Who We Are
Purposes, Principles and Policies Of The Henry L. Guenther Foundation
The Henry L. Guenther Foundation is a private non-profit charitable California corporation organized to promote and engage in exclusively charitable endeavors, which will tend to improve social conditions, promote human welfare, and/or alleviate pain and suffering.
The Guenther Foundation does not conduct or administer its own charitable programs, but operates mainly by making grants to organizations that have the capacity to satisfy basic human needs to human welfare. The Guenther Foundation’s articles of incorporation do not require the foundation to support any particular charitable causes or institutions. Similarly, the terms of its establishment do not commit the foundation to the advocacy or promotion of any particular theories or doctrines in fields in which it may be interested. Therefore, the Guenther Foundation may choose from a wide variety of charitable endeavors to accomplish its purpose.
Endowed with the advantage of choice, the Guenther Foundation primarily applies its resources to preserve and enrich the benefits to be derived by California residents, and principally those residing in Southern California, from improved and expanded medical services, opportunities for youth, and other similar humanitarian projects. Within these broad areas of interest, the foundation draws upon the talent and experience of leaders from many walks of life to select organizations of demonstrated competence that have sound programs that will be able to reach and sustain high levels of performance. In choosing particular projects to support, the Guenther Foundation’s Board of Directors acts, without partiality or prejudice, on the basis of criteria involving no pressures other than those imposed by good judgment as to how the public welfare may be served most effectively.
The Guenther Foundation must decline many requests for funds each year for one or more policy reasons. While the foundation continually reassesses its grant program, it does have established policies to guide its board of directors in allocating its donations. These policies are not rigid and occasional exceptions may be made to some of them under unusual circumstances; however, as a general rule, exceptions should not be requested and organizations desiring to obtain a foundation grant may determine their eligibility for consideration by reference to these policies. They are:
- The Guenther Foundation does not make grants to individuals for any purpose; nor does it participate in the administration of programs it supports in the areas of scholarships, student aid, or medical assistance. Grants are made to organizations operating such programs when the selection of recipients is conducted in conformity with accepted standards.
- Grants are generally not made to governmental agencies or subdivisions; nor to organizations whose benefits will accrue to these entities. Projects that receive, or expect to receive, substantial support from taxation at any level of government through direct funding, interest free or no interest loans, or the provision of “in kind” services of any type are generally not eligible for foundation grants.
- Despite a natural concern for religious institutions, the Guenther Foundation does not make grants to sectarian or religious organizations when their principal activity is for the benefit of their own members.
- Grants are usually not made to organizations soliciting funds in support of projects or programs operated by someone other than the applicant.
- Foundation grants are confined to the support of nonpartisan, nonprofit organizations that are operated in the public interest and have tax exempt status as charitable organizations granted by the Internal Revenue Service and the California Franchise Tax Board.
- The Guenther Foundation only makes grants to organizations operating in the State of California and only in aid of programs that are for the benefit of California residents. The foundation has particular concern for the welfare of Southern California area residents.
- The Guenther Foundation is principally interested in providing improved or expanded services through programs already in operation. Prospective applicants should not request funds to pay normal operating expenses or to aid in the operational phases of established organizations or programs. Grants may be made for either capital needs or exceptional operating expenses when they cannot be anticipated or funded through normal income.
- The Guenther Foundation grants funds for expenditures before they are made, but, in the absence of compelling circumstances, it does not make grants to liquidate or reduce previously incurred obligations or operating deficits.
- There are many worthy organizations and programs eligible for grants, and the Guenther Foundation’s income has never been sufficient to meet all of the meritorious requests for funds. For this reason, the foundation will not grant funds to any organization two years in succession and prefers not to grant funds more often than once every three years.
- Ordinarily, applications for grants that require a commitment of funds in future years will not be favorably considered. Requests should be presented within a reasonable period of time prior to the anticipated need for the funds.
- If funded, the Guenther Foundation will require the organization to submit a detailed half-year report and year-end report of the project, including program narratives, budget spreadsheets, photos, press releases, and any other relevant, pertinent reporting information.
Board Of Directors’ Review
All applications for grants within the foregoing policy limitations are given careful consideration and evaluation by the Guenther Foundation’s Board of Directors. The deliberations of the board include an analysis of each application in terms of the following criteria:
- The serious, current need for the facilities or services proposed by the applicant’s project and the extent to which the project would duplicate existing facilities or services in the geographically affected area.
- The reasonableness of the budget for the project, including assurances as to the availability
of the requisite funds for the project to the extent that they are not to be furnished by the proposed grant.
- The degree to which the project will have efficient and economical management by persons who are experienced and competent.
- The assurance that the results obtained by the project will be effectively communicated to, and practically utilized by, the persons whose needs are to be served, and whether the benefits that can be reasonably anticipated from the project warrant the investment required by the Guenther Foundation when compared with the alternatives available for the use of the same funds.
- The final action taken on each application is communicated to the correspondent named on the Application for Grant (page 1) in writing following the meeting at which the organization’s application is approved or denied.