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The Ralph M. Parsons Foundation


Last profile update: 05/09/2017
Last grant data update: 07/08/2017

At A Glance

The Ralph M. Parsons Foundation

888 W. 6th St., Ste. 700

Los Angeles, CA United States 90017-2733

Telephone: (213) 362-7600


Type of Grantmaker

Independent foundation






Incorporated in 1961 in CA - An engineer and industrialist, Ralph M. Parsons founded the Ralph M. Parsons Co., one of the country's largest engineering and construction concerns. In 1976 when it received bequests from Mr. Parsons' estate valued at nearly $9 million. The foundation's assets, originally shares in the Ralph M. Parsons Co., increased from $21.2 million in 1977 to $84.2 million in 1980, to $190 million in 1992. In October of 1984, the Parsons Corp. Employee Stock Ownership Plan bought all outstanding shares of its stock, which included a substantial block held by the foundation.The foundation has distributed more than $350 million in grants and has an endowment of approximately $360 million in 2012

Purpose and Activities

Since 1978, the foundation's grantmaking has helped Southern California nonprofit organizations improve the broad fabric of the entire community. This approach recognizes that museums and arts programs are as important to our collective well-being as after school services, community clinics and food banks. Accordingly, the foundation invests in excellence in social services, health care, the arts and higher education in Los Angeles County. The foundation is a responsive grantmaker. It has always invited local organizations to come to it for what they need to do their best work. This includes core operating support, which is a powerful way to help nonprofits struggling to fulfill their missions in hard economic times.It's not that the foundation does not fund capital campaigns, equipment purchases, and staff positions, because it does. It simply encourage carefully considered requests for top organizational priorities. .