East Bay Foundation on Aging

The East Bay Foundation on Aging (EBFA), a supporting organization at The San Francisco Foundation, is a grantmaking partner committed to improving the lives of vulnerable seniors in Oakland. Founded with the proceeds from the sale of the historic Matilda Brown Home for Elderly Women in Oakland, the East Bay Foundation on Aging is now entering its sixth year of grantmaking to organizations to improve and maintain the physical and emotional health of vulnerable older adults. In 2015, EBFA increased its grantmaking to $383,000, funding 15 organizations. The 2015 grantees are:

  • Alameda County Meals on Wheels
  • Alzheimer’s Services of the East Bay
  • Aphasia Center of California
  • Bay Area Community Services
  • Crisis Support Services of Alameda County
  • DayBreak Adult Care Centers
  • Justice in Aging
  • J-Sei
  • Legal Assistance for Seniors
  • Mercy Brown Bag Program
  • S.O.S Meals on Wheels
  • Senior Services Coalition of Alameda County
  • St. Mary’s Center
  • Vietnamese American Community Center of the East Bay


As one of the fastest growing states in the nation, California is experiencing profound demographic shifts. Among these is a growing elderly population, increasingly diverse in ethnicity and income levels. In the Bay Area, people aged 60 and older make up an increasing portion of the total population. Even today, Bay Area residents are already older on average than people in other parts of the country. In addition, as the economy worsens, there is a growing number of urban elderly poor. California leads the nation with the most elders living in poverty. Approximately 400,000 Californians 65 and older live in poverty, the majority of who are women and people of color. Oakland has the largest population of impoverished seniors in the state. These trends, combined with increases in chronic illness, the need for long-term care, and a financially constrained healthcare system, underscore the critical need to address the impact of these changes on Bay Area communities and on nonprofits serving senior populations.

Goal and Objectives

Founded in 2009 with the proceeds from the sale of the Matilda Brown Home for Elderly Women in Oakland, the EBFA has assets of approximately $10 million and an annual grantmaking program for this year of $354,000. Northern California’s oldest nonprofit, The Ladies’ Home Society of Oakland, ran the Matilda Brown Home from 1928 to 2007. Due to financial, infrastructure, and emerging issues related to the changing demographics and needs of seniors, the Society sold the facility and created a grantmaking entity that will continue the legacy of service to seniors.

Goal: Improve and maintain the physical and emotional health of older adults by supporting culturally competent programs that promote independence and provide services to seniors living in Oakland.

Grants will be considered for applicants that address this goal by focusing on one or more of the following objectives:

Objective One: Expand and strengthen services that promote aging in place.

  • Support safety net services, including food security, adult day services, and other social services for vulnerable seniors.
  • Support and strengthen organizations that offer training and support to caregivers, including nurses, family members, and home health workers.
  • Support and strengthen organizations that offer supportive services, such as transportation, shopping, meal preparation, housekeeping, and other services to maintain independence.
  • Support policy and advocacy efforts that improve service delivery and enhance coordination between the nonprofit and public sector.

Objective Two: Improve access to healthcare services for older adults.

  • Support access to healthcare services with an emphasis on chronic disease management that links medical care with health education, healthy eating, and physical activities.
  • Support and strengthen community-based organizations that provide access to an array of health and social services designed to improve health and well-being and reduce social isolation.

Innovation Funds (NEW!)

  • EBFA has set aside up to $5,000 per applicant to support INNOVATION that will result in improved systems or organizational operations that will result in improved services for seniors. It is up to the applicant to describe their innovative approach, however some examples may include acquisition of new technology that will allow for expansion or streamlining of systems, staff training/team retreats, leadership training, new partnership with health/mental health/legal/social services, virtual senior center programming enabling homebound seniors to participate in senior center classes, activities through webcams, etc.  The request for Innovation can be in addition to your request for program or core support.

Types of Grants

  • Core Support – can be awarded for organizations whose core mission is to serve vulnerable seniors residing in Oakland.
  • Project Support – a set of activities that can be accomplished within the grant period and funding is needed to cover the cost of these specific activities. Or, your organization is based outside of Oakland, but your activities will target or benefit Oakland residents.
  • Innovation – New innovative strategies to increase or improve organizational or programmatic efficiencies that will result in better outcomes for Oakland seniors.

Size of Grants

  • 12 month grants will be awarded in the range of $10,000-30,000 for core operating OR project grants. Innovation funds are capped at $5,000.  Applicants can apply for innovation funds in addition to core or project support.


Select organizations serving seniors in Alameda County with a targeted benefit to low-income seniors in Oakland have been invited to submit an application.

Invitation to Apply

Organizations invited to apply will receive information on July 30, 2015.  The grant period start date will be on January 1, 2016 and end on December 31, 2016.


For more information regarding the East Bay Foundation on Aging, please contact Barbara Jwanouskos at bjwanouskos@sff.org.