the sam initiative

The SAM Initiative believes that collaborative giving provides donors with a meaningful opportunity to have a greater impact in our community. We support programs that promote social change and benefit women, children and families in the Greater Los Angeles area. We seek to select causes that reflect our passions and we focus on community needs that can benefit from our time, commitment, abilities and insights.


To inspire and serve as a catalyst to improve the lives of women, children and families in Los Angeles through expanded, engaged philanthropy.


To increase the pool of donors in Los Angeles who contribute to Sustainable and Accountable organizations, growing the Movement for social change.


To educate others about community needs and the role of philanthropy in driving lasting social change, promote participation in the process of building self-sustaining communities, and increase our giving capacity through innovative programs that engage and inspire our members.


Donors recognize that when they pool their philanthropic resources, they can speak with a collective voice and make an even larger impact on the issues they seek to address.
— Mindy Freedman, Founder of The SAM Initiative


 Get Involved

The fundamental belief of The SAM Initiative is to create giving opportunities to meet the needs of the community. Members can choose their level of involvement and area of interest. Membership provides knowledge, interest, support, and friendship. To learn more about getting involved in The SAM Initiative, contact us.

Becoming a member

The SAM Initiative offers different levels of involvement to it's members. The grants we make go to non profit organizations in the Greater Los Angeles area who have a measurable impact in our community. We are able to work in partnership with the organizations we fund, delving into their needs, and evaluating how best we can help. Membership provides knowledge, interest, support, and friendship.

Giving opportunities

The SAM Initiative

The focus of this group is to improve the lives of women, children, and families in the Greater Los Angeles area.  There are four meetings per cycle with opportunities to get more involved through leadership and subcommittee positions. The process includes presentations by organizations, proposal reviews, site visits, due diligence oversight, and an awards ceremony. Committee participation is optional and members are able to join throughout the entire giving cycle. Our giving cycle runs from October through April. To learn more about becoming a SAM member, please contact us.

SAM Social Enterprise

SAM Social Enterprise (SAM SE), The SAM Initiative, and the California Community Foundation (CCF) are working closely in partnership to create a streamlined funding opportunity that is beneficial to the participants, the organizations and the community. This group convenes in one day to discuss all pre-vetted nominations. The group is then given the opportunity for site visits, followed by a second meeting for organizational presentations, discussion and final vote.  Social enterprise is a cutting-edge trend that combines the passion of a social mission with the efficiency of a market based approach. The purpose of this type of investment is to strengthen the sustainability of nonprofit organizations and to create real societal change.  To learn more about SAM SE, please contact us

Educational Events

The SAM Initiative is partnering with others to provide access to educational events and opportunities for collaborative giving in the community. These events are open to the public and membership is not required to participate.  To learn more about our Upcoming Events please click here.



Our Grant Nomination Committee selects organizations to participate based on group interest and pressing issues within the community.  Chosen organizations are asked to present a fast pitch presentation to our members and is used as an educational opportunity open to anyone interested in attending.  Our members review grant applications and evaluate where we can have the greatest impact. The process includes organizational presentations, site visits, due diligence process and award ceremony.


Our goals are to pool our charitable dollars in order to make the most meaningful philanthropic impact in the Greater Los Angeles area; To inspire others to give and to move organizations toward self-sustainability. To learn more about our grants, visit our grants page.