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The David Bohnett Foundation is a global private foundation that gives grants to organizations that focus on its core giving areas – primarily Los Angeles area programs and LGBT rights in the United States, as well as leadership initiatives and voter education, gun violence prevention, and animal language research. As of 2018, the foundation has donated over $109 million to nonprofit organizations and initiatives.[3]

David Bohnett Foundation
David Bohnett Foundation logo
FounderDavid Bohnett
TypePrivate foundation
FocusLos Angeles initiatives, LGBT rights, Leadership initiatives and voter education, gun violence prevention, animal language research
Area served
United States
OwnerDavid Bohnett
Key people
David Bohnett, founder and president
Michael Fleming, executive director[1]
Revenue (2015)
DisbursementsMore than $109 million[3]
Expenses (2015)$3,694,765[2]
David Bohnett [David Bohnett article]
Foundation founder and technology entrepreneur, David Bohnett



Immediately after selling his popular internet social-network company GeoCities to Yahoo! in 1999, David Bohnett turned his attention to activism. He created the David Bohnett Foundation, "a nonprofit grant-making organization focused on providing resources for organizations pursuing societal change and social justice through activism", with an initial endowment of $32 million.[4] According to the Los Angeles Times Magazine, he "invests where he can actually improve lives, empower individuals and build viable communities in meaningful ways".[5] To serve as executive director and strategist for his foundation he hired Michael Fleming, who had been a media leader for the American Civil Liberties Union.[6][7]

In 2000, the foundation's first full year, it donated $2 million to LGBT organizations, AIDS services, gun control programs, and voter registration initiatives.[8] Bohnett's initial grants included large donations to GLAAD, the Family Equality Council, and the Human Rights Campaign.[6][9] A prime aim for Bohnett is to "create an environment which destigmatizes homosexuality", and to that end he has funded both national gay rights organizations and also local LGBT organizations and centers across the U.S.[6] The nationwide LGBT centers he has funded and created include numerous LGBT CyberCenters – safe-haven internet cafes where LGBT young people and seniors, and disadvantaged, troubled, or closeted gays, can find support and resources, including computers and internet access. Bohnett created the first CyberCenter in 1998, and as of 2017 there are over 60 David Bohnett CyberCenters in the U.S.[10]


The David Bohnett Foundation provides grants to outside nonprofit organizations and projects supporting several primary funding areas: The Fund for Los Angeles, supporting a broad spectrum of arts, educational and civic programs; LGBT-related causes; graduate school leadership programs at the University of Michigan, New York University and Harvard University;[11] voting rights and registration initiatives; supporting research and public policies to reduce the impact of firearm violence; leadership training initiatives for political public service; and animal research and rights.

Fund for Los AngelesEdit

The David Bohnett Foundation Fund for Los Angeles provides support to local organizations that are working to better the civic and cultural lives of people living in Los Angeles. These grants are made under the initiative of either David Bohnett or the David Bohnett Foundation.[12] As of 2017, the foundation has disbursed over $66,950,000 to recipients of funding from the Fund for Los Angeles.[13]

Fund for Los Angeles grant recipientsEdit

A selection of fund for Los Angeles grant recipients includes:[12][13]

LGBT communityEdit

Protesters gathered inside the Minnesota capitol to protest against a vote to put an anti-gay marriage amendment on the 2012 election ballot

The David Bohnett Foundation supports organizations and projects using social activism to advance the rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community. The foundation also assists and promoted philanthropic organizations that foster positive portrayals of lesbians and gay men in the media.[14] As of 2017, the foundation has disbursed over $20,875,000 to groups and organizations that strive to provide equal rights and protections for all LGBT people.[15]

LGBT community grant recipientsEdit

A selection of LGBT-community grant recipients includes:[14][15]


Example of a large CyberCenter setup

The David Bohnett Foundation has sponsored CyberCenters since 1998, with the first one established at the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center. Now there are CyberCenters across the United States, in locations like Atlanta, Tulsa, Orlando, San Francisco and New York City. The David Bohnett CyberCenters are another major undertaking—numbering more than 60 locations nationwide,[10] they offer business, educational, research, and recreational opportunities to underserved LGBT communities via computer equipment and access to the Internet.[16] As of 2017, the foundation has disbursed over $3,700,000 to recipients providing CyberCenters.[17]

