The Weingart Foundation is a California-based grantmaking organization supporting left-of-center organizations, mostly in the state. The foundation provides grants and loans to left-progressive and left-of-center organizations that focus on immigration, race relations, economic matters, and youth organizing. Weingart Foundation has announced increased funding to groups focusing on racial matters in the Los Angeles area.
Founding and History
The Weingart Foundation was founded in 1951 by Ben and Stella Weingart.  Ben Weingart, a real estate investor, once was one of the richest people in California. He used part of his fortune on philanthropic causes, including the Weingart Foundation. 
Since its inception, Weingart Foundation has awarded more than $1 billion in grants and loans across California.  Focusing mainly on Southern California, Weingart Foundation advances left-of-center racial, social, and economic policies. 
Weingart Foundation was an initial funder of the California Black Freedom Fund (CBFF).  The CBFF advocates for removing police from schools, defunding the police and moving the money to social programs, closing state prisons and youth detention facilities, mandating the re-labeling of foods that it deems racist, changing redistricting, removing Confederate statues, and ending the use of facial recognition technology.  The fund is managed by the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, which has been controversial because of management and administration issues. 
Weingart Foundation is deeply connected to the Committee for Greater L.A. (Greater L.A.). Former Weingarten president and CEO Fred Ali was on the Greater L.A. steering committee along with current Weingarten Foundation president and CEO Miguel Santana who is also chair of Greater L.A.  The Committee’s major goal is to end homelessness as well as other social issues but much of its focus involves racism and perceived white supremacy.  Greater L.A. has stated that “white supremacy enforced by violence is an indelible part of American history” and that Los Angeles County has “perpetuated white supremacy” and the current system must be dismantled. 
Weingart Foundation has total assets of $830,894,039.  According to the organization’s tax returns from 2019, the Weingart Foundation recorded $153,440,527 in revenue and $49,558,165 in expenses.  In 2018, Weingart Foundation had $63,154,206 in revenue and $43,576,618 in expenses. 
In 2019, Weingart Foundation disbursed more than $32 million in grants, loans, and other contributions.  In FY2022, Weingart announced a plan to increase grants by $16 million focusing on systemic racism and racial injustice.  Grants in 2019 focused on left-of-center immigration groups including $25,000 to the California Immigrant Policy Center; $25,000 to the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund; $200,000 to Immigrant Defenders Law Center; $285,000 to the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights; and more than $105,000 to the Central American Resource Center of California. 
Grants made to left-of-center criminal justice policy organizations included $75,000 to Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles; $125,000 to the Californians For Justice Education Fund for unrestricted operating support; $125,000 to Californians For Justice Education Fund; $150,000 to Californians For Safety and Justice; $200,000 to PICO National Network; and over $150,000 to the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles. 
Other grants to liberal and left-progressive groups included $150,000 to California Calls Education Fund for census activities, over $1.1 million to the California Community Foundation for immigration and census expenses, $85,000 to California Latinas For Reproductive Justice, over $150,000 to the Children’s Defense Fund of California, $20,000 to Human Rights Watch, over $1.73 million to the Liberty Hill Foundation, $125,000 to Strategic Actions For A Just Economy, and $150,000 to the Women’s Foundation of California. 
Miguel Santana became president and CEO of the Weingart Foundation in January 2021.  Prior to taking the post, Santana was president and CEO of Fairplex, the non-profit entity that runs the Los Angeles County fairgrounds.  From 2009-2017, Santana was the chief administrative officer (CAO) for the City of Los Angeles.  While CAO, Santana proposed raising sales taxes in Los Angeles.  In 2010, Santana pled no contest to driving under the influence after failing a field sobriety test in a city-owned vehicle and received three years’ probation.  Previously, Santana was deputy chief executive officer for the City of Los Angeles and chief of staff to Los Angeles County Supervisor Gloria Molina (D).  Santana also chairs the Committee for Greater L.A., a liberal coalition seeking to “dismantle institutional racism.” 
Fred Ali was the president and CEO of the Weingart Foundation from 1999-2020.  From 1991-1999, Ali served as executive director at Los Angeles’ Covenant House, a non-profit serving homeless youth.  Previously he was a counselor and teacher at a school in Alaska.