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The Ralph M. Parsons Foundation


Last Updated: 2016-04-15

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

Financial Data

(yr. ended 2014-12-31)

Assets: $403,577,854

Total giving: $20,688,000






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. .

Program Area(s)

The grantmaker has identified the following area(s) of interest:

Civic and Cultural

Grantmaking in this area is broad based, ranging from support for public gardens, performing arts organizations, museums, and more, in the recognition that that all people should have access to cultural experiences.


Grantmaking in this area seeks to increase access to health care for the disadvantaged, and provide funding for improvements at area healthcare facilities.

Higher Education

The foundation makes grants to improve the quality of higher education. The foundation strongly prefers to support colleges and universities in southern California.

Social Impact

Grants support programs focused on providing services to traditionally underserved and disadvantaged populations. The primary focus is programs serving children, families and the elderly.

Fields of Interest

  • Arts and culture
  • Arts education
  • Arts services
  • Child welfare
  • Community and economic development
  • Early childhood education
  • Education
  • Family services
  • Health
  • Higher education
  • Homeless services
  • Housing development
  • Housing for the homeless
  • Human services
  • Legal services
  • Museums
  • Performing arts
  • Science
  • Secondary education
  • Senior services
  • Youth development
Population Groups
  • Adolescents
  • Children and youth
  • Economically disadvantaged people
  • Homeless people
  • Low-income and poor people
  • Coalitions and alliances
  • Multipurpose centers

Financial Data

Year ended 2014-12-31

Assets: $403,577,854 (market value)

Expenditures: $30,684,689

Total giving: $20,688,000

Qualifying distributions: $23,048,825