The LaureL Foundation is committed to improving the lives of disadvantaged children living in Northern California. We support educational and social services organizations serving these children, especially those that incorporate the natural world, animals and the empowerment of girls into their programs. We specifically look for organizations that demonstrate a superior level of integrity and transparency and those that collaborate with other nonprofits with complementary programs.
TYPES OF GRANTS
We consider requests for program support and expansion, challenge/matching grants, advocacy efforts, capacity building, general operating support and capital improvements. We are open to providing seed money for innovative programs. We do not support individuals or lobbying efforts.
The LaureL Foundation supported Cinefemme, a nonprofit committed to seeing gender parity in film and media. Cinefemme used the grant to fund Makeshift Society, an original film pilot about a female tech founder. The goal is to turn Makeshift Society into a ground-breaking TV series that will inspire young women to pursue education and careers in STEM.
The Laurel Foundation supported the construction of the LaureL STREAM Center on the Woodside Priory School campus. The 12,000-square-foot center houses three state-of-the-art science labs, four art labs featuring metals, glass, and ceramics, painting and drawing, and a digital lab with a 3D printing farm.
The Marine Mammal Center’s mission is to advance global ocean conservation through marine mammal rescue and rehabilitation, scientific research, and education. The LaureL Foundation has supported the Mammal Center since 1997. In 2021, we provided TMMC with a three-year grant for its Teaching Hospital Initiative, which is meeting the critical need for hands-on training and mentoring in marine mammal health for veterinarians and animal care staff.
Grassroots Ecology leverages the power of volunteers to create healthy lands across Silicon Valley. They restore native plants to open spaces and neighborhoods, steward creeks and watersheds, and provide hands-on nature education.
The Bay Area Lyme Foundation focuses on fostering and funding new and innovative research to accelerate the development of new diagnostics and treatments for Lyme disease by creating new partnerships and collaboration among research institutions, clinical practices, and the public and private sectors. The LaureL Foundation underwrites all of the overhead costs of the foundation so that 100% of other funds raised go to support research and prevention programs.
The Laurel Foundation has supported the HWAC and its mission of “people helping animals and animals helping people” since 1999. Recent grants include HWAC’s Equine Therapeutic Riding program, which serves riders with special needs through equine-assisted activities and the Critter Camp, which helps children learn to share the Earth with and care for animals.
The mission of Pets In Need is to advance the no-kill movement, reduce pet homelessness, and find every dog and cat a loving home. They accomplish their mission by rescuing cats and dogs from public shelters in the Bay Area and beyond when they are in danger of being euthanized due to space or financial limitations.
The Lymelight Foundation is uniquely dedicated to funding medical treatment for individuals with Lyme. The founders understand the incredible expense of battling Lyme disease and the inability of many families to afford proper treatment, so the foundation provides grants to enable eligible children and young adults with Lyme disease to receive proper treatment and medication.
The LaureL Foundation is proud to support Youth ALIVE! and its Teens on Target program, which trains East Oakland high school students to be leaders and peer violence prevention educators. Each year, up to 50 new youth leaders are trained in the program. In the first half of the school year, in twice-weekly after-school sessions, they master a comprehensive student-designed violence prevention curriculum, while also learning presentation skills and discussing issues of violence and trauma that affect them every day. In the second half of the school year, they teach that curriculum to middle school students across the city. With modules on gun and gang violence, dating and family violence, the root causes of violence and dealing with peer pressure, the workshops make everyone safer. Throughout the school year, TNT youth leaders participate in public hearings, rallies and forums with city leaders to assure their voices are heard.
Adolescent Counseling Services empowers youth in in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties to find their way through social-emotional support and by building safe, accepting communities. The LaureL Foundation supports ACS’ On-Campus Counseling (OCC) Program, which provides bilingual on-site individual and family counseling, crisis intervention, mental health education, and support at no cost to students/families attending local middle and high schools.
The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning youth. The LaureL Foundation is supporting the Trevor Project’s education program, which aims to create safe spaces for LGBTQ at-risk youth in schools and community centers across the country. The Foundation also supports their advocacy efforts, including the campaign to end conversion therapy, the discredited idea that a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity can be forcibly changed via a host of degrading and dangerous techniques.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) is using a four-year grant from the LaureL Foundation to defend women’s labor rights in the international garment industry. HRW is investigating and exposing labor rights violations such as unsafe factory conditions and sexual harassment. The project has also increased corporate accountability via a campaign that convinced companies such as Nike and Levi’s to adopt a transparency pledge and publish information identifying the factories that produce their goods, addressing a key obstacle to rooting out abusive labor practices across the industry.
