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Pacific Life Foundation

Frequently Asked Questions about the Foundation’s Funding


  1. Does the Foundation accept online grant applications throughout the year?
    The Foundation only accepts online applications four weeks annually – from July 15 to August 15.

  2. How does an organization obtain a 2017 grant application form?
    2017 applications were accepted online July 15 - August 15, 2016.

  3. How does an organization obtain a 2018 grant application form?
    2018 applications were accepted July 15 - August 15, 2017.

  4. Can an organization apply for both a general grant and a capital grant in the same year?
    Yes. If an agency meets the eligibility requirements for both a general and capital grant, it may submit a general grant application form and a capital grant application form concurrently.

  5. What types of projects are considered in the capital grant category?
    Capital grants are generally given to an agency with an organized campaign already underway to raise substantial funds (e.g. to finance a building or major renovation). More than 50 percent of the campaign goal (excluding in-kind donations, anonymous gifts and loans) must be pledged prior to consideration by the Foundation.

  6. Does the Foundation consider grants to individuals?
    Support is not given to individuals, as the Foundation funding can only be given to tax-exempt nonprofit organizations that benefit many in the community.

  7. How can the Foundation be contacted if an organization has questions?
    Questions can be submitted online at or Foundation staff can be contacted between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. (Pacific Standard Time) by calling (949) 219-3214.

  8. If an organization’s 501(c)(3) tax-exempt public charity status is pending, can the organization submit a grant application?
    An organization must have a tax-exempt status and must include their 501(c)(3) IRS determination letter with their grant application. If an organization does not have a tax-exempt status it may request another tax-exempt organization to act as their fiscal agent. Note: If an agency has previously been funded by the Foundation, it does not need to submit their 501(c)(3) letter with their grant application.

  9. Does the Foundation fund organizations outside the United States?
    Only 501(c)(3) organizations that are based and operate in the United States can be considered for funding by the Foundation.

  10. The Foundation’s guidelines state that unless a K-12 school is invited to apply for a “3T’s of Education” grant, a school cannot apply to the Foundation for a general or capital grant. What is the “3T’s of Education” program?
    The 3T’s of Education program provides small grants to K-12 schools where groups of children or grandchildren of Pacific Life employees are in attendance. The T’s stand for Teacher Training, Textbooks, and Technology. K-12 schools cannot apply for 3T grants, as it is an invitation-only process based on eligibility. K-12 schools that qualify will be contacted by the Pacific Life Foundation.

  11. Does the Foundation have geographical grantmaking restrictions?
    Yes, contributions are made primarily in areas where large concentrations of Pacific Life employees work and live – generally, the greater Orange County, California area, Omaha, Nebraska, and Lynchburg, Virginia. Ideally, agencies should serve a large geographical area, e.g.,  including more than one city, school district, or community.

  12. Does the Foundation accept requests for in-kind donations?
    The Foundation does not accept requests for in-kind donations.

  13. Does the Foundation support fundraising events (e.g., luncheons/dinners, tournaments)?
    The Pacific Life Foundation and Pacific Life do not support fundraising events. The Foundation is a grant making foundation and prefers to support programs and services through direct grants rather than through event sponsorships.

  14. Does the Foundation accept applications for marine mammal research grants?
    Marine Mammal research grant requests are not accepted through the Foundation’s annual general and capital grant application process (July 15 – August 15). Researchers affiliated with a nonprofit organization that are interested in submitting a request for marine mammal funding must submit their requests ONLY when Request for Proposals (RFPs) are issued through The Ocean Foundation/Pacific Life Foundation Whale Research Fund. There is no RFP issued at this time.

  15. When was the Pacific Life Foundation established?
    The Pacific Life Foundation was established in 1984 with a $3 million gift from Pacific Life Insurance Company. Over the years, multiple grants of millions of dollars have ensured the constancy and dependability of Pacific Life's charitable giving program. At year-end 2016, the Foundation's trust principal was $94.4 million. In 2016, $6.25 million was contributed to over 300 agencies in the areas of health and human services; civic, community, and environment; education; and arts and culture.