History & Mission

Funding and grantmaking to improve the lives of older Californians.

Archstone Foundation's mission is to contribute towards the preparation of society in meeting the needs of an aging population.    

Archstone Foundation was formed in 1985 when FHP, Inc., a nonprofit HMO, became a for-profit corporation, and was required by California state law to convert the fair market value of its assets into a charitable foundation. The FHP Foundation's Board of Directors identified healthcare and older adults as one of the Foundation's central interests, in part due to FHP’s longstanding focus on healthcare and Medicare contracts.

In 1995, the Foundation assessed its mission, governance, and the results of its first 10 years of grantmaking. At that time, the Foundation decided to focus exclusively on issues related to aging to build synergies among its grantees and increase the measurable impact of its funding.

The name Archstone Foundation was selected in 1996, to create a separate identity from FHP, which was acquired by PacifiCare Health Systems.  An "archstone" is an important linking piece in an architectural span or vault. The Foundation’s name represents its desire to serve as a social sector connector, a partner and supporter of organizations and individuals in Southern California devoted to the greater good. It also reflects the Foundation's commitment to partnership and to creating enduring change.

For nearly 20 years, the Foundation has taken a leadership role in the field of aging and philanthropy.  In partnership with Retirement Research Foundation, John A. Hartford Foundation, and AARP Andrus Foundation, Archstone helped build Grantmakers In Aging, the nation’s leading affinity group in the field, and it has continued to encourage other funders to also take an interest in preparing society to meet the needs of an aging population.

Since its inception, Archstone Foundation has awarded more than 900 grants with a total value of nearly $90 million, well surpassing its initial endowment.