Liberty Hill Foundation

Change, Not Charity

Los Angeles, CA   |


Liberty Hill is first to identify community leaders at the frontlines of change. We invest in changemakers and equip them with the skills and relationships they need to build power and advance social justice. After more than 30 years, Liberty Hill is uniquely positioned to bring together forces for change and forge a common agenda for equality and opportunity in Los Angeles.

Ruling year info


CEO and President

Shane Goldsmith

Main address

1001 Wilshire Blvd. PMB 2170

Los Angeles, CA 90017 USA

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NTEE code info

Public Foundations (T30)

Civil Rights, Social Action, and Advocacy N.E.C. (R99)

Fund Raising and/or Fund Distribution (R12)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Liberty Hill is a public foundation in Los Angeles that advances movements for social change through a unique combination of grants, leadership training and alliance-building. Liberty Hill envisions a society built on racial, economic, environmental and social justice in which all people have a powerful voice, including those currently shut out of our democracy, people cut off from opportunities because they are poor, because of their skin color, because of their gender or sexual orientation, because of where they live, or where they were born. For more than 40 years, Liberty Hill has been Los Angeles’ epicenter for social justice, incubating cutting-edge social movements, transforming neighborhoods and empowering the leaders of tomorrow.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Liberty Hill Foundation Programs

Liberty Hill's Fund for Change provides grants to emerging and developing community-based organizations that work for social, racial, and economic justice. It helps groups establish themselves to become effective organizers through constituency building, leadership and outreach. Grants are targeted to organizations that have a proven track record, mature leadership, and a solid constituency. The goal of the fund is to help these organizations build solid institutions. 

Environmental Justice Fund: This fund makes grants to grassroots organizations that are working to decrease exposure to toxic substances in neighborhoods and workplaces, particularly in communities of color and low-income areas. Groups engaged in community organizing, applied research, policy advocacy, litigation, or popular education are eligible. 

LGBT Equality Fund: This fund provides critical support to new or ongoing projects addressing the issues of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered (LGBT) communities. Grants are targeted to groups actively working for institutional, policy, or public opinion changes that improve LGBT life and well-being and build alliances between LGBT and straight communities. 

Donor Advised Funds: Supports special interests of individual donors with the professional assistance of Liberty Hill staff.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Liberty Hill supports grassroots organizers by building power in communities of color most impacted by systemic oppression, while advancing racial, economic, environmental, and LGBTQ equity and justice. We focus our efforts on Los Angeles County because we understand that what happens in L.A. influences the nation. From early fights for LGBTQ equality, to our current Agenda for a Just Future—and its initiatives to eliminate neighborhood oil drilling, fight for a roof over every head and end youth incarceration as we know it—Liberty Hill has championed and funded changemakers, visionaries and fighters for justice for more than 40 years.

We seek to build the power of grassroots community organizing groups to win significant social change and expand foundations' understanding and support of social change through community organizing.

Social justice non-profits are steadily building their capacity to wage powerful campaigns to create systemic change. Liberty Hill has developed strong programming to accelerate these capacity-building and social change efforts while using donor-advised grants to increase our support to social justice organizations. The key challenge before us is to significantly increase our financial strength in order to increase our impact. It is more important than ever to increase the base of support for social change.

Our Focus is to position Liberty Hill Foundation for greater impact and growth.

We will do this by:

Accelerating change through greater program impact
1. Engage our community advisors more deeply
2. Support the Wally Marks Leadership Institute to create more social change leaders
3. Maximize our impact by supporting anchor/expansion organizations
4. Invest in and lead policy change efforts and other campaigns
5. Continue investing in seed organizations as well as new and emerging issues

1. Continue to provide educational opportunities for current and potential donors and host events on the fundamentals of giving
2. Deepen efforts to solicit and support new donor advised funds, giving circles, scholarship programs and other restricted funds
3. Directly engage donors with our programs
4. Deepen engagement and increase donor organizing and activism
5. Expand outreach and refine the donor experience through strategic communications

Building our income and diversifying our donor base
1. Identify and cultivate new donors and increase giving from current donors
2. Develop a corporate/small business outreach strategy
3. Expand our major gifts and monthly giving programs
4. Launch a planned giving program
5. Prospect new foundation partners

