Special Opportunity Fund

Weingart Foundation

Grant amount: Unspecified amount

Deadline: Rolling

Applicant type: Nonprofit

Funding uses: Capital Project, 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: Counties in California: Los Angeles County, Orange County, Riverside County, San Bernardino County, Santa Barbara County Expand all

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NOTE: Organizations interested in applying to this Fund should first contact a member of our program staff.

Grant Guidelines

Below please find the Weingart Foundation’s grant guidelines. We strongly suggest you first read the Foundation’s FY 2019 and FY 2020 Program Plan before reviewing these guidelines. This will provide you with a greater context and understanding of our current strategic grantmaking priorities.

General Grant Focus

The Weingart Foundation’s grantmaking is based on our commitment to building a Southern California where inclusion, opportunity and well-being are available to all people—a place where diversity is celebrated and justice flourishes. We strive to advance racial, social and economic justice for all, particularly for those who have historically been excluded due to their race, income level, gender, religion, immigration status, disability, age, sexual orientation, or zip code.

Realizing this vision requires community-driven solutions and strong community-based organizations. Therefore, the Foundation’s grantmaking is designed to strengthen the capacity and effectiveness of nonprofit organizations, collaboratives, and coalitions working to meet essential needs, expand opportunity and eliminate structural barriers to equity.

Special Opportunity Fund

The Special Opportunity Fund (SOF) allows the Foundation to respond to special or unforeseen opportunities that strongly align with our mission and priorities to advance racial, social and economic equity.

We look for select opportunities that have the potential to significantly impact and advance the Foundation’s equity goals and priorities. For this reason, most grants in the SOF are larger in scope, magnitude and size and are initiated by the Foundation. Rapid response grants will be considered as warranted. We will consider a very limited number of Capital projects that meet our Capital guidelines through the SOF.

Given the opportunistic nature of this fund, our guidelines for the SOF are broad. We seek proposals that:

  • Offer a significant and measurable increase in resources, services, and opportunities in high-need, under-resourced communities, with priority in our Geographic Areas of Focus: South Los Angeles and the Southeast cities of Los Angeles County.
  • Address the growing imbalance of opportunity in Southern California, including in the areas of immigration and housing for homeless and low-income individuals.
  • Build the capacity of organizations, collaboratives and coalitions engaged in youth organizing.
  • Focus on achieving an accurate 2020 Census count.
  • Combine equity and economic growth strategies.
  • Capital projects that:
    • bring new or expanded services to our Geographic Areas of Focus or other under-resourced communities of color; and
    • where project completion is unlikely without Weingart Foundation support.

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


  • 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
  • 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 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.
  • Who we fund
    • The Foundation supports nonprofit organizations, collaboratives, and coalitions that provide quality essential direct services in the areas of human services, health and education for individuals and communities facing the greatest barriers to opportunity and inclusion.
    • Equally important, we also support those engaged in community organizing, advocacy, civic engagement and other movement building activities to achieve positive social change.
    • Recognizing the importance of grassroots organizations, the Foundation supports nonprofits of various sizes and at different levels of developing their capacity and infrastructure.
  • In addition to the specific guidelines outlined for each type of grant, all applicants must meet the following baseline criteria to be considered for grant funding:
    • Works in one of the following six Southern California counties: Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, Santa Barbara, and Ventura;
    • Mission and work effectively addresses an essential human service, health, or education need for individuals and communities most impacted by economic, racial and social injustice.
      • Specifically, this applies to those who have historically faced the greatest barriers to opportunity and inclusion due to their race, income level, gender, religion, immigration status, disability, age, sexual orientation, or zip code;
    • Has an established track-record that can demonstrate positive impact and progress toward desired goals;
    • Operates as part of a larger ecosystem, engaging in meaningful partnerships, collaborations, coalitions, or networks to leverage resources and increase the impact of their work to advance shared community goals;
    • Programs, services and core activities are culturally and linguistically responsive to the needs of those served;
    • Meaningfully engages clients, constituents and individuals most impacted by inequities to inform the organization’s work and decision making; and
    • Demonstrates a commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion in governance, staffing, organizational practices and collaborative relationships.


  • 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 elections, political candidates, or political campaigns;
    • For social or political issues outside the United States;
    • To individuals;
    • For temporary exhibits, travel, surveys, films or publishing activities;
    • For endowment funds;
    • For fundraising dinners or events;
    • For animal welfare.
  • Grants generally are not approved for:
    • Research;
    • National organizations that do not have local chapters operating in the Foundation’s geographic area of grant focus;
    • Religious programs, or consumer interest;
    • Feasibility studies.

About this funder:

View past grantees & full 990 summary