IGNITE is building a movement of young women who are ready and eager to become the next generation of political leaders. With LaureL Foundation support over the last three years, IGNITE has become the largest young women’s political leadership in the country and the only organization that provides sustained training to an audience that is primarily young women of color, on the ground, in the communities where they live.
The LaureL Foundation has supported two Feminist Majority programs: Girls Learn International (GLI) and Feminist Campus. GLI educates and energizes middle and high school students to learn about human rights, with a focus on girls both in the US and globally, and to boldly take action for equality. There are school-based GLI Chapters across 30 states and the District of Columbia and involve more than 3,000 young activists. GLI groups work with the GLI International Partner School Network on projects such as rehabilitating a girls’ bathroom at a school in Sierra Leone. Feminist Campus program is the nation’s largest college campus network of affiliated groups, students, and faculty on more than 600 college campuses in 47 states and the District of Columbia. Feminist Campus groups are a source of support for their local reproductive health clinics. With the proliferation of increasingly restrictive laws, extremist-led sieges of clinics, and defunding efforts threatening women’s health clinics, young people are needed to organize and provide volunteers, escorts, legal observers and public support. Feminist Campus groups also work to counter sexual harassment and assault on college campuses; one in five college students are victims of sexual assault.
Founded in 1996, Eastside College Preparatory School is an independent secondary school dedicated to opening new doors for students historically underrepresented in higher education. The school prepares students to succeed in college and helps them make the transition to professional life. Students, who attend free, come predominantly from East Palo Alto and eastern Menlo Park, as well as from other educationally underserved Bay Area communities where the high school drop-out rate is as high as 60 percent. More than 100 students (about a third of the student body) reside on campus. The LaureL Foundation has supported scholarships for two students every year since 2001.
Debate teaches students to analyze complex issues, formulate evidence-based arguments, and communicate these persuasively. By engaging students in debate, Silicon Valley Urban Debate League empowers low-income youth and unlocks the power of their voices to become advocates for themselves, their future employers and their communities. SVUDL was launched in 2014 to fill a gap in after-school academic opportunities in high-poverty schools throughout the Silicon Valley. What began with two pilot programs in August 2014 has since grown to nearly 400 students in 11 schools and organizations. The young people it serves are 70% low-income, 90% of color, and nearly 80% are young women.
The mission of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Peninsula is to provide the low-income youth in the under-served neighborhoods of East Palo Alto, Menlo Park, and Redwood City with the opportunities they need to achieve school success. The LaureL Foundation supports BGCP’s Expanded Learning Time Program at Hoover Community School in Redwood City. The program provides students with academic, enrichment, and socio-emotional learning programs that advance them toward high school graduation and postsecondary success.
Mission Be provides mindfulness-based social emotional learning to help children thrive academically and beyond. The organization offers programs directly in schools and trains educators to bring mindfulness practices to their classrooms in the greater Silicon Valley area. Mission Be’s programs increase academic performance by building children’s inner-resilience to stress and trauma while improving their focus and learning ability. The LaureL Foundation awarded a two-year general operating support grant in 2018 to help the organization build capacity and sustainability.
WildCare’s mission is to advocate for wildlife for a sustainable world, and they pursue this mission through nature education, wildlife medicine, advocacy and community outreach. Through partnerships with schools, collaborations with other organizations, educational programs and activities, internships and volunteer opportunities the organization strives to make a positive difference in the Bay Area community. The LaureL Foundation has funded Wildcare since 2007, and currently supports the Nature Van program, which delivers the wonders of the natural world directly to the classroom.
The LaureL Foundation does not accept unsolicited proposals, but will consider 2-3 page letters of inquiry. We suggest contacting us via email to determine if an LOI is advisable. If invited, the narrative should describe how the organization would use the grant funds and, if you received a grant in the prior year, you should attach a brief report on the expenditure of those funds. If invited to submit a full proposal, you will have a month to submit a more thorough narrative. Because we utilize a streamlined grant application process, in most cases, no additional documentation will be requested; however, organizations that have not received a grant in the past or those requesting grants of $50,000 or more will be asked to provide financial information.