The Friars Charitable Foundation supports charitable efforts that are dedicated to the arts, education, or human services, benefiting the greater Los Angeles community, particularly where its funding can have a significant impact on programs and their participants.

Who We Are

The Friars Charitable Foundation, a 501 (c)(3) organization, was originally established in 1956 to carry out the philanthropic activities of the Friars Club of California.  The founders included community minded entertainers and leaders from the Golden Age of Hollywood. Since its founding, the Foundation has consistently supported the arts as well as health and education programs. In the 1980’s, the Foundation distinguished itself by being an early supporter of HIV/Aids-related research and services to those in need when most organizations were slow to respond to the impending crisis.


Now the Foundation funds programs and facilities that offer access to the performing arts, after school and summer programs for children and families, and programs for specialized adult needs. The Foundation continues to contribute to research, local care, and education awareness for cancer, mental and neurological health, and other debilitating conditions.   By supporting community-based organizations, small and large, programs innovative or well established, the emphasis is on opportunities where its grants can be leveraged with other resources available for greatest impact. The Foundation strives to continue the Friars’ vision of taking care of the young and never forgetting the aging. For over 50 years, the Foundation has also hosted an annual Holiday Program for Community Youth Centers. Each year, over 300 children enjoy a fun-filled afternoon of music, games, dancing, lunch, and gifts.



  • a strong conviction that the community benefits from all forms of cultural enrichment as befits an organization founded by individuals grounded in the arts
  • an abiding belief in building strong community members through education, mentoring, health initiatives, research and services
  • a deep commitment to high quality programs for all ages


  • core support for organizations to carry out their mission
  • specific program support
  • select capital improvement projects
  • capacity building efforts


2021 The Friars Charitable Foundation Form 990

2020 The Friars Charitable Foundation Form 990

Board of Trustees


Marilyn N. Stambler

Margaret G. Graf
Lissa Roth Harrison
Jay Rakow
Lenore Ross (Honorary)
Linda Schwartz
Fran Zigman (Honorary)
Lou Zigman
David Felman