Grantmaking at The San Francisco Foundation is strategic and responsive to the changing needs of the region: we reinforce communities through the thousands of grantees we support. By choosing only nonprofit organizations with exemplary records and promise for strengthening the Bay Area, we strive to make a greater impact, together.

Priorities and Strategies

We encourage you to learn about our priorities and strategies. These areas of focus are both for the near term in response to the economic downturn, and for the longer term to enhance our impact in community.


We support the Bay Area region through grants in Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, and San Mateo Counties. Our approach to grantmaking values the inherent strengths of local residents and their communities and looks for systemic solutions.

The Foundation serves communities traditionally excluded from positions of power and access to resources. We invest in the region’s anchor organizations as well as supporting and building on innovative new efforts.


The San Francisco Foundation has a variety of special projects, mini-grant programs, and initiatives that may issue Requests for Proposals (RFPs) or invite proposals at different times of the year. These grantmaking efforts are narrowly tailored to address a particular issue or geographic area. RFPs are released and publicized periodically through our website and through targeted communications. We encourage all interested organizations to visit our Program Area pages periodically for RFP notices.

We also welcome unsolicited applications once a year during our Open Application Cycle. In 2015, there will be two stages to the Open Application, with an initial portion opening via our online portal, Grantee Center, on January 2, 2015. Following review, organizations will be selected to submit a full application, with a deadline of March 13.

Please read the Grantseeker FAQ to learn more about applying for a grant.

Program Areas

We evaluate incoming grant applications for their alignment with the Goals and Objectives of our five Program Areas, listed below.