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Waitt Foundation


Last Updated: 2016-04-15

At A Glance

Waitt Foundation

(formerly Waitt Family Foundation)

P.O. Box 1948

La Jolla, CA United States 92038-1948

Telephone: (858) 551-4437


Type of Grantmaker

Independent foundation

Additional Descriptor

  • Celebrity: Business
  • Family foundation

Financial Data

(yr. ended 2014-12-31)

Assets: $146,089,616

Total giving: $6,131,377





Additional Contact Information

E-mail for Cherie Prothro:


Established in 1993 in SD - Founded by Joan and Theodore “Ted” W. Waitt. Mr. Waitt is the co-founder and former Chairman and C.E.O. of the computer hardware company Gateway, Inc.

Purpose and Activities

The primary mission is to protect the ocean from the impacts of overfishing by facilitating the creation of marine protected areas, engaging stakeholders to improve management of fisheries, fostering sustainable solutions, and raising public awareness as to the problem via a network of collaborative NGO’s and foundations.

Program Area(s)

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

Grants to Individuals Program

Scholarships to students in the tri-state region of SD, NE and IA.

Ocean Conservation

As its primary focus, the foundation supports a variety of ocean conservation efforts with an emphasis on marine protected areas and sustainable fishing practices. By raising global awareness about declining marine resources through scientific research, innovative sustainability solutions, and policy reform, the foundation's hope is that people will be inspired to make informed decisions in support of a healthy marine environment. From understanding how healthy ocean ecosystems work, to strengthening and expanding the world’s marine protected areas to reducing the seafood footprint, the foundation invests in ocean conservation projects with the potential for significant, measurable impacts on people’s lives and livelihoods. It is currently considering applications specifically related to the expansion or creation of new marine protected areas on a global scale. To apply online see foundation web site.

Program-Related Investment

The foundation has made a PRI in the form of a loan to support an educational film about the threat of the current environment to the world fish population.

Rapid Ocean Conservation

Rapid Ocean Conservation (ROC) grants provide small grants with a quick turnaround time for solutions to emerging conservation issues. This complements the Waitt Foundation’s existing major grants program and is responsive to conservation opportunities, supports higher-risk ideas at a low financial cost, and engages with small, local NGOs on a global scale. Proposals for grants up to $10,000 will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Proposals up to $15,000 will be considered, but granted highly infrequently. Project funds will be distributed with in 2 weeks of funding decisions. More rapid turnaround is possible for highly urgent projects. .

Fields of Interest

  • Environment
  • Foundations
  • Marine science
  • Natural resources
  • Oceans and coastal waters
  • Physical and earth sciences
  • Science
  • Sustainable fishing
  • Water resources
  • Wildlife sanctuaries
Population Groups
  • Academics
  • Economically disadvantaged people
  • Females
  • Low-income and poor people
  • Foundations
  • Independent foundations

Financial Data

Year ended 2014-12-31

Assets: $146,089,616 (market value)

Gifts received: $1,928,865

Expenditures: $7,271,056

Total giving: $6,131,377

Qualifying distributions: $6,737,080