Goldhirsh Foundation

Initiatives

Here’s a glimpse of some of the organizations and specific projects we support.


We invest our capital using three approaches to create systemic change: civic capital, seed capital, and expansion capital.

1. Civic Capital

Promoting mobilization and disruption within existing infrastructures.

Stockton Economic Empowerment Demonstration (SEED) via Economic Security Project
Supporting groundbreaking initiatives to ensure opportunity and economic security.
Led by Mayor Michael Tubbs, the Stockton Economic Empowerment Demonstration (SEED) is the first guaranteed income experiment in the U.S. to pilot basic income.
Los Angeles Mayor’s Fund
Developing civic pride by showcasing Los Angeles as a world-class creative capital
Through the Brand LA initiative, the Mayor’s Fund engaged with branding experts and creative thinkers at 72andSunny and the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development, to develop a consistent and revitalized identity for Los Angeles. This program, LA Original, celebrates LA as the creative capital of the world, showcasing LA’s manufacturers, makers, and entrepreneurs.
Transportation Technology Strategist Fellow at City of Los Angeles Department of Transportation
Designing the future of transportation in Los Angeles
With our support, Los Angeles has become the only municipality in the nation with a staff person dedicated to developing a citywide transportation technology strategy that promotes shared mobility and supports a safe, sustainable, and tech-enabled transportation network.
Heal the Bay in partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
The Compton Creek Trash Capture Project
Heal the Bay in partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers completed a project to build trash capture devices in the concrete portion of Compton Creek, the last major tributary that feeds into the Los Angeles River.
White House Fellowship in Entrepreneurship
Supporting sustainable economic growth and quality jobs with the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.
This fellowship is designed to coordinate and launch a national agenda supporting inclusive entrepreneurship and expanding business opportunities in the technology field, especially to women and formerly disinvested communities.

2. Seed Capital

Seeding social innovation in Los Angeles.

Opportunity Fund
Women Empowering Women builds capacity for women entrepreneurs.
Opportunity Fund is investing in targeted outreach and technology to reach and engage women entrepreneurs who are seeking to build sustainable small businesses.
The Imagination Foundation
Finding, funding, and fostering creativity and entrepreneurship in youth.
Inspired by Caine’s Arcade, we provided seed funding to build an organization that would support more kids like Caine. We want to “help kids not only to learn how to build the things they imagine, but to also imagine the world they can build.”
Hammer Museum Arts Restore LA
The Hammer Museum at UCLA believes in the promise of art and ideas to illuminate our lives and build a more just world.
The Hammer Museum tapped into the thriving Los Angeles creative community to curate an artisanal pop-up village in Westwood and offer a long term strategy to turn the neighborhood around.
Girls Academic Leadership Academy (GALA)
Promoting gender diversity and inspiring innovation in the STEM fields
GALA is LAUSD’s first all-girls public school. With a STEM-centered curriculum, GALA’s students will apply their academic and technology skills to build projects in a flexible, collaborative learning environment.
Locke Jet Space
No Right Brain Left Behind’s mission is to instill creativity in education. Green Dot Public Schools’ mission is to help transform public education so all students graduate prepared for college, leadership, and life.
No Right Brain Left Behind and Green Dot Public Schools transformed a neglected library at Locke High School into the Locke Jet Space to foster students’ exploration, critical thinking, and collaborative problem solving.

3. Expansion Capital

Bringing proven solutions from other regions to Los Angeles.

City Year
Redefining idealism by promoting the idea that each of us can make a difference.
We led City Year’s expansion to Los Angeles and then supported their growth in L.A. We also provided seed funding for their L.A.-based education conference on the topic of how service can drive education reform.
LIFT
Combating poverty and expanding opportunity so all Americans can pursue their life goals.
A longtime funder of LIFT, we worked with them to expand their model in L.A. We provided funding for a feasibility study and organized meetings with city officials, social service organizations, university administrators, potential board members, and funders to learn where LIFT could do the most good.
Peer Health Exchange
Giving teenagers the knowledge and skills they need to make healthy decisions by training college students to teach a health curriculum in public schools that lack health education.
A longtime funder of Peer Health Exchange, we helped expand and deepen their operations in L.A., specifically within USC, UCLA, CSU Northridge, and Occidental College, training more college students to teach the curriculum to additional 9th grade students in new neighborhoods.
Mission Asset Fund
Creating a fair financial marketplace for hardworking families.
We worked with Mission Asset Fund to bring Lending Circles for Citizenship and the Security Deposit Loan Program for the first time to Southern California.
Homeboy Electronics Recycling
Providing economic opportunity and responsible e-waste recycling.
We provided support for the merger of Homeboy Industries and Isidore Recycling, two nonprofits focused on reducing barriers to employment and recidivism while eliminating e-waste.
Harlem Lacrosse Los Angeles
Empowering children to work hard on the field and in the classroom.
We supported City Lacrosse’s expansion to Los Angeles. In Spring 2017, they merged with Harlem Lacrosse to form a national, school-based organization that provides academic support, mentoring, counseling, and lacrosse instruction.

We support initiatives in three categories: opportunity, sustainability, and activation. Within each category, organizations deliver the following vital services:

1. Opportunity

Provide skills, programming, and support structures to improve educational and economic opportunity.

GDIGM
Providing mentorship and educational pathways for girls across Los Angeles to achieve greater gender equity in media.
Opportunity Fund
Establishing financial and referral networks for minority, immigrant, and women entrepreneurs and small business owners.
826LA
Supporting students ages 6 to 18 with their creative and expository writing skills; empowering teachers; and providing tutoring, workshops, and more.
Library Foundation of Los Angeles
Providing in-person assistance, study materials and access to services and resources for citizenship and naturalization through the New Americans Initiative.
Surf Bus Foundation
Providing access for inner-city youth to engage in ocean sports and develop lifelong relationships with the sea.
Stockton Economic Empowerment Demonstration
Via Economic Security Project, piloting a basic income program to ensure opportunity and economic security.

2. Sustainability

Pursue environmental health through innovation at both the cause and response sides of the issue.

AltaSea
Bridging gaps in STEM education to grow the Blue Tech economy and investing in sustainable aquaculture.
Caltech Resnick Institute
Fostering transformative advances in energy science and technology. We kick-started the graduate fellowship program by delivering critically needed seed funding to support their cutting-edge, interdisciplinary research, and spurred further innovation by supporting their western regional clean-tech business plan competition.
Heal the Bay
Employing science, hands-on education, advocacy to improve the quality of life and the health of beaches, ocean, and inland waterways.
T.R.U.S.T. South LA
Working to create affordable homes for local families, with a plan to make better use of the 3000 acres of underutilized land in South LA.
Sierra Club
Leading conversations on climate disruption and the future of energy; launching coalitions for energy justice to push Los Angeles towards a clean energy economy.

3. Activation

Support pro-social platforms and tools for independent expression and individual mobilization.

XPRIZE
Bringing about radical breakthroughs for the benefit of humanity.
Propublica
Supporting the creation of independent media stories with a “moral force.”
Los Angeles Social Venture Partners
Amplifying impact through building social capital, investing in collaboration, and increasing funder engagement.
Tierra del Sol
Empowering adults with developmental disabilities through workforce development; providing opportunities for paid employment or professional volunteerism.
Kiva
Connecting people through lending; leveraging the internet and a network of microfinance institutions to alleviate poverty around the world.
Ciclavia
Catalyzing vibrant public spaces, active transportation and good health through car-free street events in Los Angeles.