Expanding Opportunity Fund

Weingart Foundation

Grant amount: Up to US $25,000

Deadline: Rolling

Applicant type: Nonprofit

Funding uses: General Operating Expense, Training / Capacity Building

Location of project: Counties in California: Los Angeles County, Orange County, Riverside County, San Bernardino County, Santa Barbara County Expand all

Location of residency: United States

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Expanding Opportunity Fund (formerly the Small Grant Program)

Effective FY 2017, the Small Grant Program has been renamed the Expanding Opportunity Fund (EOF) and has new targeted approaches to focus on supporting people and communities currently facing the most obstacles to opportunity. 

The primary purpose of the EOF is to increase access to funding and strengthen the capacity of small, community-based, and developing organizations, with strong priority given to organizations with operating budgets of $1 million or less.

The program is an avenue for smaller or newer organizations to introduce themselves to the Foundation, and allows us to expand the availability of our resources to nonprofits and geographic areas we might not otherwise reach. We believe that these grants provide important support for much-needed direct services, community organizing and advocacy for systems change, and infrastructure-building in low-income communities throughout Southern California. This work is in strong alignment with our commitment to advance social and economic equity.

As part of the Foundation’s desire to increase impact in specific areas related advancing to social and economic equity, the Expanding Opportunity Fund employs an issue-based approach.

Grantmaking Focus

As part of the Foundation’s desire to increase impact in specific areas related to advancing social and economic equity, the Expanding Opportunity Fund will provide Unrestricted Operating Support grants (not program grants) to nonprofits focused on the activities identified under the following issue areas:

  • Reentry: Successful reintegration of individuals reentering the community from incarceration with a focus on employment and/or housing with supportive services. 
  • Immigrant Integration:
    • Outreach and enrollment around the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program;
    • education and fraud prevention related to administrative relief;
    • workforce development and workplace rights;
    • support for access to health care and drivers’ licenses;
    • citizenship and naturalization efforts;
    • civic participation;
    • detention and deportation support; and
    • literacy and English as a Second Language programs.
  • Education:
    • Increasing high school graduation rates, post-secondary degree attainment and employment opportunities for low-income students, including, but not limited to, a special focus on youth in or at-risk of entering County systems (e.g. child welfare or juvenile justice); 
    • Early childhood literacy programs; and 
    • Improving parent engagement in public education. 
  • Youth Organizing and Leadership Development: Youth organizing and leadership development programs for low-income and vulnerable youth.
  • Basic Needs:
    • Housing and services for survivors of domestic violence and abuse;
    • Homelessness prevention for families; and
    • Addressing food insecurity.


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.

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • The Expanding Opportunity Fund provides only Unrestricted Operating Support grants. Unrestricted Operating Support is unrestricted funding that enables an organization to carry out its mission. 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.
  • 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 Weingart Foundation supports organizations providing services in the following six Southern California counties:
    • Los Angeles,
    • Orange,
    • Riverside,
    • San Bernardino,
    • Santa Barbara, and
    • Ventura.
    • In addition, we have identified the following communities as areas of designated focus: Southeast Los Angeles County; Watts and Willowbrook; and the South Los Angeles Transit Empowerment Zone.
  • Given the high demand for funding, it should be noted that the grant award may be less than the requested amount and typically does not exceed 10% of an organizations operating budget.
  • Generally, after two consecutive Expanding Opportunity Fund grants, agencies must wait one year after the close of the second grant to re-apply to the EOF.
  • Read FAQ for additional informations on requirements.


  • Generally, requests from organizations with less than three years operating history in the Southern California region will not be considered at this time.
  • The Foundation does not fund Section 509(a)(3) Type III non-functionally integrated supporting organizations.
  • 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 influencing legislation and/or elections, promoting voter registration; for political candidates, political campaigns;
    • For social or political issues outside the United States of America;
    • To individuals;
    • For temporary exhibits, travel, surveys, films or publishing activities;
    • For endowment funds;
    • For fundraising dinners or events;
    • For research; or
    • For animal welfare.
  • Grants generally are not approved for:
    • National organizations that do not have local chapters operating in the geographic area of grant focus;
    • Religious or consumer interest programs; or
    • Feasibility studies.

About this funder:

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