Michael J. Connell Foundation Grant

The Michael J. Connell Foundation

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Grant amount: US $25,000 - US $100,000

Deadline: Rolling

Applicant type: Nonprofit

Funding uses: Education / Outreach, Applied Project / Program, Capital Project

Location of project: United States

Location of residency: Counties in California: Imperial County, Kern County, Los Angeles County, Orange County, Riverside County Expand all

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About this funder:



NOTE: We initiate most funding opportunities by contacting the organizations and inviting them to submit proposals. Accordingly, unsolicited proposals are only rarely successful. If despite the odds against success, you wish to submit a proposal, you should carefully review what we fund and what we do not fund. 

The Michael J. Connell Foundation is a private foundation. We usually discourage requests for grants because it is our policy to initiate and pursue our own programs in various cultural, environmental, educational and medical programs.  We limit our grants to a relatively small number.  As a consequence, at any one time we tend to focus on three or four narrow program areas. 

In 2013 - 2017 our areas of program focus are: 

  • Classical Music  -- its ability to enhance the area cultural experience
  • The Environment  -- the maintenance, accessibility and preservation of our public resources
  • Education - technology implementation, programs with impact in under served areas and upon minority constituencies and the implementation of modern technologies
  • Medicine - allocating limited resources and addressing the needs of underserved constituencies in the Los Angeles Area

In most years we will complete funding in one or more areas of interest and we will seek one or more new areas to focus on in subsequent years.

We frequently look for programs that need funding to test new ideas or concepts, before they can qualify for funding from more traditional or formal resources. We do not confine ourselves to these programs, although they usually represent a majority of the grants we fund. We will occasionally team with other organizations and individuals to fund start-up expenses, but the organization must have already established its tax-exempt status before we will make a grant. 

We fund specific programs as opposed to general expenses. We only fund building or endowment programs for applicants with which we have established relationships, either based on our contacts with the organization or with the persons representing the organization. We will fund capital expenditures, particularly if the purchase is in connection with the implementation of new technologies.

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


  • Grants are made only to qualified non-profit organizations.
  • What we fund:
    • Most of our cultural funding has been to classical music programs, graphic arts programs and community theatre groups. 
      • In each case, we have looked for programs that will address the needs of children and youth or will bring new audiences to the medium. 
    • Over the years, we have supported an eclectic list of environmental endeavors
      • Our current focus, is on programs that provide environmentally sound public access to state, federal and local environmental resources or that enhance the public enjoyment of those resources without inflicting significant environmental damage.
    • Our educational efforts have focused on bringing new technologies to the classroom or campus and on specific programs to address local needs, particularly those of minority or disadvantaged communities.
      • Often, our educational programs overlap with our cultural programs.
    • Recent medical support has gone almost entirely to mental health programs to assist at risk youth and persons in crisis.
      • We are open, though, to other programs which assist new community efforts to organize innovative medical information and delivery programs, to test their viability and to attract long-term funding from traditional sources.
      • We are not focused on any particular medical problem, but we prefer programs that will either address broad community needs or the problems of children and youth.
  • We currently only fund proposals from Southern California, South Western Montana and Austin, Texas applicants.


  • We prefer programs that will either address broad community needs or the problems of children and youth.
  • We generally give priority to requests for program expenditures.


  • We have no plans to make grants outside the specified geographic areas.
  • What We Do Not Fund: 
    • Fundraising events, dinners and mass mailings
    • Direct aid to individuals
    • Conferences, seminars, workshops or similar events
    • Organizations that limit services to persons of a single religious sect or denomination
    • Support for candidates for political office or to influence legislation
    • Requests for regular, ongoing, operating support
    • Organizations that address social or political problems outside the United States of America
    • Aid to fraternal organizations, such as country clubs
    • For profit business organizations
    • Loans or program related investments