Application Process and Overview

The W. M. Keck Foundation employs a two-phase application process. Applicants are urged to 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 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 to ensure eligibility:

  • Is the organization exempt from Federal taxation as defined by Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code
  • Is the organization 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?
  • Is the organization exempt from California State Franchise or Income Tax under Section 23701(d) of the Revenue and Taxation Code?
  • Is the organization headquartered in Los Angeles?
  • If the organization is statewide or national, does it have an independent affiliate or local chapter or office located in Southern California that serves communities in Los Angeles County?
  • Can the organization provide current full, certified, audited financial statements prepared on an annual basis in conformity with generally accepted accounting principles?

If the organization meets all of the criteria above, please call the Southern California Program Coordinator at 213-612-2038 to discuss next steps. You may also send a concept paper. If a further conversation is recommended, a conference call will be scheduled.

Consultations are scheduled on a first come, first served basis during the pre-application counseling period, which take place between January 1 and February 15 leading up to a May 1st Phase I Application submittal, or between July 1 and August 15 leading up to a November 1st Phase I Application submittal. 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. Other personnel contacting the Foundation will be referred to the central liaison.


General Rules

Applicants may submit one request per grant cycle to each of the Foundation’s program areas for which they are eligible: Medical Research, Science and Engineering Research, Undergraduate Education and Southern California.

Requests must be received in hard copy form and need to be received in our offices by 4:30pm (PT) in order to be considered on deadline days (November 1 for the June grant cycle and May 1 for the December grant cycle).

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 applicants if they are invited to Phase II. Note: Phase II Instructions apply only to invited applicants.

Please select a Phase below:

Southern California Program

Phase I Application

Phase II Instructions

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