The Foundation’s priority communities include Baltimore, Chicago, Hawaiʻi, Israel, New York City, Northeastern Pennsylvania, San Francisco, and Rural Communities (primarily rural areas within proximity to other priority communities). Foundation funding extends to the greater metropolitan areas of the specific cities listed. All of these locations represent personal ties to the life and legacy of Harry Weinberg, as well as communities where Weinberg Foundation trustees reside and provide leadership.
Within each of its priority communities, the Foundation is focused on meeting the basic needs of people experiencing poverty by supporting organizations that provide direct services in the areas of Housing, Health, Jobs, Education, and Community Services. Requests for funding should align with the Foundation’s grantmaking priorities within at least one of the focus areas.
- Baltimore: Our Hometown
- New York City
- Northeastern Pennsylvania
- San Francisco
- Rural Communities
Baltimore: Our Hometown
The Greater Baltimore region has served as home to the Foundation’s headquarters since its founding by Harry and Jeanette Weinberg in 1959. The Foundation as we know it today has existed since 1990. Today, nearly 25 percent of the Foundation’s approximately $130 million in annual grantmaking supports direct service providers in Greater Baltimore, operating across all of the Foundation’s focus areas: Housing, Health, Jobs, Education, and Community Services (see How We Give).
Aging in Community Collaboratives
Housing Upgrades to Benefit Seniors (HUBS) in Baltimore City and Baltimore County Age-friendly Upgrades for Seniors (BCAUSE) are collaborations of nonprofits, local government, and philanthropy to enable low-income older adult homeowners to remain independent by providing home modifications and repairs—including grab bars, electrical and plumbing repairs, and roof and furnace replacements—in addition to wraparound services. To date, the Foundation has invested $9.3 million in these initiatives, which serve more than 2,500 older adults.
Deeply Affordable Housing
The Foundation has committed $8 million for programs in Maryland and Illinois to provide deeply affordable housing for people with disabilities. In partnership with state agencies, these programs create affordable apartments that enable eligible individuals to live independently and within their communities.
Baltimore Elementary and Middle School Library Project
The Foundation has committed $15 million to this multi-year, collaborative effort involving more than 30 community and government partners. The Library Project builds or transforms Baltimore City Public School libraries in neighborhoods where many students face academic and economic challenges. By 2024, the Library Project will serve nearly 9,000 students, as well as their families, through 19 new libraries (17 completed to date) and will have leveraged more than $30 million in additional federal, state, and local funds.
Baltimore Summer Funding Collaborative
This more than $3 million annual partnership, which has grown to include nearly a dozen funders each year, has distributed more than $22 million in grants over the last six years, including nearly $8 million from the Weinberg Foundation. The SFC supports high-quality summer programs for children and youth. Programs address one or more of the following areas: literacy; STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math); youth employment; college and career readiness; environmental education; health and overcoming stress and trauma; and enrichment, including sports and arts programming.
Wage Record Study for Maryland Grantees
The Weinberg Foundation, in partnership with the Abell Foundation and Annie E. Casey Foundation, is supporting a Wage Record Study through the Baltimore Workforce Funders Collaborative (BWFC). The BWFC contracted with the Jacob France Institute to analyze pre- and post-training earnings for participants of Maryland’s workforce development programs, in order to better understand the long-term impact of workforce interventions.
In 2019, the Foundation adopted a special focus on neighborhoods. For example, the Foundation has joined with Central Baltimore Partnership and others to enhance access to health care, healthy food, and youth opportunities for the residents of Midway, Barclay, and Greenmount West.
This program was created to provide support to small nonprofits (with an annual operating budget of $500,000 or less) that serve low-income individuals and families in Baltimore City through direct services. Eligible organizations may apply for up to $10,000 for one year in order to assist with general operating expenses, program, or capital costs, including equipment purchases, capacity building (e.g., evaluation and audit costs), and other eligible expenses. For more information please click here.
The Foundation supports nonprofit, direct service providers operating in Greater Chicago that are dedicated to meeting the basic needs of people experiencing poverty. Program and operating grants are restricted to the City of Chicago. Capital grants are open to the broader collar counties, with a preference for projects being developed in Cook County. Grants in Chicago must align with the Foundation’s focus areas: Housing, Health, Jobs, Education, and Community Services (see How We Give).
Recent grants have focused on the following areas:
- Out-of-school time programs that prepare young people for postsecondary success
- Job-training programs that result in an industry-recognized credentials
- Strengthening neighborhoods on the south and west sides of Chicago through direct service grants to community organizations
- Addressing housing instability and homelessness
The Foundation supports capital projects that provide new units of supportive housing, expand health centers, create new job-training sites, and increase the provision of supplemental food.
