Ralph M Parsons Foundation

Tax ID:


Tax-Exempt Status:


Budget (2019):

Revenue: $29,731,330
Expenses: $31,811,366
Assets: $397,220,867


Los Angeles, CA


1961 (Tax exempt 1963)


Los Angeles-focused grant making organization

President and CEO:

Wendy Garen

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Ralph M. Parsons Foundation is a grant-making organization that operates in Los Angeles County founded by construction magnate Ralph Parsons. While much of the organization’s donations are to apolitical community groups, it has funded some programs at left-of-center groups, notably the Anti-Recidivism Coalition (ARC). 

Founding and History

The Ralph M. Parsons Foundation was formed by the construction magnate Ralph Parsons in 1961. When Parsons passed away in 1974, he left the foundation $4 million in cash as well as 600,000 shares of Parsons Corporation. 1 In 1976 the foundation became fully separate from Parsons Corporation, and it currently has no financial interests in the company. The Foundation’s grantmaking efforts are focused in the Los Angeles County area. 2


At the end of 2018, the Ralph M Parsons Foundation reported $13,706,221 in revenue, of which $6,576,565 was derived from dividends and interest from securities, and $7,072,809 was derived from the net gain from the sale of assets. The foundation reported $28,988,271 in expenses, of which $20,006,491 was paid out in contributions and grants, $4,833,601 in professional fees, and $2,469,662 in compensation and employee benefits. The organization ended the year with $352,210,513 in total net assets. 3

Grant Recipients

The Ralph M Parsons Foundation divides its charitable giving across four different categories.

Civic and Cultural

The foundation supports various arts and cultural institutions, such as museums, performing arts, and gardens. 4 Some recent grantees in this area include $15,000 in general support funding for the African American Leadership Board, $35,000 in general support for school-based arts education at the California Dance Institute, the Descanso Gardens, and the Library Foundation of Los Angeles. 5 6 7


The foundation supports educational organizations including K-12 schools, charter schools, higher education, and vocational training. 8 Recent grantees in this area include a $20,000 grant to the Chinatown Service Center to support a youth academic mentoring program, $50,000 in general support to College Track and its college access programs, and $100,000 in general support to the Equitas Academy Charter Schools. 9 10 11


The foundation supports various health care organizations and initiatives around Los Angeles. 12 Recent grantees include a $75,000 grant to AltaMed Health Services to build capacity for telehealth services in the Los Angeles area, a $50,000 grant to Amanecer Community Counseling Service for mental health services, and $100,000 in general support to the Los Angeles Christian Health Centers for clinical services and Covid-19 response. 13 14 15

Human Services

The foundation funds organizations that work within the Los Angeles community in support of low-income children, foster youth, and the homeless, among other groups. 16 Recent grantees include various Boys and Girls Clubs in the Los Angeles area, $25,000 to the Children’s Action Network to recruit foster parents, and $50,000 in general support to the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank. 17 18 19

The foundation has also notably supplied two $75,000 grants, one in 2018 and one in 2020, to the left-of-center Anti-Recidivism Coalition (ARC). These grants were earmarked for the general support of formerly incarcerated individuals. 20 21 ARC is a member of the left-of-center Check the Sheriff Coalition in Los Angeles, California formed to oppose the policies and actions of Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva (D). The Coalition has demanded that Sherriff Villanueva resign, and that the California Attorney General investigate the Los Angeles Sherriff’s Department (LASD). 22


Wendy Garen is the President and CEO of the Ralph M Parsons Foundation, a position she assumed in 2008. Prior to this she had worked with the foundation for over 20 years. She has worked with numerous Los Angeles-based child-focused organizations and was previously a member of the Harvard Kennedy School’s Women’s Leadership Board. 23


  1. “Ralph M. Parsons – The Ralph M. Parsons Foundation.” Accessed August 2, 2021.
  2. “About Us – The Ralph M. Parsons Foundation.” Accessed August 2, 2021.
  3. Ralph M Parsons Foundation, IRS (Form 990-PF), 2018, Part I
  4. “Funding Priorities – The Ralph M. Parsons Foundation.” Accessed August 2, 2021.
  5. “African American Board Leadership Institute.” Accessed August 2, 2021.
  6. “California Dance Institute.” Accessed August 2, 2021.
  7. “Library Foundation of Los Angeles.” Accessed August 2, 2021.
  8. “Funding Priorities – The Ralph M. Parsons Foundation.” Accessed August 2, 2021.
  9. “Chinatown Service Center.” Accessed August 2, 2021.
  10. “College Track.” Accessed August 2, 2021.
  11. “Equitas Academy Charter Schools.” Accessed August 2, 2021.
  12. “Funding Priorities – The Ralph M. Parsons Foundation.” Accessed August 2, 2021.
  13. “AltaMed Health Services.” Accessed August 2, 2021.
  14. “Amanecer Community Counseling Service.” Accessed August 2, 2021.
  15. “Los Angeles Christian Health Centers.” Accessed August 2, 2021.
  16. “Funding Priorities – The Ralph M. Parsons Foundation.” Accessed August 2, 2021.
  17. “Grants Database – The Ralph M. Parsons Foundation.” Accessed August 2, 2021.
  18. “Children’s Action Network.” Accessed August 2, 2021.
  19. “Los Angeles Regional Food Bank.” Accessed August 2, 2021.
  20. “The Anti-Recidivism Coalition 2018.” Accessed August 2, 2021.
  21. “The Anti-Recidivism Coalition 2020.” Accessed August 2, 2021.
  22. Check the Sheriff Coalition. “About.” Accessed August 2, 2021.
  23. “Wendy Garen – The Ralph M. Parsons Foundation.” Accessed August 2, 2021.
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: November 1, 1963

  • 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
    2019 Dec Form PF $29,731,330 $31,811,366 $397,220,867 $11,224,304 $0 $0 $0 $0
    2015 Dec Form PF $23,564,400 $24,248,858 $360,544,164 $10,996,188 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2014 Dec Form PF $51,086,446 $30,684,689 $403,577,854 $14,329,401 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2013 Dec Form PF $18,884,915 $28,622,838 $409,333,132 $12,497,152 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2012 Dec Form PF $16,913,515 $24,395,925 $375,283,325 $10,284,495 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2011 Dec Form PF $18,429,883 $26,569,733 $351,509,803 $10,176,049 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)