David Bohnett Foundation

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David Bohnett Foundation
David Bohnett Foundation logo
Founded 1999 [1]
Founder David Bohnett
Type Private foundation
95-4735846 [1]
Focus Voter education, animal language research, gun violence prevention, and LGBT rights
Area served
United States
Method Grantmaking
Key people
David Bohnett, founder and president
Michael Fleming, executive director[1]
Disbursements 2012: DecreaseUS$4,003,887 [2][3]
Mission We pursue our mission by providing funding, state-of-the-art technology and technical support to innovative organizations and institutions that, in addition to meeting our funding guidelines, share our vision.[1]
Website bohnettfoundation.org
David Bohnett [David Bohnett article]
Foundation founder and technology entrepreneur, David Bohnett

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 animal language research, gun violence prevention, and voter education.


Immediately after selling his popular internet social-network company GeoCities to Yahoo! in 1999, David Bohnett turned his attention to activism, and created the David Bohnett Foundation to make grants in activist areas most important to him. According to the Los Angeles Times Magazine, he "invests where he can actually improve lives, empower individuals and build viable communities in meaningful ways".[4] 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.[5][6]

In 2000, the foundation's first full year, it donated $2 million to LGBT organizations, AIDS services, gun control programs, and voter registration initiatives.[7] Bohnett's initial grants included large donations to GLAAD, the Family Equality Council, and the Human Rights Campaign.[5][8] 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.[5] 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 2014 there are over 60 David Bohnett CyberCenters in the U.S.[9]


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;[10] voting rights and registration initiatives; supporting research and public policies to reduce the impact of firearm violence; and animal research and rights.

Animal language research[edit]

The David Bohnett Foundation supports animal language research, funding of service animals and eliminating the trade of endangered species.[11] As of 2014, the foundation has disbursed over US$1,750,000 to recipients working on animal language research.[12]

Animal language research grant recipients[edit]

A selection of recent animal language research grant recipients includes:[11][12]


Internet café in Columbia
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 61 locations nationwide,[13] they offer business, educational, research, and recreational opportunities to underserved LGBT communities via computer equipment and access to the Internet.[14] As of 2014, the foundation has disbursed over US$3,000,000 to recipients providing CyberCenters.[15]

CyberCenter grant recipients[edit]

A selection of recent CyberCenter grant recipients includes:[15]

Fund for Los Angeles[edit]

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.[16] As of 2014, the foundation has disbursed over US$20,500,000 to recipients of funding from the Fund for Los Angeles.[17]

Fund for Los Angeles grant recipients[edit]

A selection of recent fund for Los Angeles grant recipients includes:[16][17]

Gun violence prevention[edit]

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.[18] As of March 2013, the foundation had awarded nearly US$3 million to organizations in the United States working to research and prevent gun violence.[19] As of 2014, the foundation has disbursed over US$3,250,000 to recipients working on gun violence prevention.[20]

Gun violence prevention grant recipients[edit]

A selection of recent gun violence prevention grant recipients includes:[18][20]

LGBT community[edit]

Protestors at marriage equality event in Minnesota
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. As of July 2013, the foundation had contributed more than US$12 million to non-profit organizations across the United States that work to support the LGBT communities and advocate for equal civil rights and liberties for all people in the United States.[21] As of 2014, the foundation has disbursed over US$17,250,000 to recipients working on LGBT issues.[22]

LGBT community grant recipients[edit]

A selection of recent LGBT community grant recipients includes:[21][22]

Voter education[edit]

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, partisanship 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.[23] As of 2014, the foundation has disbursed over US$4,500,000 to recipients working on voter education.[24]

David Bohnett Foundation Congressional Interns[edit]

US Congressional interns at the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center auditorium
US Congressional interns at the US Capitol Visitor Center auditorium on July 10, 2013

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.[23]

David Bohnett Foundation Leadership Programs[edit]

The Foundation also supports advances in public policy through David Bohnett Leadership Fellows programs at universities.[23] In Detroit, New York City, and Los Angeles, the graduate students receive positions in the mayor's office, and their stipends and tuition are paid for by the Bohnett Foundation.[25] These paid student interns have been involved in policy analysis and implementation, assisting speech writing, evaluating department heads, reducing homelessness, and other initiatives.[25] 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.[25]

David Bohnett Leadership Fellowship programs have been provided to:[23]

Voter education grant recipients[edit]

A selection of recent voter education recipients includes:[24]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e "GuideStar Reports for David Bohnett Foundation". GuideStar. Retrieved August 3, 2013. 
  2. ^ "David Bohnett Foundation 2011 Form 990-PF" (PDF). Internal Revenue Service. 2011. Retrieved August 3, 2013. 
  3. ^ "David Bohnett Foundation 2012 Form 990-PF" (PDF). Internal Revenue Service. 2012. Retrieved July 11, 2014. 
  4. ^ Kotick, Nina. "Eli Broad & David Bohnett: Cause/Effect". Los Angeles Times Magazine. May 2009.
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ Michael Fleming. LinkedIn.
  7. ^ "OUT 100: Money & Business". Out. January 2001. p. 59.
  8. ^ Foster, R. Daniel. "Net Worth". The Advocate. March 14, 2000. p. 25.
  9. ^ CyberCenters. David Bohnett Foundation. BohnettFoundation.org.
  10. ^ "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. 
  11. ^ a b "David Bohnett Foundation Programs - Animal Language Research". David Bohnett Foundation. Retrieved August 22, 2013. 
  12. ^ a b "Animal Language Research - Grants". David Bohnett Foundation. Retrieved July 13, 2014. 
  13. ^ "Map of David Bohnett CyberCenter locations". David Bohnett Foundation. Retrieved 2011-09-14. 
  14. ^ "David Bohnett Foundation gives $500,000 in 'refresh' grants". LGBT POV. Retrieved October 20, 2013. 
  15. ^ a b "CyberCenters - Grants". David Bohnett Foundation. Retrieved July 13, 2014. 
  16. ^ a b "David Bohnett Foundation Programs - David Bohnett Fund For Los Angeles". David Bohnett Foundation. Retrieved August 22, 2013. 
  17. ^ a b "David Bohnett Fund For Los Angeles - Grants". David Bohnett Foundation. Retrieved July 13, 2014. 
  18. ^ a b "David Bohnett Foundation Programs - Gun Violence Prevention". David Bohnett Foundation. Retrieved August 22, 2013. 
  19. ^ "5 Questions For... 5 Questions for...David Bohnett, Chairman, David Bohnett Foundation". Philanthropy News Digest. Foundation Center. March 27, 2013. Retrieved August 22, 2013. 
  20. ^ a b "Gun Violence Prevention - Grants". David Bohnett Foundation. Retrieved July 13, 2014. 
  21. ^ a b "David Bohnett Foundation Programs - LGBT Community". David Bohnett Foundation. Retrieved August 22, 2013. 
  22. ^ a b "LGBT Community - Grants". David Bohnett Foundation. Retrieved July 13, 2014. 
  23. ^ a b c d "David Bohnett Foundation Programs - Voting". David Bohnett Foundation. Retrieved August 22, 2013. 
  24. ^ a b "Voting - Grants". David Bohnett Foundation. Retrieved July 13, 2014. 
  25. ^ a b c Wogan, J. B. "Big-City Mayors Tap Grad Students for Their Teams". Governing. January 22, 2015.

External links[edit]