CyberCenter grant recipientsEdit

A selection of CyberCenter grant recipients includes:[17]

LGBT leadershipEdit

The foundation has been a major and long-term supporter of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund,[18] especially its LGBT Leadership Fellows aimed at training LGBT leaders for state and local governments;[19][20][21][22] as of 2017 the Bohnett Leaders Fellowship at the Victory Institute has sent 118 LGBT leaders to the Harvard Kennedy School’s Senior Executives in State and Local Government program since 2002.[23] The David Bohnett LGBTQ Leaders Fellowship alumni have included Kyrsten Sinema, the first openly bisexual U.S. congressperson, and Annise Parker, one of the first openly gay mayors of a major U.S. city (Houston).[24][25]

Leadership initiatives and voter educationEdit

The Bohnett foundation supports the development of the next generation of municipal leaders, through a variety of initiatives and grants.[26] As of 2017, the foundation has disbursed over $5,595,000 to recipients and programs in its leadership initiatives.[27]

Leadership initiativesEdit

David Bohnett Foundation leadership programsEdit

The foundation supports advances in public policy through David Bohnett Leadership Fellows programs at universities.[28] It funds graduate-school civic internship and leadership programs at:[28][29][30]

In other grants, in Detroit, New York City, and Los Angeles, graduate students receive positions in the mayor's office, and the stipends and tuition of these David Bohnett fellows are paid for by the Bohnett Foundation.[31] These paid student interns have been involved in policy analysis and implementation, assisting speech writing, evaluating department heads, reducing homelessness, and other initiatives.[31] Several former Bohnett mayoral fellows occupy management positions in the cities where they had interned, and in 2014 Stephanie Chang, a Bohnett fellow from the University of Michigan, became the first Asian-American woman elected to the Michigan state legislature.[31]

David Bohnett Foundation Congressional internsEdit

The foundation supports African American and Hispanic and Latino American student internships in the United States Congress. In partnership with the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, summer internships offer students a private look into the United States' democratic process. In a series of educational opportunities within the United States Congress, students are encouraged to explore diversity through civic engagement, and build coalitions based on shared values, purpose and goals.[28]

Voter educationEdit

The David Bohnett Foundation supports safe and secure elections, both during the voting process and after. They provide funding to projects that work to ensure fair elections, protect voting rights, and raise the level of political discourse among all Americans, regardless of age, gender identity, political party or other diversities. The foundation supports projects working at local, state and national levels on a wide range of voter registration initiatives, from preventing polling-place irregularities to research that helps assess obstacles that keep certain populations from having their votes counted.[28] As of 2014, the foundation had disbursed over $4,500,000 exclusively to recipients working on voter education.[32]

Voter education grant recipientsEdit

A selection of voter education recipients includes:[32]

Gun violence preventionEdit

The David Bohnett Foundation works with public policy makers, advocates and activists to reduce gun violence and promote gun violence prevention policies. Funding is provided to groups and institutions that educate and advocate on the effects of guns and solutions to reduce gun violence.[33][34] As of 2017, the foundation has disbursed over $4,390,000 to recipients working on gun violence prevention.[35]

Gun violence prevention grant recipientsEdit

A selection of gun violence prevention grant recipients includes, but is not limited to:[33][35]

Animal language researchEdit

The David Bohnett Foundation supports animal language research, funding of service animals and eliminating the trade of endangered species.[36] As of 2017, the foundation has disbursed over $2,000,000 to recipients working on animal language research.[37]

