The team at Starfish Impact is lucky. Every day we are inspired by the work of our clients, from non-profit organizations with incredible missions to individuals and families that make philanthropy a priority to corporations that invest in their communities. But what really impresses us is innovation – thinking outside of the box, finding a new way to do more, and creativity in their day to day work. The following seven organizations represent the top philanthropic thinkers in Los Angeles; the organizations that inspire us with their creativity and impact.
Annenberg Foundation – Founded in 1989, the Annenberg Foundation gives to over 400 projects worldwide, but is headquartered in Los Angeles. The foundation earned a spot on our most innovative list for its capacity building program called Annenberg Alchemy. This education and leadership development program helps build capacity for Los Angeles Area non-profit organizations, showing that a foundation has more to offer than just funds.
Weingart Foundation – Founded in 1951, the Weingart Foundation funds organizations in the areas of education, health, and human services. In their long and storied history they have given over $950 million to Southern California organizations. In 2009, the Foundation revised its guidelines to offer unrestricted core support in order to help build non-profit capacity. In 2012, they went one step further, creating the Nonprofit Sustainability Initiative to support organizations in pursuing strategic restructuring efforts and mergers, earning them a top spot in our innovation list.
The Carl & Roberta Deutsch Foundation – This foundation is a top innovator thanks to their focused grant making through their Halo Award, an annual award given to inspirational volunteers from Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Ventura counties. This honor awards $5,000 to one volunteer and a $20,000 capacity grant to their organization.
Goldhirsh Foundation – Focusing on Los Angeles, the Goldhirsh Foundation has its eyes on the future of the city with the LA2050 initiative, an innovative project that invites everyone to be part of the grant making process. Once a year, LA 2050 highlights the work of non-profit organizations in eight areas: education, income and employment, health, public safety, housing, environmental quality, arts and cultural vitality, and social connectedness. The foundation invites the public to choose the organizations that receive grants through an online voting campaign.
Frieda C. Fox Family Foundation – In 2003, the foundation started by making education grants and has since evolved to do more for grantees delivering high engagement, pro-bono non-financial assistance to programs that work with children and youth. But it’s their Youth Philanthropy Connect program that makes them one of the most innovative philanthropists in LA. This youth-led initiative brings together youth in philanthropy through events, education, and networking. In 2015, they will be partnering with youth philanthropy advocates across the US to host five, day-long regional events in the Northeast, Northwest, Southeast, Southwest, and Midwest.
Broad Center – Part of the Broad Foundations’ portfolio of philanthropic initiatives, the Broad Center goes beyond grant making and invests in school systems through training and human capital. The Broad Residency program prepares and places experienced leaders in roles in public school systems while the Broad Academy trains existing public school leaders. According to their website, the Foundation seeks to prepare “a growing network of experienced leaders and managers inspired to make a difference and take on the challenge.”
Taproot Foundation – Founded in 2001, the Taproot Foundation invests in non-profit organizations by connecting them with pro bono service in marketing, design, human resource, strategic planning, and other professional services. In Los Angeles, the Taproot team has provided over 196,700 hours of pro bono service from nearly 1,300 consultants to over 300 non-profit organizations. We love this innovative approach to increasing the capacity of non-profit organizations through service opportunities.
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