Welcome to the online application for the Marisla Foundation®.

Marisla was established in 1986 as a private, non-operating charitable institution. The Foundation makes grants in two program areas and one special interests category.


Human Services Program

The objective of the Human Services Program is to assist women, primarily regarding their physical, mental and financial health. Grants are made to programs that support activities that deal with the issues of homelessness, substance abuse, domestic violence and vocational training. Geographic focus is on Los Angeles and Orange counties in California.

Environmental Program

The Environment Program concentrates on activities that promote the conservation of biological diversity and advance sustainable ecosystem management. Primary emphasis is on marine resources conservation with a geographic focus on the western North America, Chile, and the western Pacific. The Environment Program also supports the search for solutions to health threats caused by toxic chemicals.

Special Interests

This category serves to provide support for compelling funding opportunities and special concerns as determined by the Board of Directors. Proposals for this category are by invitation only.


Marisla Foundation operates its grantmaking program with two full-time staff. Of the hundreds of proposals received each year, only a small percentage of them receive funding. For the convenience of those organizations seeking support, the proposal process is designed to be short and concise. To manage applications more efficiently, the Foundation instituted an online-only application system.

The Foundation is able to support only those organizations that have received tax-exempt status under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code or that are governmental entities. Grants are not made to individuals or for activities that support candidates for political office. Through donor-advised fund partners, Marisla is sometimes able to recommend Environment Program funds to international projects, but only for the specific geographies described above.

The Foundation strongly discourages the submission of multiple applications from one organization. This includes chapters or field offices. The Foundation also will not review more than one application per year (any twelve-month period) from any organization, including chapters and field offices.

The Marisla Foundation board makes funding decisions on a quarterly basis. Applications may be completed online at any time within the two month windows detailed below. If the application window opens on a weekend or holiday, the application will be available the next business day. However, in order to meet a deadline (1/15, 4/15, 7/15, and 10/15), an online proposal must be completed by midnight Eastern Standard Time (U.S.). If a deadline falls on a weekend or a holiday, the deadline date will not change. Application windows for proposal submission are as follows:

Indirect Cost Policy: Indirect costs or overhead may not exceed 15 percent of direct costs. This indirect cost allowance is to cover items such as rent, electricity, office furnishings and equipment, heat, accounting/staff services, and the time of the organization's chief executive, financial, and administrative officers.

ATTENTION:The proposal and reporting guidelines for the Environment Program have changed as of August 15, 2016. Organizations applying for grants through the Environment Program will be using UPDATED GUIDELINES for any applications submitted after August 15, 2016. Organizations will use the new reporting guidelines for any reports submitted for grants awarded in Q4 2016 or after. Current grantees and those who applied for the Q3 2016 cycle (May 15-July 15) will NOT be required to use new reporting guidelines. These changes do not apply to the Human Services or Special Interests Programs.

View this Webinar to Learn More About the Marisla Foundation's Updated Proposal and Reporting Guidelines for the Environment Program


Application Deadlines

Applications Accepted Board Meeting
November 15 through January 15 March
February 15 through April 15 June
May 15 through July 15 September
August 15 through October 15 December
Note: Deadlines are midnight Eastern Standard Time (U.S.) on the day listed.

How to Apply Online

Step 1: Eligibility Quiz

If we are in an application window (see schedule for when the foundation accepts proposals above), you can click on the START button below to access Marisla's Eligibility Quiz. If you meet the basic funding guidelines of the Foundation, you will gain access to the online application.

Step 2: Online Application

The online application will collect a variety of information to enable the Marisla Board to make their funding decisions. You will be able to save a draft of your application at any time. A link to the draft application will automatically be emailed to you so that you can submit until the funding deadline which is midnight Eastern Standard Time (U.S.) on the day listed. The Marisla staff and Board will not have access to draft applications.

Step 3: Review

Applicants can expect to receive a response approximately two to three months after each funding deadline.


Technical Inquiries

Should you have technical questions regarding the online application process, please contact our administrator, Foundation Source, at (800) 839-5316, or premiersupport@foundationsource.com, and they will be happy to assist you.

To view our Frequently Asked Questions, please click here to open them in a new window.

Programmatic Inquiries

Hard copy or electronic proposals will not be accepted by Marisla directly. However, programmatic inquiries can be directed to Margaret Lauer, Administrator, at Marisla Foundation, 668 North Coast Highway, PMB 1400, Laguna Beach, CA 92651 or peggy@marisla.org.