Phase I Application

 

Deadlines

For the December grant cycle, Phase I applications must be submitted online no later than May 1, 4:30pm (PT). For the June grant cycle, the online submission deadline is no later than November 1, 4:30pm (PT). If a deadline falls on a Saturday or Sunday, the deadline is 4:30pm (PT) on the following Monday. Applicants will not be able to submit Phase I applications after the deadline. We appreciate early submissions. For more information about deadlines, please see our Grant Cycle Timeline.


Notification

Applicants will receive an email receipt confirming an application has been submitted and received.  The Foundation will formally acknowledge eligibility of Phase I applications within four weeks. Completed applications are then carefully reviewed and the Foundation will notify those applicants that are invited to submit a Phase II proposal. No inquiries regarding applications will be entertained in the interim.


Requirements

The Foundation will only consider applications that are complete and contain all the requirements listed in the Phase I application, along with all the required attachments.  All Foundation provided forms are available within the online application.

Items you will need to complete in order to submit a Phase I application online:

  • Cover Page (Foundation provided form)
  • Institutional Priority of Request (Foundation provided form)
  • Phase I Instructions for Project Narrative (Foundation provided form)
  • Project Budget (Foundation provided form)
  • Organizational Fundraising History (Foundation provided form)
  • Financial Statements (copy of the organization’s current full, certified, audited financial statements prepared on an annual basis in conformity with generally accepted accounting principles. An accountant’s review or compilation does not suffice. 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.)*
  • IRS Form 990 - Copy of the institution's IRS Form 990, including Public Charity Status and Public Support (Schedule A)
  • IRS Determination Letter - Copy of the institution's determination letter(s) from the United States Internal Revenue Service stating the institution is: 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 a government unit or part of a group, please refer to the Eligible Institutions page for more information.)*
  • State of California Determination Letter (Determination letter from the California State Franchise Tax Board verifying 23701(d) tax exempt status)*
  • Governing Board (concise list of members of the institution's governing board)
  • Fact Sheet (1 page)

*All tax exempt documentation and audited financial statements must be in the same, current and full name of the qualifying organization. 


Southern California Program Phase I Application

All applications must be submitted through the organization's director of development.  Applications submitted through other personnel will not be accepted.

Applicants may submit one Phase I application online per grant cycle to each of the areas for which they are eligible: Medical Research, Science and Engineering Research, and Southern California.


To start a NEW Phase I application in the Southern California Program:

APPLY HERE »


Returning Users:

To access applications in progress or submitted requests, log into your account portal HERE.

The Southern California program may be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  For technical assistance, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Phase II Proposal

Deadlines

Phase II is by invitation only.  Unsolicited Phase II proposals are not accepted at any time.  Proposals received after the deadline will not be considered.  The deadlines for invited proposals are 4:30pm (PT) on February 15 for consideration at our June board meeting, and by 4:30pm (PT) on August 15 for consideration at our December board meeting.  If either date falls on a Saturday or Sunday, the deadline is 4:30pm (PT) on the following Monday.  The Foundation encourages earlier submissions.  For more information about deadlines, please see our Grant Cycle Timeline.


Notification

Upon receipt of a complete Phase II proposal, the Foundation will notify the institution if any additional information is required for the review process.  After the Board of Directors has made its final grant decisions in a given grant cycle (June or December), all Phase II applicants will be notified in writing.  No inquiries regarding the Board’s decision will be entertained in the interim.

 

 

Southern California Program Phase II Proposal Access

Phase II is by invitation only.  Once invited, you can access your proposal in progress by logging into your account portal HERE.

The Southern California Program may be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  For technical assistance, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

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 and special needs populations. 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 typically are under $500,000.

 

Program Priorities

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. 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. Only projects serving communities in Los Angeles County will be considered.

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

Eligible Institutions

Organizations must be headquartered in Southern California or be a national or statewide organization with (a) an independent affiliate, or (b) 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:
    1. 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
    2. an exempt operating foundation as defined by Section 4940(d)(2).
    3. No grants will be made to private foundations (other than exempt operating foundations) or 509(a)(3) organizations.
  • 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.  The declaration must specify:

  • the federal, state or local laws pursuant to which the organization is created and governed;
  • whether the organization also is a (a) school as defined by Section 170(b)(1)(A)(ii), (b) hospital or medical research institute as defined by Section 170(b)(1)(A)(iii) or (c) other organization described in Section 170(b);
  • that the organization is legally and financially responsible for its debts; and
  • that the organization is not a non-operating private foundation within the meaning of Section 509.

Grant agreements will be deemed to have been entered into in the County of Los Angeles, State of California; and, California law will apply to the interpretation and enforcement of the grant provisions.

If the organization is part of a group that received a determination letter as to the group’s tax exempt classification from the Internal Revenue Service, the organization must provide the determination letter that identifies the organization as part of the group.  The organization must also provide an attestation as to the continued group status of the organization.  The attestation must be signed by the organization’s chief executive or president and by its chief legal officer.  The Form 990 required for such organization may be the Form 990 of the group.

All tax-exempt documentation and audited financial statements must be in the same, current and full name of the qualifying organization.

The Foundation takes into account the management and fiscal condition of an institution when reviewing an institution for eligibility.

If you are submitting a collaborative project, the lead institution must be identified and all members must meet the Foundation’s eligibility requirements.  On a case by case basis, we may request that other members of the collaborative also submit additional documentation.

Please feel free to contact the Foundation in advance to check eligibility and tax requirements.

 

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

Application Process and Overview

The W. M. Keck Foundation employs a two-phase application process. Applicants must follow the process carefully to avoid disqualification. Grants are awarded twice annually, in June and December. Only applications that reflect institutional priorities as certified by the applicant’s President/Chief Executive Officer/Executive Director will be considered.

 

Initial Contact

Applicants are strongly urged to contact Foundation staff well in advance of submitting a Phase I application. However, before contacting the Foundation, please review the basic criteria for the Southern California Program on the Eligible Institutions page to ensure eligibility.

If the organization meets all of the criteria on the Eligible Institutions page, please call the Southern California Program Coordinator at 213-612-2038 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 takes place between January 1 and February 15 leading up to a May 1 Phase I submission, or between July 1 and August 15 leading up to a November 1 Phase I submission. For more information about deadlines, please see our Grant Cycle Timeline.

Initial contact from a multi-unit organization (such as a college, university or agency branch location) must be coordinated through the institution’s central development office. Most colleges and universities have designated an official liaison to the Foundation. We will refer other personnel contacting the Foundation to their designated liaison.

 

General Rules

Applicants may submit one Phase I application online per grant cycle to each of the following areas for which they are eligible: Medical Research, Science and Engineering Research, and Southern California.

Phase I application submissions are due by 4:30pm (PT) in order to be considered on deadline days (see our Grant Cycle Timeline).  If a deadline falls on a Saturday or Sunday, the deadline is 4:30pm (PT) on the following Monday.  Applicants will not be able to submit Phase I applications after the deadline.  We appreciate early submissions.

At any phase of the application process, an institution may request a withdrawal of its application without prejudice to future requests.

The Foundation will notify those applicants that are invited to submit a Phase II proposal.  Please do not contact the Foundation to check on the status of an application or proposal.  No inquiries regarding Phase I applications or Phase II proposals will be entertained in the interim.  All Phase I applications and Phase II proposals take approximately four weeks to process and formally acknowledge.  Unsolicited Phase II proposals are not accepted at any time.

Please select a Phase below:

Southern California Program

Phase I Application

Phase II Proposal

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