to look for support from multiple sources of funding.
How will I know if you received my letter of inquiry or proposal? How will I know if my proposal has been accepted or rejected?
In most instances, applicants will receive a written response within 10 days indicating whether or not they qualify.
How much time does it take for you to review a grant proposal?
It generally takes 2 to 3 months, from the day that it is received until you are notified of its disposition. Applicants are notified promptly once a decision has been made. See section on Review of Grant Requests for more details.
May we submit additional letters of inquiry or grant proposals for different projects within the same year?
No. Due to the constraint of limited resources, only one request per 12-month period can be considered.
We recently submitted a letter of inquiry and were declined. May we re-submit?
Another request is eligible for consideration 12 months from the date of the decline letter.
Our proposal was declined. Can you tell us why?
Competition for grant funds is intense and a number of factors determine if a proposal is declined. Frequently, it is because we are unable to fund every request we receive. The staff and Board of Trustees look for exemplary programs and projects that best meet the Foundation's current priorities.
Are there specific individuals responsible for handling grants in specific areas of funding?
Each of our program officers is broadly knowledgeable about the nonprofit community. Program officers are not assigned to a specific area, nor are they tied to specific agencies or grantees. Each request is treated independently.
How much would be appropriate to request?
We look at the amount needed for each specific proposal in terms of the scope of the work and expected outcomes. The Foundation rarely provides sole support for a project and prefers that the entire cost of the project be funded through multiple sources.
What is the maximum grant amount that you fund?
We have not established maximum dollar amounts, but rather look at the amount needed for each specific project based on the scope of the work. As similar requests are reviewed throughout the year, it is to your advantage to present a cost-effective budget.
What is the range of grants you award?
Based on the project cost, a grant can range from $5,000 to over $1 million.
What is the average grant award?
The typical award amount ranges from $10,000 to $50,000.
How many grants are awarded each year?
Where can we find a list of representative grants that the Foundation has recently made? How do we learn more about the Foundation's past grantees?
A complete list of past grants can be found in our Annual Reports; recent annual reports are found under the Annual Reports section of this web site. In the near future, there will be selected profiles about Foundation grantees in the section Grant Highlights. Please refer to Grant Guidelines to determine the Foundation's areas of interest and funding priorities.
To whom should letters of inquiry or grant proposals be addressed?
Letters of Inquiry and Grant Requests should be directed to:
The Ahmanson Foundation
9215 Wilshire Boulevard
Beverly Hills, California 90210
Back to top