Durfee Foundation




Tax ID:


Tax-Exempt Status:


Budget (2015):

Revenue: $6,738,041
Expenses: $2,651,981
Assets: $32,229,761




Carrie Avery


Family Foundation

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Founded by R. Stanton and Dorothy Avery with a donation of a portion of the wealth generated from the Avery-Dennison company they founded, the Durfee Foundation funds sabbaticals for non-profit leaders, provides support for innovators’ efforts to solve Los Angeles-area community problems, aids students and communities in scientific research of environmental issues, and offers start-up funding. 12

Durfee is led by a mixture of third and fourth generation family and an outside executive director. 3

The Durfee Foundation makes a handful of grants to left-of-center advocacy organizations and people associated with them, including TSNE MissionWorks (formerly Third Sector New England), California Common Cause, and Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs. 4


Stanton (Stan) and Dorothy Avery founded the Avery Foundation in 1960 from wealth derived from the invention and commercialization via the Avery-Dennison company, best known for manufacturing self-adhesive labels. 5

In 1977 the organization was renamed The Durfee Foundation in honor of Dorothy Durfee Avery, who provided the original capital to start Avery-Dennison. 6

Originally the organization made grants ad hoc with little focus either geographically or area of activity. As the second generation became involved each of the children were given a portion of the fund’s income to grant in areas of interest to each of them. Today the foundation is focused on Los Angeles geographically and to efforts in four areas. 7

Grant Programs


The Durfee Foundation funds sabbaticals (paid leave) for nonprofit leaders to create opportunities to develop skills, share best-practices, foster “cross-disciplinary dialogue” and provide “an extended break from their work for personal rejuvenation.” Up to six organizations are granted $60,000 per year to fund personnel sabbaticals. So far, over 100 individuals have benefitted from the program. Recipients have included workers at the Legal Aid Foundation for Los Angeles, the Pilipino Worker’s Center, and InnerCity Struggle. 8

Stanton Fellowship

The Durfee Foundation provides grants to individuals seeking to “improve the lives of people living in Los Angeles.” Up to six fellows are given $100,000 over a two-year period to develop their ideas while regularly meeting with other fellows to exchange thoughts and offer assistance. For instance, Molly Rysman of the Office of Supervisor Sheila Kuehl is a 2018 fellow focusing on the proper allocation of resources to reduce homelessness. Recipients include members or founders of the Liberty Hill Foundation, the Prevention Institute, and Move LA. 9

Springboard Fund

The Durfee Foundation provides grants to individuals and organizations. Awardees are given up to $70,000 (typically $35,000) over two-year periods. For instance, Vigilant Love was awarded a grant to continue resisting anti-Muslim sentiment in the greater Los Angeles area through its combination of “grassroots organizing, political advocacy, political education, the arts, and healing practices.” Other recipients include the Los Angeles Children’s Project, LA Compost, and Creative Acts. 10

Ignite LA

The Durfee Foundation provides a free program to high school students to develop their knowledge of, and interest in science. Chosen students attend a two-week course over the summer which takes them to a scientific research center in the United States (ex. The Rockies, Southwest desert, etc.) to volunteer as assistants to “investigate topics such as climate change, species adaptation, and environmental stability.” To date, the program has impacted 1,400 students and produced 84,000 volunteer hours. 11

Funded Programs

In addition to the grant programs it runs, the Durfee Foundation gives partial funding to three other programs. What’s Next: Leading a Thriving Transition provides leadership training and support to incoming non-profit organization leaders. Courage to Lead provides “leadership training, nurturing, and renewal” for existing non-profit leaders over a year-long time frame, which includes retreats to Casa de Maria in Santa Barbara. And the Nonprofit Sustainability Initiative helps non-profits restructure and attain long-term partnerships. 12


Claire Peeps has led the foundation as executive director since 1996. In 2001, she co-authored Activists Speak Out: Reflections on the Pursuit of Change in America. 13

Caroline D. Avery is the foundation president and granddaughter of the founders. She is an inactive attorney14 who serves on the boards and executive committees of Grantmakers for Effective Organizations and the Berkeley Repertory Theater. She is also board chair of the National Center for Family Philanthropy and the Northern California Grantmakers. 15

Halina Avery, a trustee and granddaughter of Stan and Dorothy Avery and sister of Christopher and Theodore Avery, is engaged in the launch of the Under the Sun Foundation (focused on building on the arts, environmental and community building activities of her father, Dennis Avery). 16

Michael Newkirk, the foundation vice president and a grandson of the founders, is a senior staff scientist at Emcore Corporation. 17

