Community Benefit Program


The Community Benefit Grant Program awards grants from the Port Community Mitigation Trust Fund, which was established to address Port of Los Angeles and Port-related impacts in the communities of Wilmington and San Pedro.

In the past, HCBF has awarded grants by releasing a Request for Proposals. This model required applicants to complete a full grant application, in response to an RFP, with Staff providing feedback after recommendations were made to the Board of Directors. HCBF now utilizes a Request for Letters of Interest (LOI) for Community Benefit grant rounds. An LOI is a two page summary of your proposed project or program that will help HCBF tackle Port impacts. The LOI model will lower the barrier of entry and allow Staff to provide feedback prior to an applicant being invited to submit a full application. See the FAQ section below for more details.

Links for Current Community Benefit Grantees:

HCBF Approved Language
Submit Grant Report

Community Benefit Round 7 Coming in Fall of 2018!

Community Benefit, Round 7, has an anticipated Request for Letters of Interest release in early Fall 2018. Stay Tuned!


Will Community Benefit Round 7 priorities be the same as previous rounds?
HCBF’s mission is to mitigate the Port of Los Angeles’ impact on the communities of San Pedro and Wilmington, although, specific priorities may shift for each new round. Priorities for new rounds will be detailed in the Request for Letters of Interest.

When will Round 7 be released?
Round 6 Request for Letters of Interest will be released in late Spring or early Summer of 2018.

Can I apply for a grant in Round 7 if I received funding in Round 6?
You are not eligible to apply in Round 7 for the same project or program that was previously awarded funding in Round 6 (currently in progress). However, you may apply for a project or program that is independent from the one previously funded by HCBF.

What is the Community Benefit program?
The goal of the Community Benefit Program is to mitigate the impact of Port of Los Angeles operations in the communities of Wilmington and San Pedro. HCBF is seeking Letters of Interest (LOIs) that can meaningfully tackle impacts through projects or programs.

Who is the Community Benefit program for?
Non-profit organizations, schools, community organizations, and other community stakeholders. Applicants must be a tax-exempt organization, or apply under an organization with tax-exempt status.

What types of programs and projects are you looking to fund?
The Community Benefit program is not limited to one type of project or program. You may apply for any project or program that you believe can adequately mitigate a Port impact in Wilmington and/or San Pedro. Since Port impacts are vast and complex, mitigating them requires a multitude of solutions. So long as the primary focus of your project or program is Port mitigation, your idea is eligible. Please read our Examples of Past Funding section for a glimpse into the projects and programs that HCBF has funded in the past to address Port-related impacts.

What are Port and Port-related impacts?
These impacts are from the operations of the Port of Los Angeles, both on and off-port property, and it is HCBF’s goal to address these impacts by funding projects and programs that mitigate the past, present, or future impacts. The following are Port Impacts that HCBF has previously funded in the Community Benefit program:

  • Aesthetics
  • Air Quality
  • Health Risk
  • Land Use
  • Marine Life
  • Noise
  • Safety
  • Water Quality

How can my organization help to mitigate impacts if it is not our mission?
Mitigating Port impacts is a unique funding mission that is not typically a direct fit with the mission and scope of many non-profit organizations or applicants. That said, there are many ways that traditional non-profits, schools, and other community groups could mitigate Port impacts using existing programs, beyond typical environmental or health-focused applicants. Here are just a few examples:

  • Career Development
    Applicants have proposed internship programs that focus on Port impacts, such as respiratory disease, or protecting marine life.
  • Youth Development
    Applicants have proposed after-school programs that address Port impacts, such as air pollution education, or volunteer programs, such as weekend clean-ups or beautification projects in areas impacted by the Port.
  • Technology
    Applicants have requested technology to address Port impacts, from air quality monitoring equipment and respiratory ventilators to 3-D printers that can be used as a teaching tool for marine life lessons.
  • Arts
    Applicants have requested support for arts programs that focus on Port impacts, such as a photography course cataloging the Port’s aesthetic imprint on the Harbor.

I’d like to learn even more about Port impacts and the Los Angeles Harbor communities to guide my request. Can you point me in the direction of additional information?
Please read our Research section for access to studies, data, and free tools that provide greater context about Port related impacts in San Pedro and Wilmington.

What have you funded in the past?
Please read our Examples of Past Funding section for a glimpse into the projects and programs that HCBF has funded in the past to address Port-related impacts.

Why is HCBF transitioning to an LOI model for grant submissions?
With feedback from grantees and applicants we realized that grant submissions are time consuming and often overwhelming to schools and smaller organizations. One reason is to lower the barrier of entry for applicants.

What is a Letter of Interest (LOI)?
An LOI is a two page synopsis of your project or program. This is your opportunity to let us know how your potential project or program will mitigate Port impacts. The LOI should include a brief description of your organization, a summary of the proposed project or program, how the project or program will mitigate impacts of the Port of LA, and desired outcomes. Remember, this is the first step in the process, so if invited to submit a full request you will have time to complete an application with more detail.

How does the LOI process work?
Once submitted, your LOI will be reviewed internally by HCBF Staff. Staff will then provide technical assistance to each applicant and make recommendations to our Ad-Hoc  Board committee. Staff, along with the Ad-Hoc Board committee, will decide which organizations are invited to submit a full application. If chosen to move forward in the process, you will receive the RFP and invited to submit a full application. Please know that the goal of implementing an LOI process is to give us the opportunity to make sure applicants are going in the right direction before they invest the time to complete a full application. 

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