Southern California’s Edgerton Foundation and Its Local Funding

Southern California’s Edgerton Foundation and Its Local Funding

Dr. Brad Edgerton is a retired reconstructive plastic surgeon who created his own philanthropic foundation in 2000. Alongside his professional career, Edgerton has longstanding charitable interests in a few very specific areas.

Here’s an overview of the Edgerton Foundation’s grantmaking and local focus on Los Angeles.

Theater-focused funding

One of the main aspects of the Edgerton Foundation’s grantmaking is its theater funding. The foundation funds the development of New American Plays across the country and local theaters in Southern California. Supported theater organizations include the Geffen Playhouse, National Council for the American Theatre and the Center Theatre Group in Los Angeles. Edgerton has also served on the board of the Geffen Playhouse. In an 18-year period, the foundation awarded over $17,890,000 to 533 productions, 38 of which made it to Broadway.

Beyond arts and culture grantmaking

Aside from the foundation’s interests in the arts, Edgerton is known for his international policy and security interests. The foundation has supported a lecture series on “South Asian Security and China Rising” at the Pacific Council. The environment is also a foundation interest, as it supports programs for biodiversity, energy solutions and habitat protection in Alaska, Patagonia and other places. Grantees include the Alaska Conservation Foundation, Biodiversity Funders Group and Wild Landscape.

Locally focused on Los Angeles

Geographically, the Edgerton Foundation tends to support more nonprofits in the L.A. area than anywhere else. The foundation regularly supports artistic, educational and medical groups in Southern California, often those with personal connections to the Edgerton family. Grants have gone to the Pacific Council on International Policy, where Brad Edgerton is on the board, and the L.A. Philharmonic, where Brad’s wife, Louise, is on the board. Other Los Angeles-area grantees include the Occidental College Theater, Wallis Annenberg Center, Les Amies and the Library Foundation.

Typical foundation giving

In a recent year, the Edgerton Foundation reported over $106 million in assets and awarded more than $6 million in grants. Grants typically range from $5,000 to $100,000, with only an occasional grant exceeding a million dollars. The foundation awards grants to support organizations’ missions broadly.

Applying for an Edgerton grant

The Edgerton Foundation does not have a website to turn to for guidance and application materials. Brad and Louise Edgerton serve as the only trustees of the foundation, with Brad as the president/director and Louise as the secretary/treasurer/director. The foundation has no staff members or paid employees; however, independent contractors weigh in on investments, taxes, accounting and consulting. Los Angeles grantseekers may contact the foundation by phone with general questions.

You can read more about this funder in IP’s profile of the Edgerton Foundation.

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