Partnership for Safe and Peaceful Communities
The Foundation participates in this partnership of philanthropic organizations committed to reducing gun violence in Chicago by aligning their grantmaking and collaborating with community leaders and organizations, as well as those in the public and private sectors.
Chicagoland Workforce Funder Alliance
The Foundation is a member of this initiative and supports several workforce development programs that provide job training, placement, and retention services. These include programs that assist individuals in preparing for, securing, and sustaining quality employment while also assisting them in breaking the cycle of poverty. For example, one Foundation partner based in Chicago provides training in manufacturing, which results in industry-recognized credentials for participants seeking careers in the metalworking industry.
Chicago Funders Together to End Homelessness
The Foundation is a member of this effort that supports several programs aimed at reducing homelessness including All Chicago, which leads coordination of homeless services across the city. The Foundation supports the creation of new units of affordable housing, particularly permanent supportive housing for vulnerable individuals and families. To learn more about Chicago Funders Together to End Homelessness, click here.
Today, the Foundation invests approximately $12 million annually in nonprofit organizations operating in Hawai‘i that have a core focus on serving vulnerable individuals and families, particularly in rural areas of the islands. The Foundation provides program, operating, and capital grants across its focus areas: Housing, Health, Jobs, Education, and Community Services (see How We Give).
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Native Hawaiian Community-Based Youth Initiatives
These collaborative efforts, most of them in rural communities, provide at-risk youth with leadership skills, strengthened connections to land and culture, career and college preparation, work-based learning opportunities, and improved health outcomes.
Rural Community Health Centers
The Foundation supports Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) across its priority communities in an effort to expand access to dental and behavioral health care. This initiative has been particularly important in Hawai‘i and rural areas where access is severely limited. Between 2015 and 2020, the Foundation granted more than $6.5 million for the renovation, expansion, and operational support of FQHC facilities, allowing them to serve a greater number of patients.
Collaborative Solutions to End Homelessness
The Foundation is an active participant in Hawai‘i’s Continua of Care and provides grants along the pathway to housing stability from street outreach to the development of permanent, affordable housing with supportive services.
Resilient Local Food Systems
To improve food security throughout Hawai‘i, the Foundation invests in networks of nonprofit organizations, local farmers and producers, and community health centers working together to rebuild community food systems.
Hawai‘i Workforce Funders Collaborative
The Foundation is a founding member of this partnership of philanthropic organizations working to ensure all Hawai‘i residents have access to high-quality jobs that strengthen communities and families.
Today, the Foundation invests approximately $12 million annually to nonprofits that provide direct services in the following three areas—Aging in Community, Jobs, and Women at Risk and Their Children. These areas are aligned with the Foundation’s funding priorities under the Housing, Health, and Jobs focus areas. For more information on these areas, please see the “Select Grants and Initiatives” section below.
Aging in Community
As in the United States, the Foundation supports projects that enable older adults to age independently, within their communities, and with maximum quality of life.
The following are examples of appropriate projects:
- Home modification programs that provide access to wraparound services and benefits
- Models that address older adults’ social determinants of health, with the goal of preventing hospitalization, readmission, and institutionalization
- Affordable housing that includes access to wraparound services and benefits
- Caregiver support programs that help with older adults’ daily personal care (bathing, dressing, walking, eating, etc.)
- The multisector Eshkolot or “Clusters” initiative led by the National Insurance Institute of Israel (NII) or, as it is known in Israel, Bituach L’Umi. Since 2017, the Foundation has provided 19 capital grants totaling just over $10 million. Projects include assisted living housing, as well as day care centers that provide a range of services for older adults enabling them to age independently and with maximum quality of life within their own homes.
The Foundation supports non-academic, technical training programs leading to economic independence. Projects may serve a range of populations, including but not limited to Israeli-Arab citizens, the Haredi or ultra-Orthodox population, Ethiopian Israelis, women at risk, older adults, and adults with disabilities.
Here are two examples of appropriate projects:
- Culturally sensitive employment programs that train vulnerable populations, including Israeli Arabs, the ultra-Orthodox population, and Ethiopians, for work in the technology sector
- Residential programs that include individualized employment training, counseling, and other wraparound services for low-income and vulnerable individuals
Women at Risk and Their Children
The Foundation supports organizations and programs that meet the needs of women at risk and their children in Israel, including those experiencing homelessness, escaping domestic violence and other forms of abuse, transitioning from sex work, or experiencing unstable employment. Projects should prioritize access to supportive services, as well as a path to economic independence.
Here are a few examples of appropriate projects:
- The renovation and construction of shelters that serve women and children escaping domestic abuse
- Programs focused on providing financial literacy training, comprehensive case management, and wraparound services that lead to greater economic independence for vulnerable women and their children
- Prevention programs that strive to reduce the effects of violence against women
For nearly two decades, the Weinberg Foundation has been privileged to bring prominent community and government leaders from the Foundation’s priority communities to visit Israel. While the Jewish community of Baltimore began sponsoring this trip in 1981, the Foundation has funded the Mission since 2001, and it has been solely running and leading the Mission since 2007.
Participants have the opportunity to meet with major Israeli political and community representatives, including social service agencies that reflect the Foundation’s approximately $12 million in annual grantmaking in Israel. The Mission trip has allowed participants to learn from, and share information with, Israeli nonprofits and experts.
The Foundation also introduces participants to experts on poverty in Israel who share several of the major challenges the country faces both now and in the future. The Foundation sees this trip as an opportunity to provide leaders of similar organizations with relevant data and information.
After building relationships with Mission participants for several years, in 2008, the Foundation launched the Alumni Scholars Program. This program includes annual events with keynote speakers covering current issues in Israel and throughout the Middle East, as well as book mailings, an alumni directory, and reunion dinners. Nearly 600 Israel Mission Alumni now remain connected with the Foundation, as well as each other. This network of meaningful, lasting relationships has produced tangible benefits for the community at-large in the form of partnerships and initiatives rooted in their shared experiences in Israel.
New York City
The Foundation’s grantmaking in New York City covers the five boroughs of Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens, and Staten Island. All grants must align with the Foundation’s focus areas: Housing, Health, Jobs, Education, and Community Services (see How We Give).
Solutions to End Homelessness
In New York City, the Foundation supports organizations that focus on moving people/families out of homelessness. This includes support for the following strategies throughout the five boroughs:
- Moving individuals and families out of homelessness through placement into long-term housing with the necessary supportive services.
- Constructing or renovating new units of housing with appropriate person-centered services in which formerly homeless individuals and families can afford to live.
- Creating, expanding, or upgrading facilities serving homeless youth, such as programming space, emergency shelter, and transitional and permanent supportive housing.
- Supporting the education of students in shelters by removing barriers to education and providing additional support to maintain positive educational experiences.
- Supporting the coordination and strategy development around the COVID-19 recovery efforts, including the stabilization bed program, for the homeless services system.
Alleviating Poverty Within the Jewish Community
New York City is home to the largest Jewish population in the United States, and 361,100 individuals—20 percent of the Jewish community in the city—live below 150 percent of the federal poverty level (defined as $33,000 for a family of four). There are specific populations that experience poverty within the Jewish community at higher rates, notably ultra-Orthodox Jews and immigrants from the former Soviet Union (FSU) including Holocaust survivors. However, overall, poverty within the Jewish community mirrors the country, affecting older adults, single parents, individuals with disabilities (and their families), and unemployed or underemployed individuals with limited assets. The following initiatives are examples of organizations working to alleviate Jewish poverty in New York City:
- Food Insecurity Partnership: The Foundation is partnering with UJA-Federation of New York (UJA-NY) and Met Council on a strategic initiative to alleviate food insecurity within the Jewish community in New York City. Most recently, the Foundation awarded a grant to UJA-NY to support the expansion of digital technology to a network of food pantries, enabling low-income individuals and families to obtain healthy food in an efficient and dignified manner.
- Older Adult Housing/Holocaust Survivors: The Foundation has partnered with organizations in the Jewish community that provide comprehensive services and supports to older adults, enabling them to live with maximum independence and quality of life. Services provided to older adults include transportation, access to health care, support for Holocaust survivors, and services for survivors of elder abuse.
The Foundation supports job-training programs that result in industry-recognized credentials, as well as job-placement and retention services. In New York City, the Foundation supports programs in many sectors including but not limited to information technology, health care, facilities management, woodworking, construction, food service, and administrative and customer service. The Foundation also supports capital projects, including a recent grant to Henry Street Settlement in support of its Firehouse renovation, which resulted in a comprehensive Workforce Development Center that provides employment and support services for immigrants, young adults, public housing residents, and transitional shelter residents. The Foundation is also a member of New York City Workforce Funders, a group of more than 50 public and private funders that pool and align more than $70 million annually to support a more effective workforce system for low-income job seekers in New York City.
LGBTQ Older Adults
Across its priority communities, the Foundation supports LGBTQ older adults as they age in their communities. In New York City in particular, the Foundation has provided program support for caregivers and nonprofits that are dedicated to helping LGBTQ older adults age independently and with maximum quality of life. The Foundation has also provided capital grants to support the construction of 224 units of affordable housing located in LGBTQ-supportive buildings that include senior centers focused on meeting the unique needs of LGBTQ older adults.
