It’s easy to focus on the many high-profile givers in Southern California and to miss low-key but potentially important funders like the Jerry A. and Katheleen A. Grundhofer Family Foundation. Although this local foundation has been around for over a decade, it typically gives donations quietly and lacks transparency, posing challenges for curious grantseekers.
Here’s a quick look at the Gundhofer couple and how their family foundation operates.
Getting to Know the Grundhofers
Jerry Grundhofer is a retired financier and the former chairman and CEO of U.S. Bancorp. Before that, he served as president of Star Banc Corporation and vice president of Security Pacific Bank/Bank of America. Throughout his successful banking career, Grundhofer was known for being able to turn around faltering banks through cost-cutting measures, customer service, and a sales-oriented culture. Less is publicly known about Jerry’s wife, Kathleen Grundhofer.
Big Areas of Focus
Since inception, the Grundhofer Family Foundation has maintained broad interests and has not narrowed its approach to grantmaking very much. Tax filings reveal that much of the couple’s giving through their foundation is for education and youth causes. These grants commonly go to high schools, universities and scholarship foundations.
The Grundhofers are also big supporters of the arts. Their daughter Lauren has an arts background and interests, and serves as the foundation’s secretary, alongside her father as president and mother as treasurer. Locally, the Grundhofers support major Los Angeles-area arts institutions, such as the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Museum of Contemporary Art. Another big interest area for the couple is health. They commonly support major hospitals and medical centers, as well as disease-focused organizations.
Dedication to Southern California
Jerry Grundhofer and his siblings were raised in the Los Angeles suburb of Glendale. He came from modest beginnings with a bartender father and a caterer/maid mother. Today, the Grundhofer Family Foundation is based in San Marino, California. Recent Grundhofer grantees in California are based in San Marino, Los Angeles, Palm Springs, Stanford and Rancho Mirage. Chicago is another geographic interest area for the family.
The Grundhofers do not Accept Unsolicited Requests
Unfortunately for Southern California grantseekers, the Grundhofer Family Foundation is not open to unsolicited funding requests. It only contributes to pre-selected charitable organizations and does not make itself accessible to local nonprofits.