Increasing awareness of Liberty Hill Foundation and our grantees
1. Conduct audience research in order to make strategic marketing investments
2. Identify new ways to articulate and market our community-centered philanthropy approach
3. Explore different approaches to capture and disseminate stories of our own and our grantees’ impact
4. Create strong, passionate, well-educated “brand ambassadors”
5. Use research, writing and publications to enhance our reputation and influence

Strengthening our board and staff capacity
1. Increase the size, diversity, capacity to fundraise and political influence of our board
2. Increase the diversity and build the capacity of our staff
3. Systematically integrate research and development and evaluation into our work
4. Further strengthen the integration of our programs and departments
5. Create a quality service-oriented culture based on the values of flexibility, nimbleness, professionalization, customization, and authenticity

Liberty Hill Foundation is uniquely positioned to dramatically increase the resources needed to fuel the ecosystem of social change in Los Angeles.

Liberty Hill has a strong history of investments that lead to results. Our work is consistently driven by grassroots organizers’ assessments of community needs and assets, opportunities and potential areas for progress. Liberty Hill's investment in emerging organizations five, ten and twenty years ago are now paying off in movements that are leading to positive change across the region.

Liberty Hill’s nimble, innovative approach is based on current conditions, trusting relationships, and our deep understanding of Los Angeles social movements. Since it is impossible to predict political changes, we build organizers’ skills, relationships, tools, systems and infrastructure so they are in place and ready to seize political opportunities when they arise. This approach results in long-term impact.

We build a diverse ecosystem of organizations to tackle today’s issues and stand ready for tomorrow’s movements. We use information from the frontlines of community change to continuously revise and prioritize specific issues to address. With an engaged Community Funding Board and staff with their fingers on the pulse of community change, Liberty Hill retains the flexibility to direct its resources to the efforts that will result in the greatest good, balancing near-term impact and long-term capacity.

Our Vision is to build the power of grassroots community organizing groups to win significant social change, build the long-term capacity for large scale movement building and expand the skills and innovative approaches of grassroots community organizers and other changemakers.

Secure victories that advance our Agenda for a Just Future goals to end youth incarceration as we know it, fight for a roof over every head, and eliminate neighborhood oil drilling.

1. $5 million in new state resources for CA Youth Reinvestment Fund.
2. Passed L.A. County Sustainability Plan
3. Passed two permanent rent control & eviction policies in L.A. County and Inglewood.

Grantees secured more than 30 new policy victories in 2019 alone with support from Liberty Hill Foundation. Highlights include:
1. Legalized Street Vending
2. L.A. City announced Green New Deal
3. LAUSD funded 30 Community Schools
4. Measure WW to reduce harassment and workloads for more than 3,000 housekeepers

Liberty Hill awarded more than $7 million in grants to social change organizations.

Funded 12 seed organizations engaged in community organizing.

Launch three public-private partnerships.

Train more than 1,800 through in-depth training and public events.


Liberty Hill Foundation

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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


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Connect with nonprofit leaders


Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Liberty Hill Foundation

Board of directors
as of 10/11/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Amelia Williamson,

Founder, AWA Consults

Board co-chair

Jared Rivera

Political Director, SEIU Local 2015

Term: 2019 -

Paula Litt

Community Activist

Amelia Williamson

AWA Consults

Mark Smith

Vice President, Senior Lead WMG Relationship Manager,Bank of the West

Mary Ann Braubach

Documentary Filmmaker and Film Producer

Marta Ferro

President of Starfish Impact, Inc.

Paul Hernandez

Chief Strategy Officer, Fenton Communications

Jon Christensen

Adjunct Asst. Professor, UCLA

Angel Roberson-Daniels

Executive Director, The Angell Foundation

Sarah Pillsbury

Board Emeritus, Advisory Board, Pat Brown Institute, Cal State LA

Jared Rivera

Political Director, SEIU Local 2015

Tim Silard

President, Rosenberg Foundation

Mitchell Singer

Principal, Singer Philanthropy

Belen Vargas

Associate Vice President for Operations, Cal State LA

Jennifer Ito

Research Director, USC Equity Research Institute

Julie Hermelin

Managing Partner, Gutsy Media and Wake Up & Vote

Shimica Gaskins

President & CEO of GRACE/End Child Poverty CA

Veronica Flores

CEO, Community Health Councils

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Not applicable

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 10/11/2023

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, or other sexual orientations in the LGBTQIA+ community
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation