Guess Which Foundation is the Top Domestic Violence Grantmaker in California

At least one in four women will be the victim of domestic violence in her lifetime, and an estimated 56 percent of domestic violence prevention revenue in California comes from government services that are facing budget cuts. The Blue Shield of California Foundation, the leading private domestic violence prevention funder in the state, awarded the Foundation Center a grant to study philanthropy’s contribution to the field of domestic violence.

Titled, “Foundation Funding to Address Domestic Violence in California,” this study showed that foundation funding for California domestic violence organizations grew 12.3 percent between 2002 and 2011. Most of this grant money has been going towards family services (80 percent), followed by prevention services (35.6 percent), legal services (28.8 percent), and public health (27.2 percent). The Foundation Center’s report also showed that San Francisco-based organizations receive approximately 27.4 percent of domestic violence funds and Los Angeles receives approximately 20.7% of the grants in the state.

“It is evident from this study that there is still ample space for additional funders to help end domestic violence,” Peter Long, Ph.D., president and CEO of Blue Shield of California Foundation, said in a press release. “Given the complex causes of and solutions for domestic violence, philanthropic organizations working on a variety of issues—from healthcare to childhood development—have clear opportunities to get involved and make a difference.”

Grants made by the Blue Shield of California Foundation make up over 30 percent of the total grant dollars awarded to domestic violence treatment, prevention, and education services. In addition to funding research studies like this one, violence prevention is one of the foundation’s primary grantmaking areas. Since 2009, Blue Shield has awarded grants to prevent violence in the homes of military families after Iraq and Afghanistan veterans return to their homes with post-combat stress. Addressing teen dating violence early-on and partnering with health care clinics are also major components of the foundation’s grantmaking strategy.

In 2013, Blue Shield made 63 domestic violence grants totaling $3.5 million in the San Francisco Bay Area and 71 grants totaling $4.1 million in Los Angeles. Recent 2014 grantees include the Bay Area’s Asian Women Shelter ($150,000 grant) and the East Los Angeles Women’s Center ($200,000 grant).

The important dates to keep in mind are May 9, July 18, and October 10. Those are Blue Shield’s 2014 Grant Cycle Letter of Inquiry deadlines. Upon submitting an LOI, you’ll hear back from the Blue Shield staff within 90 days, requesting for a full proposal, asking for additional information, or rejecting your project. Check the foundation’s What We Fund page for an updated listing of which program areas are accepting LOIs at any given time. Questions about applying for a grant can be directed to Grants and Contracts Administrator Jessica Gau, at