Johnathan Newkirk, a trustee and board treasurer, is Dean of Industry Studies and the chair of the Audio Engineering Department at Musicians Institute. 18

Diana McKee, a trustee and granddaughter of the founders, is Managing Partner of the Keegroup, a real estate investment company. 19

Christopher Avery, is a trustee and grandson of Stan and Dorothy Avery and brother of Theodore. 20

Theodore Avery, a trustee, grandson of Stan and Dorothy Avery, and son of Dennis Avery and Sally Tsui, is an attorney in Palm Desert, CA. 21

Paula Daniels, a Trustee, is an attorney and co-founder and Chair of the Center for Good Food Purchasing as a spin off from the Los Angeles food Policy Council and is a public policy leader in environmentalist food and water policy. 22

Vera deVere, a trustee, previously served as Director of Community Building and environmentalist nonprofit sustainability initiatives for the California Community Foundation. 23


Claire Peeps and Caroline Avery received $206,246 and $127,581 respectively in total compensation in 2017. Each trustee was compensated $5,000. 24


With current assets of $34,225,831, Durfee had income of $2,765,054 and expenses of $2,098,205 of which $1,003,874 was in the form of grants made. Direct charitable expense (programs operated internally) totaled $267,600. 25

The Earthwatch Institute received $674,440 in grant money representing 67% of the total grants provided. 26

Grants ($5,000 or more)

  • Alliance College Ready Middle Academy No.8
  • California Common Cause
  • Community Development Technologies Center
  • Community Partners
  • Earthwatch Institute
  • East Los Angeles Women’s Center
  • El Centro De Ayuda
  • Engage 240
  • Koreatown Youth and Community Center
  • La Cleantech Incubator
  • Lurn553
  • Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs
  • Third Sector New England


  1. “Our Story.” The Durfee Foundation. Accessed November 20, 2019.
  2. “Our Programs.” The Durfee Foundation. Accessed November 20, 2019.
  3. “Our People.” The Durfee Foundation. Accessed November 20, 2019.
  4. Durfee Foundation, Return of a Private Foundation (Form 990-PF), 2017, Part XV Line 3
  5. “Our History.” Our History | Avery Dennison. Accessed November 20, 2019.
  6. “Durfee .” Durfee , n.d.
  7. “Durfee.” Durfee, n.d. “Durfee .” Durfee , n.d.
  8. “Sabbatical.” Accessed November 15, 2019.
  9. “Stanton Fellowship,” Accessed November 15, 2019.
  10. “Springboard Fund.” Accessed November 15, 2019.
  11. “Ignite LA.” Accessed November 15, 2019.
  12. “Other Work.” Accessed November 15, 2019.
  13. “Claire Peeps.” The Durfee Foundation. Accessed November 20, 2019.
  14. California, The State Bar of. Caroline D Avery #144850 – Attorney Licensee Search. Accessed November 20, 2019.
  15. “Carrie Avery.” The Durfee Foundation. Accessed November 20, 2019.
  16. “Halina Avery.” The Durfee Foundation. Accessed November 20, 2019.
  17. “Michael Newkirk.” The Durfee Foundation. Accessed November 20, 2019.
  18. “Jonathan Newkirk.” The Durfee Foundation. Accessed November 20, 2019.
  19. “Diana McKee.” The Durfee Foundation. Accessed November 20, 2019.
  20. “Christopher Avery.” The Durfee Foundation. Accessed November 20, 2019.
  21. “Theodore Avery.” The Durfee Foundation. Accessed November 20, 2019.
  22. “Paula Daniels.” The Durfee Foundation. Accessed November 20, 2019.
  23. “Vera DeVera.” The Durfee Foundation. Accessed November 20, 2019.
  24. Durfee Foundation Return of Private Foundation (Form 990-PF) Part VIII Line 1
  25. Durfee Foundation Return of Private Foundation (Form 990-PF) 2017. Line I, 12, 26, 25, other expense schedule.
  26. Durfee Foundation Return of Private foundation (Form990-PF) 2017. Part XV Line 3.

Donor Organizations

  1. Baytree Fund (Non-profit)
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: August 1, 2001

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2015 Dec Form PF $6,738,041 $2,651,981 $32,229,761 $1,714,237 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2014 Dec Form PF $3,223,863 $2,473,679 $30,051,241 $636,503 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2013 Dec Form PF $1,362,854 $1,874,583 $29,959,320 $1,197,898 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2012 Dec Form PF $1,512,389 $2,005,192 $26,271,877 $882,010 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2011 Dec Form PF $1,293,481 $2,099,760 $24,851,690 $1,129,265 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Durfee Foundation

    700 S FLOWER ST STE 560
    LOS ANGELES, CA 90017-4243