Southern California Program

W. M. Keck Foundation

Suggest an update

Grant amount: US $100,000 - US $1,000,000

Next deadline: May 1, 2020 4:30pm PDT (Pre proposal)

Later deadlines: Aug 15, 2020 4:30pm PDT (Full proposal), Aug 15, 2020 4:30pm PDT (Letter of inquiry), Nov 1, 2020 3:30pm PST (Pre proposal), Feb 15, 2021 4:30pm PST (Letter of inquiry), Feb 17, 2021 4:30pm PST (Full proposal)

Applicant type: Indigenous Group Government Entity Nonprofit

Funding uses: Project / Program, Education / Outreach

Location of project: Los Angeles County, California

Location of residency: Los Angeles County, California

View website    Save

About this funder:




Applicants are strongly urged to contact Foundation staff well in advance of submitting a Phase I application (phase I applications are due at the "pre-proposal "deadline). Please call the Southern California Program Coordinator to discuss next steps. Our program staff may request a concept paper about your project and if a consultation is recommended, it will be scheduled on a first come, first served basis during the pre-application counseling period. This pre-application counseling period ends on the "letter of inquiry" deadline above. 

  • Potential applicants are encouraged to submit their ideas for grants early in the form of single-page concept papers to allow time to schedule a possible consultation. Pre-application Counseling is completed by the "letter of inquiry" deadline above. 
  • Phase I applications are due at the "preproposal" deadline above. 
  • The Foundation will notify those applicants that are invited to submit a Phase II proposal. Phase II proposals are due at the "full proposal" deadlines above. 

The W. M Keck Foundation was established in 1954 in Los Angeles by William Myron Keck, founder of The Superior Oil Company. Our Foundation is one of the nation's largest philanthropic organizations, with assets of more than $1 billion.

Southern California Program

The Southern California Program seeks to promote the education and healthy development of children and youth, strengthen families and enhance the lives of people in the greater Los Angeles area through its support of organizations that provide arts and cultural enrichment, civic and community services, early childhood and pre-collegiate education, and health care. Projects that address compelling issues and have the potential to have a significant impact on the target population, organization, region and/or field are encouraged. A special emphasis is placed on projects that focus on children and youth from low-income families, special needs populations and safety-net services. Collaborative initiatives as well as projects arising from the vision of one organization’s strong leadership are supported. Nonprofit organizations, including colleges and universities, pursuing relevant projects in Los Angeles County are eligible to apply. Historically, grants range from $100,000 to $1 million, and are typically under $500,000.

Program Priorities

Projects must address significant issues or problems in the areas of arts and culture, civic and community service, early childhood, health care, or pre-collegiate education.

In addition, projects must meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Are innovative and distinctive
  • Have the potential to create a significant and long-lasting impact for the target population, organization, region and/or field
  • Focus on children who are from low-income families
  • Benefit special needs populations, including those with developmental disabilities or delays, those in or transitioning from the foster care system and homeless families
  • Have strong institutional support, excellent leadership and can demonstrate thorough planning
  • Demonstrate that other funding sources are utilized to the fullest extent possible and that private philanthropy generally, and the W. M. Keck Foundation in particular, is essential to the project's success

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


  • Organizations must be headquartered in Southern California or be a national or statewide organization with
    • an independent affiliate, or 
    • a local chapter or local office in Southern California that serves communities in Los Angeles County.
  • The project must benefit communities within Los Angeles County.
  • Organizations must be:
    • Exempt from federal taxation as defined by Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and be designated as:
      • a public charity (and not a private foundation) as defined by Section 509(a)(1) or 509(a)(2) or 170(b)(1)(A)(I-VI) of the Internal Revenue Code; or
      • an exempt operating foundation as defined by Section 4940(d)(2).
  • If the institution is located in the State of California, the organization must also be exempt from California State Franchise or Income Tax under Section 23701(d) of the Revenue and Taxation Code.
  • Organizations must be able to provide current full, certified, audited financial statements prepared on an annual basis in conformity with generally accepted accounting principles.
    • If in existence less than five years, the organization must be able to provide at least two consecutive full, certified, audited financial statements prepared on an annual basis.
  • Organizations must also be able to provide the most recently filed complete Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990), including Public Charity Status and Public Support (Schedule A).
    • If an exempt operating foundation, the organization must also be able to provide the most recently filed complete Return of Private Foundation (Form 990-PF) rather than Form 990.
  • If the organization is a government unit as defined by Section 170(b)(1)(A)(v) and (c)(1) and, therefore, does not receive a determination letter as to such organization’s tax exempt classification from the Internal Revenue Service, such organization must submit a Declaration of Status signed by the organization's chief executive or president and by its chief legal officer.


  • Preference is given to exemplary institutions and organizations with a history of achievement and effective management, and whose financial condition is strong, as demonstrated by their current audited financial statements prepared in conformity with generally accepted accounting principles. 


  • No grants will be made to private foundations (other than exempt operating foundations) or 509(a)(3) organizations.
  • Not eligible for funding: 
    • General operating expenses, endowments or deficit reduction
    • General and federated campaigns, including fundraising events, dinners or mass mailings
    • “Conduit” organizations, unified funds, or organizations using grant funds from donors to support other organizations or individuals
    • Grants to individuals
    • Conference or seminar sponsorship
    • Book publication and film or theater productions
    • Public policy research
    • Projects to be undertaken outside Los Angeles County
    • Requests over $1 million