The Foundation’s grantmaking in Northeastern Pennsylvania covers Scranton and the surrounding counties. Grants must align with the Foundation’s focus areas: Housing, Health, Jobs, Education, and Community Services (see How We Give).
The Foundation supports quality training programs that lead to employment resulting in economic stability for individuals and families. This includes job-training programs that result in industry-recognized credentials, as well as job-placement and retention services. The Foundation also supports programs that provide people with the financial tools necessary to achieve economic stability.
Older Adults and Aging Services
The Foundation has a special focus on helping low-income older adults age in their communities with maximum independence and quality of life. The Foundation prioritizes funding projects that provide comprehensive No Wrong Door service delivery models and that highlight collaboration between multiple nonprofits, government, and/or the business community—crucial to long-term sustainable success in the region.
See also priorities for rural grantmaking.
The Foundation’s grantmaking covers the entire Bay Area, including Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, and Sonoma counties. All grants must align with the Foundation’s focus areas: Housing, Health, Jobs, Education, and Community Services (see How We Give). The Foundation is particularly interested in partnering with Bay Area nonprofits that provide direct services in the area of youth and family homelessness and operate scaled out-of-school time and/or college and career-preparedness programs.
Youth and Family Homelessness
In 2019, the Foundation joined the Rising Up Campaign as a funder— supporting this public-private partnership between the City of San Francisco, local nonprofits, and philanthropic partners—with the goal of reducing youth homelessness in San Francisco by 50 percent by 2023. The Foundation supports this and other initiatives and organizations that are working to solve the issue of youth and family homelessness.
The Foundation supports out-of-school time and summer programs working at scale in the Bay Area. Of particular interest are programs that emphasize academic achievement, but which also include enrichment opportunities. Preference is given to programs that work with students over multiple years and that demonstrate partnerships with other organizations and local school districts to support young people from grade school through college and a career.
College and Career Preparedness
Although the Foundation does not fund colleges and universities directly, it is interested in partnering with organizations that support students on pathways to and through college, community college, or career training. Grant applications should include evidence of degree completion, industry-recognized credentials, and/or employment of young people.
The Foundation has committed $3.7 million over three years to support several key initiatives aimed at improving the lives of Stockton residents, including Reinvent Stockton Foundation (supporting Stockton Scholars and Stockton Service Corps), with the goal of strengthening the high school to career pipeline, as well as civic leadership in Stockton. Funding also supports Advance Peace, an organization that provides transformational opportunities for young men involved in lethal firearm offenses by placing them in a high-touch, personalized fellowship.
The Foundation’s rural grantmaking focuses on communities located within, or surrounding, any of the Foundation’s priority communities. The Foundation has chosen not to adopt a strict definition of “rural.” Instead, potential grantees should provide, as part of their Letter of Inquiry, sufficient information to demonstrate that their service area is rural. Factors to be considered include but are not limited to population size and concentration, proximity to large metropolitan areas, number of service providers in the area, and infrastructure challenges that make meeting the needs of isolated and vulnerable people especially difficult.
In addition to aligning with the Foundation’s focus areas—Housing, Health, Jobs, Education, and Community Services—special consideration will be given to grant requests that align with the funding priorities listed below.
The Foundation awards capital and program grants that help low-income individuals and families in rural areas access health care, nutritious food, and essential services such as transportation and internet connectivity.
Here are a few examples of appropriate projects:
- “Demand-Response” Transit Programs allow individuals to make advance requests for transportation to access critical services such as medical care, behavioral health services, employment-training programs, or after-school programming. Programs include vanpools, car-sharing and share-ride programs, taxi subsidies, and volunteer driver programs.
- Care Coordination Models take a unique approach to providing comprehensive care services. One example is Program for Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) centers that coordinate all Medicare and Medicaid benefits, including health care (i.e., primary care), meals, social services, and transportation. PACE programs also utilize converted vans, small trucks, and other vehicles to provide health screenings, dental services, benefits enrollment, and other services.
- Technology and Telehealth Models use telecommunications and information technology to provide immediate assistance, particularly in the area of behavioral health.
The Foundation supports job-training programs that result in industry-recognized credentials, as well as job-placement and retention services. In rural areas, the Foundation places particular emphasis on its funding priority of youth employment and career support programs that provide quality, high school-based career exploration programs, as well as career and technical education initiatives that help students move directly from graduation to work-based internships or apprenticeships.
Capacity Building and Technical Assistance
The Foundation supports capacity building and technical assistance for rural nonprofits, including but not limited to efforts to improve data collection and management; develop systems and processes for tracking metrics and outcomes; enhance technological and other infrastructure; and replicate best practices.
Statement on COVID-19 emergency funding: The Foundation is working in each of its priority communities to support grantees in meeting urgent needs resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. For an overview of emergency grants made to date, please click here.