Animal language research grant recipientsEdit

A selection of animal language research grant recipients includes:[36][37]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e "GuideStar Reports for David Bohnett Foundation". GuideStar. Retrieved August 3, 2013.
  2. ^ a b "David Bohnett Foundation" (PDF). Foundation Center. Retrieved 2 February 2018.
  3. ^ a b "Grants – All Programs: all years". David Bohnett Foundation. Retrieved March 21, 2018.
  4. ^ "Out in Business". The Harbus. Harvard Business School. October 14, 2003.
  5. ^ Kotick, Nina. "Eli Broad & David Bohnett: Cause/Effect". Los Angeles Times Magazine. May 2009.
  6. ^ a b c Callahan, David. Fortunes of Change: The Rise of the Liberal Rich and the Remaking of America. John Wiley & Sons, 2010. pp. 86–90.
  7. ^ Michael Fleming. LinkedIn.
  8. ^ "OUT 100: Money & Business". Out. January 2001. p. 59.
  9. ^ Foster, R. Daniel. "Net Worth". The Advocate. March 14, 2000. p. 25.
  10. ^ a b "Map of David Bohnett CyberCenter locations". David Bohnett Foundation. Retrieved January 17, 2017.
  11. ^ "David Bohnett Public Service Fellowship strengthens ties between Ford School, City of Detroit" (Press release). University of Michigan. September 17, 2010. Retrieved August 22, 2013.
  12. ^ a b "David Bohnett Foundation Programs – David Bohnett Fund For Los Angeles". David Bohnett Foundation. Retrieved January 17, 2017.
  13. ^ a b "David Bohnett Fund For Los Angeles – Grants". David Bohnett Foundation. Retrieved January 17, 2017.
  14. ^ a b "David Bohnett Foundation Programs – LGBT Community". David Bohnett Foundation. Archived from the original on September 2, 2013.
  15. ^ a b "LGBT Community – Grants". David Bohnett Foundation. Retrieved January 17, 2017.
  16. ^ "David Bohnett Foundation gives $500,000 in 'refresh' grants". LGBT POV. Retrieved October 20, 2013.
  17. ^ a b "CyberCenters – Grants". David Bohnett Foundation. Retrieved January 17, 2017.
  18. ^ "Cyber Center Stage". The Advocate. December 26, 2004. p. 49.
  19. ^ Dison, Denis. "Bohnett pledges $800,000 to LGBT leadership program" Archived 2012-07-16 at the Wayback Machine. July 10, 2012.
  20. ^ Dison, Denis and Carolyn Campbell. "David Bohnett Foundation awards grant to Gay & Lesbian Victory Institute for influential LGBT leadership program" Archived 2014-03-20 at the Wayback Machine. Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund. July 10, 2012.
  21. ^ "Bohnett Leadership Fellows" Archived 2014-03-31 at the Wayback Machine. Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund. 2013.
  22. ^ "David Bohnett Leadership Fellows Sweep Elections, Increase LGBT Presence in Local Government". November 7, 2013.
  23. ^ Ocamb, Karen. "David Bohnett, philanthropist with a social justice mission". Los Angeles Blade. April 22, 2017.
  24. ^ Rojc, Philip. "Inside Game: A Foundation Supports LGBTQ Leaders in the Halls of Power". Inside Philanthropy. September 9, 2017.
  25. ^ "10 LGBTQ Public Officials Selected for Prestigious Bohnett Leaders Fellowship at Harvard Kennedy School". Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund. June 1, 2017.
  26. ^ "Leadership Initiatives". David Bohnett Foundation. Retrieved January 18, 2017.
  27. ^ "Leadership Initiatives – Grants". David Bohnett Foundation. Retrieved January 18, 2017.
  28. ^ a b c d "David Bohnett Foundation Programs – Voting". David Bohnett Foundation. Archived from the original on September 2, 2013. Retrieved August 22, 2013.
  29. ^ Voting and other political programs Archived 2013-09-02 at the Wayback Machine. David Bohnett Foundation.
  30. ^ Leadership Initiatives. Retrieved October 27, 2015.
  31. ^ a b c Wogan, J. B. "Big-City Mayors Tap Grad Students for Their Teams". Governing. January 22, 2015.
  32. ^ a b "Voting – Grants". David Bohnett Foundation. Archived from the original on August 19, 2014. Retrieved July 13, 2014.
  33. ^ a b "David Bohnett Foundation Programs – Gun Violence Prevention". David Bohnett Foundation. Retrieved January 17, 2017.
  34. ^ "5 Questions For... David Bohnett, Chairman, David Bohnett Foundation". Philanthropy News Digest. Foundation Center. March 27, 2013. Archived from the original on May 12, 2013.
  35. ^ a b "Gun Violence Prevention – Grants". David Bohnett Foundation. Retrieved January 17, 2017.
  36. ^ a b "David Bohnett Foundation Programs – Animal Language Research". David Bohnett Foundation. Retrieved January 17, 2017.
  37. ^ a b "Animal Language Research – Grants". David Bohnett Foundation. Retrieved January 17, 2017.

External linksEdit