Everychild Foundation was born out of the passion and dedication of a group of women in Los Angeles who together wanted to make a serious difference in the lives of children in need. Everychild’s funds are derived from member donations, in lieu of fundraising events, which can often be costly and require many hours of planning.
Our approach is simple:
Create a small group of women —just over 200— who are each ready to commit $5,000 annually. Membership is limited in order to eliminate bureaucracy and to ensure a highly efficient organization. To become a member of the organization, an opening must be available.
Target one non-profit organization each year with a dream project that our gift can make possible. Each project must profoundly help children facing disease, abuse, neglect, poverty or disability.
Award $1 million to fund that project. All grant recipients are closely monitored and grant money is delivered in phases, based on performance in meeting specific grant requirements.
Limit membership in order to eliminate bureaucracy and red tape and to ensure a highly efficient, targeted organization. To become a member of the organization, an opening must be available; however, Everychild will always welcome contributions of any size from anyone or any institution wishing to help further the mission of helping children in need.
The general term used to describe a group where members pool charitable donations and democratically select the grantee or grantees who will receive the funds is called a “giving circle.”
Giving circles are gaining in popularity in the United States, particularly among women. Currently, it is estimated that there are at least 400 in existence. According to the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers, the Everychild Foundation is one of the larger giving circles of which they are aware and one of the most successful in terms of amount of dollars granted.
The Everychild Foundation has caused a ripple effect in the community and beyond beginning with its success in leveraging its grants. Everychild seeks to fund projects that are prototypes and can inspire replication either within the community, nationwide or even worldwide.
Everychild has also served as a catalyst for multiple other philanthropic acts both among individual members and beyond, creating a “philanthropic multiplier effect.” For example, individual Everychild members have often made gifts to the grant runner-up candidates. This began with Advisory Board Member, Gregory Mitchell, CEO and President of California National Bank arranging for the bank to fund Stone Soup’s after school programs, followed by Member Jane Wurwand and The Dermalogica Foundation funding the Mar Vista Family Center’s expansion project. Most recently, Member Monica Rosenthal and other Everychild members provided the funds to allow Inner City Arts to realize its new theater project. The Rosenthals also funded the John Tracy Clinic’s Sound Beginnings program to screen newborns for hearing loss. If detected early, such losses can be completely curable with cochlear implants.
In addition, the Everychild Foundation has also served as the direct inspiration for the creation of at least twelve new charitable groups, including:
But the ripple effects do not end there. While most private foundations have, at most, a handful of people reviewing their grant applications, Everychild has a team of 20 trained by a professional consultant, plus the consultant herself. This has helped Everychild to garner a reputation as having one of the most thorough grant review processes in Los Angeles. Directors at other prestigious local foundations have stated that if a project can survive Everychild’s review process, it must possess merit. Consequently, a number of these projects have received the attention of other philanthropists in the community, resulting in significant grants.
Family members of Everychild women have also become inspired by the foundation and its accomplishments. While they do not directly participate in the grant selection process, they are encouraged to attend project dedication events, salons and other events. Many family members have expressed how much they have learned by attending these events and how it has stimulated discussion at their dinner tables about children’s issues and philanthropy. Invariably, the result has been an increase in charitable activities of their own and more thoughtful investigation beforehand.